HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Malthusian Trap, Working Animal

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
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HIS109Y1- Lecture Twenty Six
January 14/2013
- industrialization occurred before, during and after French Revolution
ie. continental system: Britain survived Napoleon’s blockade because of the
industrialization that already existed on the island
-industrialization was not a revolution because they weren't aware of its magnitude at
the time
- growth can be measured in GDP and industrial production (quantity)
-characterized by a decrease in the number of people employed in agriculture
(structural change)
- 1750: cotton textiles were 1% of British exports
-1805: cotton textiles were 40% of British exports
-the change in textile production indicates the expansion of industry
Escape "Malthusian Trap": population growth & real wages
-> Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)
-> objected to the idea of history as constant improvement
-> relationship among resources & wages in population
-> cycle of starvation and prosperity changes the number of people; more people means
wages can be less because of competition for positions
-> famine, disease, and war cause population to decrease and then food is abundant
and wages increase
-> working harder for the same level of wages means children are less attractive; then
pop. decreases and wages level out again
-Malthus thought this was a cycle that couldn't be escaped but he couldn't predict
*real wages = purchasing power of income
-now there was enough food to support booming of population (however living
conditions were still pretty miserable)
- most new technologies were based upon coal
- before technology was based upon human power, animal power and wood
- therefore before industrialization, the fertility of land had to provide for everyone
- 18th century, Britain was running out of forests but new tech allowed them to use coal
-new transportation tech brought Europe closer to its New World and its resources
(allowed sustained growth by having a place to send people & a place to grow
-1820: huge acceleration in British growth at the end of the wars with Napoleon
- 1800: not many men in industry because of fighting
- war also cased a trade disruption
Great Divergence
-> industrialization began in Europe and slowly spread which caused a gap between
Europe and everywhere else
-China produced lots of luxury goods; wanted gold and silver in exchange
-Europe wanted to trade agriculture so they increased industry with colonies
*commerce explained why Britain industrialized first
-> combinations of advantages like overseas expanding markets, location made water
transport easier to move resources, raw materials
-early 18th century, Britain had an agricultural revolution from subsistence to commerce
- experimentation with new forms of agriculture like potatoes or use of manure
- these large forms were capable of feeding people in cities or mines
Enclosure System:
- individual farmers used to work small strips of land
-enclosures allowed commercial farmers to claim "common land", parliamentary
- this displaced small farmers so they could work in cities