Before I start looking into the social aspects I will briefly describe theindustrial revolution which was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to some time between 1820 and 1840. This transition includedgoing from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, the increasing use of steam power and the development of machine tools. It also included the change from wood andother bio-fuels to coal. It began in England and within a few decades had spread toWestern Europe and the United States.
The history of the change of living conditions during the industrial revolution has beenvery controversial, and was the topic that from the 1950s to the 1980s caused mostheated debate among economic and social historians. A series of 1950s essays by HenryPhelps Brown and Sheila V. Hopkins later set the academic consensus that the bulk of the population, that was at the bottom of the social ladder, suffered severe reductions intheir living standards.
This period of time in Britan was the Victoria Erawhich ran from 1837 to 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and nationalself-confidence for Britain. Some scholars date the beginning of the period in terms of sensibilities and political concerns to the passage of the Reform Act1832. The era was preceded by the Georgian periodand followed by the Edwardian period. The latter half of the Victorian age roughly coincided with thefirst portion of the Belle Époque era of continentalEurope and the Gilded Age of the United States.The Fashion in this era for women was long hair thatwas woven into intricate styles, accessories thatinclude hats and gloves. It was required for womento completely cover up so long sleeves and highcollars were popular. In the evenings a women mayexpose her arms or neck. The hour glass figure wasvery desirable at this point so tight corsets and bigskirts were the main fashion.However as a group we have decided to steer awayfrom the industrial revolution in Europe andAmerica. We want to take more of a look at theindustrial revolution in Asia, Africa and SouthAmerica as we feel this will give an interestingcultural background and lead our art directionaway from the typical western style.