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18 September 2014
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Victorian Britain

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Victorian Business

Activity: Victorian business game
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Britain's emergence as the world's first industrial power was due to the move of production out of the home and into the factory. The transition wasn't smooth. The economy swung between boom and depression, and there were violent demonstrations against new technology - but the tide of change was unstoppable.

Investment in rapidly expanding sectors which used new technology was as risky in Victorian times as it is today. Some entrepreneurs made fortunes from the new cotton industry, but many of the factory start-ups went bust. Success depended on a variety of factors, some of which we will encounter in this game.

We start off in the 1820s. To simplify the game, our potential investor lives in modern-day Cumbria - though in the early 19th century this area comprised the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire 'north of the sands'. We have also simplified various other complex factors, but this is still a game of tough choices.

As you play, choose well, make money, and the business will survive. Choose badly, and the businessman could end up in debtors' prison.

During the game your stacks of money will rise and fall, depending on the choices you make. Do you have what it takes to become a cotton millionaire? Play to find out.

Victorian Britain trail
Industry and Invention
Earning a Living
Social Conditions
The State, Education and Health
Women at Home
Women Out and About

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