Sport in the Industrial Revolution. Between the years of 1780 and 1830 the Industrial Revolution occurred. The industrial revolution was a period of time when the way of living and society went through many changes. As a result of these changes to society, there was a great affect on the nature of sports. The industrial revolution can be defined as the application of power-driven machinery to manufacturing; it saw the movement from the spacious living of the countryside to the cramped conditions in the production of consumer goods due to the mass amount of factories built during this period.
Now factory owners required their workers to work much longer hours and therefore have less free time, workers from the countryside were attracted by this because of factory owners offering better wages and better standards of living. The reality of all this was that workers now had less leisure time to play the sports they enjoyed and the leisure activities they did play became a problem because the violent sports could lead to serious injury, excessive drinking led to hangovers and gambling undermined the work ethic. There were campaigns formed against violent sports, the RSPCA put pressure on the authorities to ban sports involving cruelty to animals and overall this was not very good for the nature of sports.
The one change in society that was excellent for the nature of sport was the fact that all these workers coming from the countryside to work in factories and working long hours meant that a lot of people got together and made friends and therefore resulted in more sport being played between communities. Also another major change in the industrial revolution was the advances in transportation.
There was the introduction of railways, steam engines and steamships and therefore many sports, especially cricket and horse racing, benefited from this as workers had easier access allowing them to go watch. As the revolution developed, half days were granted on Sundays in factories and this led to a major change in the nature of sports as this is was the origin of today’s 3pm kick off in football.
An example of the way society changed the nature of sport is the origins of some present well-known football clubs, Arsenal were formed by a group of gun makers, Coventry were a team of bicycle manufacturers, Manchester United and Crewe originated from a band of railway workers. This shows how the changes in the industrial revolution, with more factories being built really did bring people together and affect the nature of sport and manage to make sport the worldwide craze it is today.