*** English economy sectors transport canals

English/British Economy: Transport Sector--Canals

English economy transport sectors -- canals
Figure 1.--England began building canals s part of the Industrial Revolution (mid-18th century). The railrods begsn to replasc them (1830s), but the canals never seized ooperating. The canal boats often were a home for the family. Here we see ione in the early-20th century. Schooling was difficult for canal children. There were school at various places on the canal. Children would attend but only for a short time. When the canal barge had its cargo loaded, it moved off to deliver it and the children went with it.

Canals became the primary segment part of England's network of inland waterways. This is bevuse Enland and eve more so does not have a river system tieing the country together and connecting major cities. The rivers that exist are relatively small and run east to west rather than north to south. This is a problem because the country orientation is primarily on the north-south Axis. Initially they were used for both irrigation and transport, although Britain is a well-watered island and needs irrigatiion less than most countries. Canals date back to ancient times and the Romans began building canals when they arrived, primarily for irrigation. After the Legions deoarted (410), canal building did not resume until the 18th century and the Industrail Revolution. With the Industrial Revolution (mid-18th century) there was an increasing demand for tramsporing noth raw material and manufactured products as wll as bringing food amd coal into the expanding cities. This was for nearly a century, primarily canals. The road system was poorly develooped and more expensive to move goods. Thus the effort in improving land transport in England was canal building -- essentilly creating arificial rivers. Rivers were of very little use in commerce because most are very short and run to the sea. Few are navigble for any distance and none ran north to south. It was canals that addressed this problem. They could be built morth to south. They did not have thec speed important for passanger traffic, but could move goods at low cost. England develod large pack horse trains, but theu were unsuitable for bulk transit or fragil items. The existing roads were unsuitable for wheeled vehicles. Fragile manufactured goods like pottery (much more imprtant at the time than it is today) could not survive road transpot. Canal boats in contrast was actually faster than road trnsport, but more imprtantly the boats could not only carry large volumes, but also safely trnsport even fragile items. he first canls were Sankey Canal (1757) and then the Bridgewater Canal (1761) Notice how tyhey date to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The canals were pulled by horses or mules. This was just the beginning of cnal construction. Soon canals were being constructed to connect industrial centers, mines, cities, and ports. Effeciently moving raw materials (coal and lumber) and then the manufactured goods was at the coreof the Induistrial Revolution. There were huge benefits to manufacturing. In Manchester, one of the key industrial centers, the cost of coal fell by 75 percent as a result of the Bridgewater Canal. The Thames is the one major exception to English rivers, extending some distance inland and enabling London to become a major sea port. But canals were important to the growth of London, extending connections notrth to the manufscturing citis of the Midlnds. The Mersey with the help of the Manchester Ship Canal connected the port of Liverrpool with the manufacturing center of Manchester. Adter World War II, cargo carriage declined significatly. The canal and canal boats have taken on an increasingly popular recreational aspect.


Navigate Children in History Website:
[Return to the Main English transport sector ]
[Return to the Main English economic sector age]
[Return to the Main English economics page]
[Return to the Main English page]
[Return to the Main European economics page]
[Introduction] [Animals] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Climatology] [Clothing] [Disease and Health] [Economics] [Ethnicity] [Geography] [History] [Human Nature] [Law]
[Nationalism] [Presidents] [Religion] [Royalty] [Science] [Social Class]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Children in History Home]

Created: 11:59 PM 7/29/2023
Last updated: 11:59 PM 7/29/2023