History. Explaining Industrial Revolution (2013)Apunte Inglés
Vista previa del texto
The Industrial Revolution may not be consider a period of economic growth itself; it may be better regarded as a period of incubation in which the groundwork to future growth was being laid. It was a phenomenon that happened in Western Europe, but specially without Britain’s leadership it might not happened at all. The intellectual foundations of the technology which made the Industrial Revolution came out of the Enlightment, in which Britain was an active participant. What made the Industrial Revolution into the “great divergence” was the persistence of technological change after the first wave. This means that it didn’t peter out1 but it was followed by a second wave of innovations (after 1820), less spectacular, but these innovations were the ones that made production costs go down, spread the application to new and more industries and sectors and eventually, showed up in the productivity statics. Why England? Its ability to stay out of military conflicts in its own soil, political system that was capable of reinventing itself and introducing reforms without violence, a capitalist, productive and progressive agricultural sector and an institutional agility that allowed it to adapt to a changing environment (diapos). Furthermore, Britain could rely on a class of trained artisans and mechanics who were capable of making new technologies and this was the major factor in the leadership role of Britain in the Industrial Revolution. Britain already had a relative large proportion of people in non-‐agricultural activities and a shipbuilding industry, mining sector and a developed clock-‐instument making sector. British society channeled their creative energies to those activities that were most useful to future technological development in the market. Skills were transmitted through an apprenticeship system: instruction and emulation working for the private sector. Social elite with an unusual interest in technical improvement, its ability and willingness to absorb and apply useful ideas generated elsewhere, a well transport system favoured by nature and improved by investment and a propitious location of some resources, specially coal. 1 Peter out: agotarse ...