Transport was greatly improved during the 18th century. Groups of rich men formed turnpike trusts. Acts of Parliament gave them the right to improve and maintain certain roads. Travelers had to pay tolls to use them. The first turnpikes were created as early as 1663 but they became far more common in the 18th century.Transporting goods was also made much easier by digging canals. In the early 18th century goods were often transported by pack horse. Moving heavy goods was very expensive. However in 1759 the Duke of Bridgewater decided to build a canal to bring coal from his estate at Worsley to Manchester. He employed an engineer called James Brindley. When it was completed the Bridgewater canal halved the price of coal in Manchester. Many more canals were dug in the late 18th century and the early 19th century. They played a major role in the industrial revolution by making it cheaper to transport goods.Travel in the 18th century was made dangerous by highwaymen. The most famous is Dick Turpin (1705-1739). Originally a butcher Turpin does not deserve his romantic reputation. In reality he was a cruel and brutal man. Like many of his fellow highwaymen he was hanged. Smuggling was also very common in the 18th century. It could be very profitable as import duties on goods like rum and tobacco were very high.
The religious revival of the Great Awakening melded the colonists in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. Eighteenth Century Americans thought of religion as something communitarian – a form of social cooperation – rather than a competitive endeavor of individuals that the world of commerce envisioned. Christians were told to be benevolent and to make self-sacrifices, and many were bound together by way of their shared mass conversions. Thus, they could afford to make sacrifices for their land in times of need.
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In the 18th century a tiny minority of the population lived in luxury. The rich built great country houses. A famous landscape gardener called Lancelot Brown (1715-1783) created beautiful gardens. (He was known as 'Capability' Brown from his habit of looking at land and saying it had 'great capabilities'). The leading architect of the 18th century was Robert Adam (1728-1792). He created a style called neo-classical and he designed many 18th century country houses.In Georgian Britain the wealthy owned comfortable upholstered furniture. They owned beautiful furniture, some of it veneered or inlaid. In the 18th century much fine furniture was made by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), George Hepplewhite (?-1786) and Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806). The famous clockmaker James Cox (1723-1800) made exquisite clocks for the rich.However the poor had none of these things. Craftsmen and laborers lived in 2 or 3 rooms. The poorest people lived in just one room. Their furniture was very simple and plain.
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Below them were the great mass of the population, craftsmen and laborers. In the 18th century probably half the population lived as subsistence or bare survival level.
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Anti-Catholicism was one of the most prominent traits in the colonies prior to the revolution. This attitude was significant in the New England way of life and existed not only in the churches but also in taverns, newspapers, and schools. Despite political or theological differences between colonists, one common understanding shared by all was an opposition to Roman Catholicism. So when the “popish” threat subsided somewhat with the passing of the French and Indian War, the colonists searched for a new Antichrist at which they could direct their attention. They found him in George III, who needed to be expelled from the colonies in order to bring forth the new age of righteousness. The religious fervor spawned by the Great Awakening provided the catalyst for political and military action necessary for fulfillment of religious expectations. The crusade against the Catholics provided the necessary focal point over the course of the 18th Century until the new crusade against the British took over.
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In the 18th century a tiny minority of the population lived in luxury. The rich built great country houses. A famous landscape gardener called Lancelot Brown (1715-1783) created beautiful gardens. (He was known as 'Capability' Brown from his habit of looking at land and saying it had 'great capabilities'). The leading architect of the 18th century was Robert Adam (1728-1792). He created a style called neo-classical and he designed many 18th century country houses.