Since the Renaissance architects had essentially followed the Vitruvian precept that architecture was an imitation of nature. The advent of the Industrial Revolution, which began in England towards the end of the eighteenth century, had a complex and significant impact on that assumption, and almost every other about architecture. Before the Industrial Revolution patronage for architects had been confined almost exclusively to the state, the Church and the aristocracy. Economic and social changes saw a new class of patrons emerge – the bourgeoisie – who were wealthy company owners and industrialists with the capital and inclination to build on a grand scale. New ways of organizing and dividing labour and other transformations in ...

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