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Gerard M Koot
History Department
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Allen, Robert C., The British Industrial Revolution in a Global Perspective, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. viii, 331.
Allen’s book is an excellent example of the persuasiveness of the new economic history. It is solidly rooted in statistical data and uses sophisticated methods of economic analysis but its analysis is presented in plain English. He argues that the first industrial revolution occurred in northwestern Europe because its high wages during the early modern period encouraged technological innovation. Although high wages were initially a consequence of the demographic disaster of the Black Death, they were reinforced during the early modern period by the economic success of the region around the North Sea, first, in European trade and manufacturing, especially in wresting the textile industry from the Italians, and then in world trade. According to Allen, the first industrial revolution took place in Britain instead of the Low Countries primarily because of Britain’s abundant and cheap coal resources, combined with the central government’s ability to use mercantilist policies and naval power to reap the greatest benefits from an expanding European and world trade. Once it had taken the lead from the Dutch, and defeated the French, Britain used its comparative advantage to consolidate its dominant position through free trade until the late Victorian period when its technological innovations spread to its competitors. While he agrees that the political, cultural and scientific context of British industrialization was important to its primacy, his approach does not claim, as many interpretations have, that British, and later European and American, industrialization was a consequences of their supposed cultural and political superiority. Instead, he offers an economic explanation, which argues that the abundance of labor at low wages in Asia meant that there was little incentive to translate scientific discoveries into modern technologies that might have led to early industrialization in Asia.

Ashton, T. S. The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. xiv, 139. Ashton belongs to the first generation of professional economic historians writing in Britain who came to prominence after World War I. He along with J. H. Clapham, were the most important writers who challenged the dominant pessimistic interpretation, which argued that the standard of living of the working class deteriorated during the classic period of industrialization. Using new categories of documents, neoclassical economic theory, and some quantitative analysis, Ashton suggested that perhaps the material condition of the people during the industrial revolution had not been as bleak as had been argued. Ashton’s short book, The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830, was first published in 1948 and was reissued in 1997, with an introduction by Pat Hudson. This brief and very readable account has been used by generations of students as their introduction to the study of the industrial revolution. It remains worth reading. In Accordance with most other interpretations of the British industrial revolution published before the 1980s, Ashton placed its origin and the most dramatic period of British industrialization firmly in the period ca. 1780-1850. He argued eloquently that the standard of living had improved for the common people during the first half of the 19th century and that it was industrialization that had offered the workers an opportunity for independence through the coming of democracy and the organization of trade unions. Ashton was a professional economic historian but he was also interested in the use of economic history in contemporary political debates and played an important role in the conservative counter attack on the welfare state on both sides of the Atlantic after World War II. His heroes were the entrepreneurs, especially the Non-Conformists in the North of England, who reinvested their profits in their businesses and thus built a more prosperous Britain.

Auerbach, Jeffrey A. The Great Exhibition of 1851: A Nation on Display, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. PP. viii, 279. The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London’s Hyde Park has long symbolized the success and maturity of the world’s first industrial revolution. The 1850s ushered in the mid-Victorian era of English prosperity and economic pre-eminence. The exhibition was the first of many such international industrial exhibitions, which sought to highlight national and imperial economic, social and political achievements. Auerbach’s study is authoritative, readable and contains many excellent illustrations, many in color, including paintings, drawings, photographs and cartoons, which are useful for teaching. While Prince Albert has often been assigned a prominent role in the origin and promotion of the Exhibition, Auerbach argues that the roots of the Exhibition should be traced to an effort to stimulate the economy, which had not fully recovered from the economic problems of the 1840s. By attracting exhibits from other countries, it was also hoped that the Exhibition would serve as a means to promote better design for British products. Although there was originally some apathy and even opposition to the project, the Exhibition turned out to be a huge success. After several decades of widespread cultural criticism of the social consequences of British industrialization, the Exhibition came to symbolize to many, both at home and abroad, that British industrialization was ushering in a new age of progress. The ‘Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations,’ as it was called, contained 100,000 exhibits from all over the world in the spectacular iron and steel Crystal Palace designed by Joseph Paxton. More than one-fifth of the English population, including many from the ‘respectable’ working classes, attended the Exhibition using Britain’s new railroad network. The Exhibition not only featured the latest machinery and consumer products but prominently displaced goods from the British Empire. While this helped domesticate the British Empire for its citizens, it also was a proclamation of the success of Britain’s championing of international free trade. As Auerbach’s title suggests, the Exhibition was indeed “a nation on display.”

