Lecture 7 The Industrial Revolution in Britain

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University of New England
HIS - History
HIS - History HIS 231
Eric Zuelow

2/26 The Great Transformation: The Industrial Revolution in Britain EZ thinks this is the biggest thing in history Agenda: Conditions of Possibility The Industrial Revolution Impact of Industrialization Conditions of Possibility Happens in Britain because of Simultaneous confluence of events/factors: 1) Growing Population 2) Productive/efficient Agricultural Sector 3) Development of efficient Transportation Network 4) Significant Supply of Investment Capital 5) Unparalleled Network of Trading Partners 1) Plenty of Labor means plenty of consumers. This is the 2 of 2 immense population growths in all of Euro history. (First-Greek Dark Ages) 1750- England and Wales @6.5 million. 1801-9 mill. 1841- 16 million. What caused this increase? 2 possibilities: increase in fertility or decrease in mortality. This time its an increase in fertility. Mortality is declining(people are putting in real floors, no more contact with carcinogenic wastes), but fertility is going up because marriage age has dropped from 26 to 23. More time for more babies. The number of spinsters is cut in half. Therefore a 1/3 increase in fertility. But Why? Well… 2) W/ agricultural rev. food prices drop, people can afford more, better nutrition, more babies, which they can feed easier than previously. Result of an astonishing phenomenon, between 1730 and 1755 there was NOT ONE BAD HARVEST. 25 years of bounty! Rise in agricultural labor, consistent eating for 25 years means healthier. Yield of harvests increases due to the mighty turnip! New crop rotation. Middle ages 3 field system w/ clover/legumes replacing nitrogen. Now all fields can produce something because turnips replace nitrogen, and sheep eat turnips, so they go graze and do potty in the field, making it more fertile, and most importantly people can eat turnips! Farmers get rich from profits and invest in factories and mines, as well as… 3) TRANSPORTATION! Since the collapse of the Roman empire roads sucked! Ruins mobility and trade. Why roads so bad? Poor rel
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