Why the Britain was referred to as the workshop of the world?
Between 1750s and 1870s Britain was referred to as the workshop of the world by other European countries because all the commodities of the world were being produced in Britain, during the period of Victoria, the entire world depended on high quality products from Britain. There are various reasons to why Britain was called the workshop of the world, these included the following;
(a) First to undergo the industrial revolution; Britain was the first country to undergo the industrial revolution in 1750 AD and then it spread to other countries such as German and France. The British people regarded themselves as the source of world civilization and their country was a model to other countries.
(b) Source of technology and innovation; Britain was the source of technology in the world. Most of the inventions in technology took place in Britain e.g. the steam engine that was discovered in 1776 by James Watt and the maritime technology that started in Britain. It was Britain that set the pace for the industrialization of other countries.
(c) Largest colonial empire; Britain had the largest colonial empire in the world. It controlled at least a quarter of the world’s population. It had colonies in Asia, America and Africa. These colonies provided a ready market for British manufactured goods and raw materials that contributed to the industrial revolution.
(d) Huge economy; Britain had the largest economy between 1750 AD and 1870 AD; its economy was worth 540 million pounds the largest in Europe and it was followed by France which had 250 million pounds. The possession of the largest economy explains why it was called the workshop of the world.
(e) Leading exporter of industrial goods; Britain was the leading exporter of the industrial products by that time and she monopolized the export of high quality industrial goods, this enabled her to control the world market and obtain higher profits this situation made Britain to be referred to as the workshop of the world.
(f) Stable government; The monarchy in Britain provided a stable and predictable government in the country. Peace and security provided a conducive atmosphere for massive investment thus enabling Britain to have the largest economy in the whole world.
(g) Geographical advantage; Britain had an added advantage in natural resources which stimulated industrial revolution. There was existence of coal and iron in plenty, coal mining was important in coastal shipping and provision of cheap fuel and later rail road construction. The existence of these two natural resources generated more technological innovations that enabled Britain to undergo the industrial revolution.h