Agriculture in the Middle Ages Early in the first millennium, improvements in technique and technology began to emerge. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and became important centers for the collection of knowledge related to agriculture and forestry. The manorial systemwhich existed under different names throughout Europe and Asia, allowed large landowners significant control over both their land and its laborers, in the form of peasants or serfs. Arabs introduced summer irrigation to Europe.
Was this achievement contingent on a prior superiority in environment, economy, mind, or culture, or was it mere accident? These questions demand comparative history and research into the connections between parts of the globe that before this were previously studied separately.
This is a new approach to European industrialization, focusing on comparative environmental histories, on consumer cultures, on wider-world connections in trade and colonization, and investigating useful knowledge and institutional reform.
It was marked by the growth of factories and large-scale capital investment; it was caused by technology and capital formation led by industrialists and private investors.
It was a British event, based on the underlying institutions of private property and liberal values, and its model provided a blueprint to post— World War II reconstruction and the development missions and plans made for third-world economies emerging from colonialism. Historians of that period saw the Industrial Revolution as a story of modernization, marked by key indicators in an economy and society.
They looked for and debated their estimates on the growth of national output, capital formation, demographic growth, and changes in industrial structures.
A new story of the Industrial Revolution appeared in the s and s, however, matching the industrial restructuring and decline of that period. Historians began to call the industrial past to account, questioning the centrality to the Industrial Revolution of the sacred cows of the postwar boom—heavy capital investment, large-scale industry, regional concentration, and large, heavily capitalized factories.
Cole, David Landes and Eric Hobsbawm. Estimates of economic growth and of the growth in real wages over the classic period of the Industrial Revolution, from towere successively scaled down. The Industrial Revolution as a concept seemed to have been rendered obsolete and it became clear that the kinds of economic change associated with the Industrial Revolution did not necessarily entail rapid increases in economic growth.
The costs of warfare and population growth absorbed much of the improved productivity. Invention and its diffusion, furthermore, have very delayed effects on income per capita and standards of living. It should thus be no surprise that an intensive phase of mechanical invention in the s and s would not start to show results in macroeconomic indicators until the period after the Napoleonic Wars.
The collection and analysis of new evidence on birth and death rates by the Cambridge Population Group and other evidence on grain yields endorsed theories of endogenous change in Britain, specifically economic growth caused by a combination of population growth and rising agricultural productivity.
Macroeconomic indicators discounted a significant contribution from international trade, including colonial markets and the slave trade. One historiography of this period, investigating macroeconomic indicators, flattened the growth trends, confined what growth there was to a small though dynamic sector, the cotton industry, and turned the search for the sources of growth inward to national, regional, and even local factors.
Others, however, turned to the productivity gains of small-scale farming and industry, to broad-based technological change based in skills and intermediate technologies, and to entrepreneurship and capital formation based in regional and community networks.
Population growth was gradual in France, whereas in England it rose throughout the eighteenth century, and especially in its latter half. And although British real wages were relatively static through most of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they were still well above real wages in the rest of Europe.
The proportion of British labor occupied in agriculture shrank continuously, while high proportions of the French labor force remained on the land; output per agricultural worker in France as late as was only 60 percent that of England.
As late as the mid-nineteenth century, half the population of the United Kingdom lived in towns, whereas in France and Germany only one-quarter did.
Britain achieved early ascendancy in cotton spinning to such a degree that France could not compete; French output per worker in cotton spinning was only 40 percent that of Britain in the s and s.
And the British took over international markets in manufactured goods. By the mid-nineteenth century, 60 percent of British cotton output was exported, compared to only 10 percent in France, and Britain exported 25 percent of its total industrial output, compared to 10 to 12 percent in France.
In contrast, the new economic history identified the sectoral and macroeconomic divide between Britain and Europe. Protoindustrialization is a theory connecting the spread of rural industry, population growth, and social and institutional change. Its first proponents set out to explain socioeconomic change in Flanders and the German states.
During the seventeenth century, agricultural, industrial, mercantile, and demographic change combined together to induce an unprecedented growth in decentralized manufacturing, most of which was located not in towns but in rural villages and drew on the labor of entire families, who organized their industrial work around the requirements of their agricultural holdings; much of the industrial work was, in fact, done by underemployed women.
In the textile industry, this meant spinning and weaving, and entrepreneurs and artisans in the towns acquired and prepared the raw materials and carried out the final finishing processes under the supervision of merchants Protoindustrialization was not just a descriptive category, it was a theory about why this kind of manufacturing arose and where it led.
For Mendels, protoindustrialization was the first phase of industrialization. The rural labor force took up domestic industries, using their homes as workplaces, and produced for supra-regional markets.
The population was thus liberated from the agrarian resource base; the labor force, which had previously been underutilized because of the seasonal nature of agrarian production, found employment, and eventually industry and agriculture specialized into specific regions.
The large numbers of regional case studies that followed this pioneering work, however, found no obvious link between protoindustrialization and later industrialization. In some regions, especially in Britain, a transition to the factory system ultimately took place.
Examples include the Lancashire cotton industry, the west Yorkshire worsted woolen industry, the Belgian heavy metal and engineering industry, the woolen and cotton industries of northern France, the cotton industry of Saxony, and the Catalan and Swiss cotton and calico-printing industries.
But in other regions, these protoindustries went into decline, notably in the south of Britain, which gradually converted back to agriculture over the course of the eighteenth century, or in the many parts of Europe that went into decline during and after the Napoleonic Wars. The regional studies, however, underlined the ways that social, institutional, and political factors encouraged or inhibited regional industrial transformation.
More significantly, the theory of protoindustrialization addressed the question of how work was organized and who did it. It also challenged those who argued that the rise of the factory system was the key signal of the Industrial Revolution.livo Views of the British Industrial Revolution PETER TEMIN There are two views of the British Industrial Revolution in the literature today.
The expositions. 7 More current work by Joel Mokyr supports the pervasiveness First Industrial Two Views of the Industrial Revolution. Clash of the Intellectual Titans. Tuesday April 27th, | Northwestern University.
The second Industrial Revolution is usually dated between and , although a number of its characteristic events can be dated to . Even those who support the view that an agricultural revolution preceded or occurred simultaneously with the industrial revolution are likely to find Crafts' position too extreme (as would Mokyr, a, pp.
Review Essay: The Enlightened Economy. An Economic History of Britain, by Joel Mokyr. Gregory Clark, University of California, Davis.
(Mokyr, p. 1) The Industrial Revolution is the key break in world history, the event that defines our lives. No episode is more important. Yet the timing, location, and. "People think of data visualization as output, and the insight that I think [Bloom has had] is that data visualization will become a means of input and control Being able to .