chapter  7
5 Pages

Concluding remarks.

Like the Dutch Republic 200 years earlier, Great Britain was the envy of the world in 1851. At the Crystal Palace in Kensington visitors to the Great Exhibition from almost every corner of the world could marvel at the wonders of a new industrial age in which Britain played a leading role (although the majority of the 90,000 per day who paid their one shilling to attend were London families, as well as visitors from the Midlands industrial towns who had travelled down in their best Sunday clothes for the occasion). One of the sponsors of the Exhibition, Henry Cole, wrote:

The history of the world records no event comparable in its promotion of human industry, with that of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations in 1851. A great people invited all civilized nations to a festival, to bring into comparison the works of human skill. It was carried out by its own private means; was self-supporting and independent of taxes and employment of slaves, which great works had exacted in ancient days.1