来源：普特英语听力 2011-09-24 06:00
The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (1688-1990)
I. Whigs and Tories
These two party names originated with the Glorious Revolution (1688).
The Whig were those who opposed absolute monarchy and supported the right to religious freedom for Nonconformists. The Whig were to form a coalition with dissident Tories in the mid-19th century and become the Liberal Party.
The Tories were those who supported hereditary monarchy and were reluctant to remove kings. The Tories were the forerunners of the Conservative Party.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the "open-field" system ended when the Enclosure Act was passed. The movement lasted for centuries. Agricultural enclosure had good as well as bad results:
(1) Farms became bigger and bigger units as the great bought up the small;
(2) More vegetables, more milk and more dairy produce were consumed, and diet became more varied;
(3) Enclosure was a disaster for the tenants evicted from their lands by the enclosures. These peasant farmers were forced to look for work in towns. Enclosure led to mass emigration, particularly to the New World;
(4) A new class hostility was introduced into rural relationships.
II. The Industrial Revolution (1780-1830)
1．The industrial Revolution refers to the mechanisation of industry and the consequent changes in social and economic organization in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
2．Britain was the first country to industrialize because of the following factors:英
(1) Favourable geographical location. Britain was well placed geographically to participate in European and world trade;
(2) Political stability. Britain had a peaceful society, which, after the 17th century, was increasingly interested in overseas trade and colonies. International trade brought wealth to merchants and city bankers. They and those who had done well out of new farming methods provided capital in large quantities for industralization.
(3) Good foundation in economy. The limited monarchy which resulted from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 ensured that the powerful economic interests in the community could exert their influence over Government policy.
(4) It was a country in which the main towns were never too far from seaports, or from rivers, which could distribute their products.
(5) Britain had many rivers, which were useful for transport but also for water and steam power. Britain also had useful mineral resources.
(6) British engineers had sound training as craftsmen.
(7) The inventors were respected. They solved practical problems.
(8) Probably laissez faire and "Protestant work ethic" helped.
(9) England, Scotland, and Wales formed a customs union after 1707 and this included Ireland after 1807. So the national market was not hindered by internal customs barriers.
(10) The enclosures and other improvements in agriculture made their contributions by providing food for the rising population, labour for the factories, and some of the raw materials needed by industry.