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British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective – Merchants and Mechanics

It was only when British engineers made these new technologies more cost-effective during the nineteenth century that the industrial revolution would spread around the world. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 1st by Cambridge University Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 15, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: industrial-revolution. This is what you would expect from the The Economist Book of the Year.


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It's a scholarly book filled with charts, graphs, models, citations, theories,examples. This books tries to answer the interesting question: Why did the Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain and not elsewhere?

Tag: British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective

Allen speaks of a number of factors that made England ripe for this new way of life where other countries were not. The capital costs of Machinery replacing labor cost made sense here and not France.


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  4. The English worker being the highest paid laborer of the time. Interesting asides on the daily diets of workers around the world in different time periods. Cheap Energy For the first inefficient Steam Engines that ran on waste coal it only made sense here to be used in pumping out Coal Mines. If you had to truck the coal any distance it would not be economical.

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    There were no longer serfs, the Black Death caused fewer farmers and actual return of much land to pasture which benefited English Sheep Farming and better quality of wool. Government Policies, Farmers active study and sharing data on improving yield, larger farms led to a near doubling of how many people who could be fed by a single farmer. There is discussion of urbanization, the shift to heating with coal,history of textile innovations,steam engines, coke smelting, scientific enlightment.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Industrial revolution was considered one of the most important events that occurred in human history. The revolution basically replaced simple, time consuming, and cost-inefficient tasks with machines. Before the revolution, jobs like sewing or farming were all done by humans and animals due to there not being a cost-effective alternative, but as gas engines become more powerful, compact, and cost-efficient, those tasks were replaced by machines.

    Without the industrial revolution, we would n The Industrial revolution was considered one of the most important events that occurred in human history. Without the industrial revolution, we would not be able to live the life that we live right now. Robert C. Allen provided a clear overview of the entire industrial revolution including the reason why it started, the procedure, and the ending results of the revolution.

    Unlike most other books about past history, this book about the industrial revolution is very concise and clear, all of the events were provided from a neutral point of view, therefore making all the information in the book reliable. If asking me, I would consider this book one of the best talking about the industrial revolution, therefore I would rank it 4.

    I do recommend this book to read to readers of all range.

    When Was The Industrial Revolution In Europe?

    Feb 13, Robert Muller rated it really liked it. I love the data, but the global perspective is a little limited. By "data" I mean the work is based on solid facts gathered at great human cost from many sources by many people. By "limited" I mean--where's the politics? For example, he goes on and on about how the British system of high wages and low energy prices led directly to the industrial revolution and prevented it from happening in other countries. This is the "liberal" in the sense of rapid free market economics interpretation. Perha I love the data, but the global perspective is a little limited.

    Perhaps the fact that Britain had no regime changes after the Glorious Revolution and what about that? We don't know, because Allen totally ignores all political factors, not even testing them. Most of the book is super-informative, particularly on the history of macro-inventions and inventors, but his statistics are a little shaky. Where are the R2 numbers to say how much variance is explained by his regressions?

    I have no way to evaluate the models he presents. Also, studying the characteristics of inventors by collecting information about 50 successful ones is just bizarre--has he never heard of sampling bias? An enjoyable, well-written book, but take it all with a grain of coal. As an aside, the kind of causal modeling he is doing would greatly benefit from modeling with Bayesian networks rather than the crude structural models he uses. Jun 21, Corey rated it really liked it. Deeply analytical, and packed with quantitative analysis. Primarily focused on the unique combination of high labor costs and cheap coal prices in Britain.

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    This combination is the sole reason for the industrial revolution beginning in Britain. Good comparative analysis between Britain and other European countries and sometimes China. I wish Allen did more with China. I like the way placed the work of British scientists and inventors into the context of their time and place. He described history as being largely a "path dependent trajectory," meaning that context shaped history more than individual initiative.

    These are seen as necessary, but insufficient — with Europe as evidence. Chapters 2 to 5 cover the pre-industrial economy.

    The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective

    Chapter 2 contains evidence that eighteenth century British workers were rich by international standards. Everyone except Greg Clark will broadly accept this chapter. It also sets out the Allen approach: lots of tables, numbers, and details. Pages , for example, contain just four lines of text, with the rest devoted to tables. One has 16 lines of notes, including the grams of protein per egg, given to two decimal places.

    It is good that students realize the tedium of working things out properly!

    Chapter 3 tells the story of agriculture, reversing the standard story that rises in productivity allowed people to leave for the cities: instead high city wages led people to leave, which then led productivity to rise. Chapter 4 explains the cheap energy economy, in comparative context. Chapter 5 brings chapters together, in a model of the pre-industrial economy. The model is described in words in the text, with equations in an appendix. Allen has done a good job of being accessible, but it is not an easy read, and — my students tell me — it is only partially successful.

    To Allen? LNTL is the logarithm of the land-labour ratio? The main text description of how rising demand and population leave wages unchanged will not be easy for straight history students not helped by the description being on page , and the figure overleaf, on page , and will be beyond most school students.

    Chapters 6 to 11 explain the industrial revolution. Chapter 6?