INSDUSTRIALIZATION AND INMIGRATION: In less than fifty years, the US was transformed from a rural republic into an urban state. The nation´s economic progress, based on iron, steam and electrical power, was speeded up by thousands of inventions like the telephone and typewriter, but the terrible working and living conditions and the unfair monopolies that characterized the industrial revolution in Britain, were repeated on an even bigger scale. An important factor was continuous and unrestricted immigration from Europe, who were eager to work at almost any wages and under almost any conditions. The often better-educated blacks, who had left the South in search of work, became the object of violent racial discrimination, particularly on the part of the newly arrived white immigrants, and were forced into together. Virtual monopolies were created in every sector through mergers and takeovers and the great captains of industry like Rockefeller in oil and Carnegie in steel, with their enormous economic and political power, were the representative figures of the age. While they enabled the US to invade Europe with its manufactures, legislative changes were needed to control the power of these trusts. The activities of trusts were regulated and legislative reforms were introduced to improve general living and working conditions.

THE BRITISH EMPIRE: AMERICA: in 1750 Britain owned thirteen colonies on the east coast of North America. But the colonists didn´t see why they should pay taxes to a British Parliament. Fighting broke out between the colonists declared independence in 1776. With the help of France and Spain, the colonists defeated the British. Britains admitted defeat in 1873.

CANADA: in 1759 General James Wolle captured the French fotress of Quebec and a British colony grew up there. Canada´s population grew to a 3million by 1865. Its prosperity was based on cattle and wheat production. In 1867 Britain agreed to grant more freedom. The Dominion of Canada was created with its capital at Ottawa.

AFRICA: Between 1880 and 1900, 80 per cent of Africa was divided up among the European powers. Britain fought the Boer War to take over complete control of South Africa.

INDIA: in 1750 the British East India Company had trading outposts in places like Madras and Bombay. It used its private army to gain land for Britain. In 1757 Bengal was conquered. Later, the government expanded the British territory. Despite the Indian Mutiny an uprising in 1857, Britain ruled most of India by 1900.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: Captain Cook reached Australia in 1770. It was used as a convict colony from 1788. Sheep farming prospered and emigration there increased. Gold was found in 1851. New Zealand became a British colony in 1840. Farming prospered, especially after refrigeration allowed exports to Europe.

REASONS: Trade, the Industrial Revolution created a need for raw materials and a demand for luxury imports. Manufactures also needed places where they could sell their goods abroad. Colonies could provide all of these things. In the 18th century, trading companies used their private armies to take land from local rulers (India). In the 19th century it was more often the government which took over territory to prevent other countries. The government sometimes took over areas for their strategic value. At first the British public were not much interested in the idea of an empire. It wasn´t until about 1870 that imperialism became common in Britain.

RESULTS: It did have trading benefits. Imports form the colonies were more important than exports they bought. Raw material flooded in for British industry to use. Exotic products became available for the British public with economic costs, were competition for British farmers. The colonies benefited too. The British built roads, canals, railways, schools and hospitals. They also took their medical knowledge, legal system and postal service abroad with them. Some colonies became centres of Christianity. The colonies inherited british laws landguage and customs. Sometimes the cost of the colonies was too high, the British rules often had little respect for local customs, culture and religions. Local labour was often exploited. Native lands were seized, mass killings sometimes took place.

SLAVERY AND THE TRIANGULAR TRADE: During the 18th century Britain was involved in the slave trade. Ships left Liverpool and Bristol laden with metal products. They sailed to West Africa where the goods were exchanged for slaves. The slaves were captured from local villages. Then slaves were chained up and packed tightly into the ships, which took them across the Atlantic. Ocean to the West Indian islands and America. Because of the filthy conditions on board the ships, many did not survive the journey. Those who did survive were publicly auctioned to the owners of sugar and cotton plantations.

Finally the ships returned to Britain with cargoes of American and Caribbean tobacco, sugar, rum and cotton. The triangular voyage took a year. This inhumane trade brought great wealth to the merchants and ports involved. Many of the merchants bought their way into Parliament so they could make sure their invents were protected.

Plenty of British people supported the slave trade, but others were outraged by it. In 1787 the MP for Hull, William Wilberforce, formed the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. It took until 1807 for Parliament to pass an Act abolishing the slave trade. The Act made it illegal for British ships to carry slaves. But the Act did not give freedom for slaves already working on plantations in British colonies, this did not happen until 1833.