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Before the Industrial Revolution

Before the population boom in cities due to the Industrial Revolution, the majority of the population throughout Europe lived in towns and villages. These people were farmers, depending on the farmlands for food and the surrounding lands for most of their other supplies.

There was some industry during this time. There were guilds in towns. They made various goods that were exchanged for food or as payment for goods abroad. The majority of goods were made in homes where the source of power mainly laid with the people themselves. There were also people who paid those in these homes to make goods from raw materials and then searched for markets to sell them. These merchants were known as entrepreneurs.

Due to the fact that these rural people depended on their farmlands, they were in trouble when crops failed. Even in good harvests, they came up with little extra. Malnutrition was rampant throughout Europe. This meant the easy spread of disease and epidemics.

[Overview of the Entire Industrial Revolution]






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