HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Steam Engine, Spinning Jenny, Water Frame

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19 Aug 2016
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Changed lived in a profound way across europe. More of a transformation than a revolution. Explosion of invented-ness and production of goods had been limited before by centralization. System built on private property and profit motive. Strove to meet all possible markets to sell goods and satisfy consumer demand. Restrictions on trade and commerce were pernicious, unnatural and inefficient. Free trade/free vast amounts of wealth would ensure an efficient and equitable distribution of goods. Adam smith wrote the wealth of nations in 1776: book provided the clearest statement of laissez-faire capitalism, smith provided a bible for economic thinkers just as rousseau provided the social. Contract for revolutionaries: tenet of liberalism and target of mercantilism from the right, and communists/socialists from the left, smith argued in favour of a new economic system. England had reached a level of wealth and power by the middle of the 19 th century that was disproportionate to its size.

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