This chapter details urban history which illustrates the rough and ready pattern of development. It looks at industrial forces that shaped British cities. It notes that between 1801 and 1901 Britain experienced an amazing population shift that would be impossible to orchestrate. It explains that the total population quadrupled, going from 9 million to 36 million, and the balance between the urban and rural populations was dramatically reversed. It states that the immediate impact of the urban explosion on housing conditions in the early 1800s was nothing short of catastrophic and that it is almost impossible to overstate how ill prepared places like Manchester, Birmingham, and London were to cope.
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