Meanwhile, the countryside was attracting ever less interest. The Corn Laws spelled out the shifting balance of power.
Passed in 1815 to fix the price of corn and protect the interests of the agriculturists that then dominated Parliament, they
were repealed only 31 years later, against bitter protest from landowners and loud applause from industrialists. Farmers were
passť: everything that was anything was urban. Punch magazine's comic stereotypes caricaturing agricultural labourers as backward
yokels in smocks and chewing straws flourished in the 1870s and live on to this day.
'...every decade would have seen ground breakingly new inventions and the pace of life pick up...'
So what happened to our child of 1800? Raised in a slow, rural life, he probably migrated to the city, leaving behind his
old cosy community to start afresh on his own. Working in a factory, he would have been on his own: if lucky and diligent,
he might have made a comfortable living. But every decade would have seen ground breakingly new inventions and the pace of
life pick up: he might have travelled on trains and exchanged telegrams before he died. What is certain is that the world
must have seemed ever smaller, while spinning ever faster