The Industrial Revolution, 1750-1914

Concluding activity

Drawing on the sources provided in this unit, write an essay of 700-800 words on ONE of the topics below. In your essay:

  • form an interpretation (opinion) on the topic
  • develop an argument where you support this interpretation with evidence
  • include an introduction, paragraphs opening with a topic sentence, a conclusion and a full bibliography.

Essay topics

  1. To what extent did the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games accurately portray the Industrial Revolution? Was the revolution truly a dream realised?
  2. How does Charles Dickens' description of Coketown bring together key themes of the Industrial Revolution? Was the portrayal simply fictional?
  3. To what extent was the Industrial Revolution characterised by 'dark Satanic mills' and children toiling in coal mines? Was it all doom and gloom?
  4. 'It is easy to assume that the Industrial Revolution was a [totally] progressive and improving process. While this was rarely the case in economic terms, it was certainly not in personal and social terms.' (William Gibson, Britain: The Making of the Nation, 2011.) Discuss, with reference to both positive and negative aspects of the revolution.

Industrial Revolution assessment task and marking guidelines (PDF, 168 KB)
Assessment task template (PDF, 102 KB)