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Lecture 1

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HIST 122

Week 1: Industrial Revolution 08/01/2013 16:31:00 Defining the Industrial Revolution What it was not:  Not the beginning of industrialization  The history of industrialization is as old as humanity  Not the beginning of innovation  Not the beginning of economic growth  Rather a change in the degree of change  A fundamental discontinuity Timeframe  Mid-late 18 thCentury to early-mid 19 thCentury  Some historians talk about a second Industrial Revolution, which some have written about in the ‘70s.  Characterized by the beginnings of fossil fuel, rapid production of weapons   Defining the process  Series of major technological innovations  New modes of transportation: catalyst for globalization  A factory-based economy  Accelerated structural change in technology, economy, and society.  Revolutionized the economy of the West and eventually the rest of the world Inventions and innovations (1) Advances in broad fronts:  Iron smelting, cotton, sources of power  Textile, metallurgy, mining, transport, agriculture, and power production  What are the implications of the changes?  One change in an industry will change the web of resources as it creates needs for other goods and services.  (2) Two clusters of inventions:  (a) before 1733: Newcomen engine, flying shuttle  (b) after 1768: Jenny, water frame, Watt’s engine, seed drill, etc. (3) Other inventions:  Chemicals: alkalis and chlorine  Machine making tools  Paper industry: paper was finally produced with a new method which allowed it to be made flat on both sides.  Gas lighting: changed the hours by which people roamed the streets.  Road building  Bridges  Food canning, matchsticks, safety lamps (mining), lawn mowers, vaccinations Initial impact  Initially very limited impact on the economy: from 160 to 1800 only 0.2% increase in per capita income  Financial constraints due to rapid population expansion and new wars and taxes.  End of independent producers  Harshness of industrial life: conditions became hazardous, and it required many people to join the workforce to stay fed.  Squalid industrial towns with high mortality rates.  Small houses were the typical residences of workers in industrial towns. Emergence and Processes Conditions at the outset:  Significant rise in population  Occupational specialization  New navigational techniques  Banking system and financial institutions Why Britain?  Single-reason theories:  Traditional agrarian structures in continent  Difference in English ‘character’  Hartwell’s continuation theories Ecological and economic explanations  Coal deposits  England had a convenient access to iron ore.  What gave them the competitive edge were their colonies abroad, providing England with a ready market outside of their own.  Raw materials could be taken from colonies and sold back
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