The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, production, and transportation changes had a profound effect on the socio-economic and cultural conditions in Britain.
The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world and the onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human society – almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way.
The Rainhill Trials played an integral part in this development through the creation of the first Inter-city railway. The result was the speeding up of the transportation of raw materials for industry and manufactured goods for both home and overseas markets. Passenger transport between the two industrial powerhouses of Liverpool and Manchester became possible, hence the rise of the commuter.
Once the line had been completed many workers did not return to their rural lifestyles but instead remained in the cities, providing additional employees for the factories.
Railways helped Britain's trade enormously, providing a quick and easy way of transport to markets within Britain and also to docks for export overseas. Much of Britain’s prosperity was built on the exports of manufactures, especially cotton goods.
Industrialisation led to the creation of the factory. The factory system was largely responsible for the rise of the modern city, as large numbers of workers migrated into the cities in search of employment in the factories.
Nowhere was this better illustrated than the mills and associated industries of Manchester, nicknamed "Cottonopolis" and arguably the world's first industrial city. For much of the 19th century, production was done in small mills, which were typically water-powered and built to serve local needs. Larger mills with steam powered machinery became popular from the mid 19th century. The factory system was largely responsible for the rise of the modern city, as large numbers of workers migrated into the cities in search of employment in the factories.
Liverpool played its role as a major port – large volumes of raw materials passed through the docks on the way to Manchester and Lancashire, transported along the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.