‘Industry and Idleness’ provides an overview of the social and economic changes of the mid-century. Improved communications along turnpike roads enabled the growth of internal markets, whilst colonial expansion and development overseas led to the creation of new markets. These new market opportunities, combined with population increase, led to the growth of cities and new industries, creating a sense of excitement in the 1760s and 1770s. The polarization of society by unequal wealth distribution led to discontent, riots and crime, while law enforcement remained reliant on the deterrent effect of capital sentences. People turned to Methodism to provide spiritual comfort where the established church could not.