EMPIRE AND INDUSTRY OF BRITAIN

EMPIRE AND INDUSTRY OF BRITAIN

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain came to rule more than one quarter of the world’s population and two-fifths of its land. The Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815) revived the Anglo-French rivalry, and added significantly to Britain’s colonies, which by 1858 included Australia, India and South Africa. The Industrial Revolution continued to fuel Britain as a world power. Massive portions of the rural populace, pushed off their land and lured by growing opportunities in industrial employment, migrated to towns like Manchester (216) and Sheffield. The Gold Standard, which Britain adopted in 1821, established the pound’s value with gold as an international financial system, securing Britain’s economic supremacy.

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After making our way to the upper deck, the sixth engineer and myself assisted in shutting steam off the engine room, after which I reported to the commanding officer. By this time the ship was settling, the after deck being underwater. Some of the boats were badly damaged, the last being lowered away at this time. The C.O. and I decided that as this boat was overloaded, we could stay on board as long as possible, together with two officers, one seaman and a Carley float. The C.O. left me to go to his cabin to destroy some confidential papers. This was the last time he was seen alive, his body being picked up on a float the following day, dead from exposure.

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