chapter  12
16 Pages

Social History

The numerous and far-reaching changes that affected England during the long nineteenth century were naturally reflected in the history of its music festivals. England in 1914 was, of course, very different from the England of 1784. In the first place there had been a vast increase in population, caused not only by the rising birth rate and a better understanding of health issues, but also by the influx of refugees from the European mainland, both during the Napoleonic Wars and again in 1848. Alongside this was a redistribution of population within the country itself. As the Industrial Revolution took hold, the manufacturing towns and cities of the Midlands and north of England saw an influx of people moving from neighbouring villages into the larger conurbations to seek less precarious means of employment. With the growth of large cities came a new social order. Civic pride became manifest both in the erection of magnificent public buildings and in the holding of prestigious cultural events.