For both contemporaries and later historians the Industrial Revolution is viewed as a turning point' in modern British history. There is no doubt that change occurred, but what was the nature of that change and how did affect rural and urban society? Beginning with an examination of the nature of history and Britain in 1700, this volume focuses on the economic and social aspects of the Industrial Revolution. Unlike many previous textbooks on the same period, it emphasizes British history, and deals with developments in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in their own right. It is the emphasis on the diversity, not the uniformity of experience, on continuities as well as change in this crucial period of development, which makes this volume distinctive. In his companion title Richard Brown completes his examination of the period and looks at the changes that took place in Britain's political system and in its religious affiliations.