Barringer, Tim, Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005. Pp. 392, 33 color pls. 133 b. & w. ills. If you consult the chief standard surveys of nineteenth century British Art, you will find relatively few paintings that display working class labor, especially industrial labor. Depictions of labor by the common people are more prominent in the graphic art of the period. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Barringer seeks to develop “a critical iconography of the working man.” His study focuses on the period 1851-1878. He sees this period of Victorian prosperity, dubbed the “age of equipoise’ by earlier historians, as an “historical period of balance--perhaps better thought of as a hostile stalemate--between broader historical forces: the traditional privileges of men and the mounting demands of women; labor and capital; industry and agriculture; handmade and machine made manufacturing; city and country; provinces and metropolis; and imperial centre and colonial periphery.” This study only treats male labor and concentrates on images of physical labor in industry, the city and the countryside. Unlike Francis D. Klingender, the pioneer in the study of the art of the industrial revolution in Britain, who came to the subject with a Marxist inspired vision of class, Barringer’s view of class is much more complex and nuanced. He approaches his subject through five case studies rather than as a comprehensive survey. These include a study of Ford Madox Brown’s famous painting, Work, which articulates the prevailing hierarchy of male physical labor. In his chapter, “Harvest field in the Railway Age,” Barringer treats the work of George Vicat Cole and John Linnell in order to discuss the middle and upper class nostalgic views of rural labor in a period of the rapid expansion of machine production. In his third chapter he treats the art of James Sharples, an interesting skilled artisan who was also an important artist. In his fourth chapter, he discusses the career of Godfrey Sykes. The latter was trained and taught at the important Sheffield School of Art. The School’s purpose was both to reform design and to rescue the artisan. This is especially evident in his classical treatment of Sheffield trades in the frieze of the Mechanics Institute. In his final chapter, Barringer develops his concept of a “colonial Gothic art,” which combined the Victorian love of the Gothic with an admiration of Indian craft skills, both of which shared an “anti-industrial…anti-imperial polemic …whose essence was a re-interpretation of the meaning and value of labour.” Barringer argues that this emphasis upon the reassertion of the moral value of work, a theme popularized by Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin in literature, can best be appreciated in the artists and images of work in the period.

Berg, Maxine, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth Century Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. xvii, 373, 33 figs. 4 maps.
During the last two decades there has been a growing interest in studying the role of consumer demand, expressed as a consumer revolution, as one of the key underlying causes of the industrial revolution. Berg begins her influential study of a consumer revolution in Britain with a discussion of how the idea of luxury, which had long been seen as morally suspect in Christian thought, began to be redefined in the 18th century as goods that brought convenience, enjoyment and even economic well-being for society. As the Scottish philosopher David Hume explained, “if we consult history, we shall find, that in most nations foreign trade has preceded any refinement in home manufactures, and given birth to domestic luxury…Thus men become acquainted with the pleasures of luxury, and the profits of commerce; and their delicacy and industry being once awakened, carry them on to further improvements in every branch of domestic as well as foreign trade.” Berg argues that Britain was especially successful in responding to the new commodity trade with Asia. First, Britain imported Asian luxuries. Then it created its own designs for Asian goods and had these made in Asia for the British and European market. Finally, it manufactured new luxury goods at home. However, instead of just imitating Asian luxury goods, Britain created its own versions, invented new ones, and used new materials. Other Europeans also manufactured the new luxury goods but it was the British who dominated the luxury trade by the early 19th century. We still recognize some of the famous products: Wedgwood and Dalton ceramics, Boulton candlesticks and cutlery, Paisley silks, and Chippendale furniture. Add to these the new colonial groceries of tobacco, coffee, cocoa, tea, sugar and spices. All these, according to Berg, and a myriad of other household goods, none of them necessities, underpinned the 18th century industrial revolution in Britain. By the late 18th century, Britain was the richest nation in Europe with the largest middle class that could afford such luxuries. Moreover, Britain had reared up in America a consumer society with a white population that had an even higher standard of living than in Britain with an insatiable demand for British ‘luxury’ goods. American independence did nothing to dim this demand. Britain’s defeat of Napoleonic France expanded demand for its goods on the Continent and in its growing formal and informal Empire. These goods were not the fabulous luxuries of Oriental or European royal aristocratic courts, but middle class luxuries that signaled the arrival of a consumer society that fueled the first industrial revolution and made Britain the ‘workshop of the world.’ Berg’s book contains many excellent illustrations and a discussion of how these new luxuries were made that helps us visualize the British revolution.

Berg, Maxine, The Age of Manufactures: Industry, Work and Innovation in Britain, 1700-1820, 2nd ed., London and New York: Routledge, 1994. Pp. xiii, 337. 17pls, 18 figs, 19tbls. During the last third of the 20th century, the ‘new economic history,’ which uses sophisticated tools of economic and statistical analysis, challenged many of the long held assumptions about the nature of the industrial revolution. Its conclusions created a new orthodoxy among economic historians, which emphasizes that aggregate British economic growth was moderate during the classical period of industrialization and that many sectors and regions remained fairly traditional before 1850 (these views are especially associated with the work of N.F.R. Crafts, see below). After an extensive review of the new economic history’s work on British industrialization, Berg concurs that the industrial revolution in Britain was a much longer process than traditional interpretations had suggested. Although she also agrees that aggregate rates of growth and technological change have indeed been slower than according in the classical interpretation, and what were called the new ‘factories’ were confined to particular regions and industries during this period, she insists that the overall result nonetheless remained revolutionary. Not only, she argues, did the dynamic regions and industries experience their own dramatic transformation in technology, the physical environment, the scale of enterprises, the social roles of owners and workers, demographic behavior and the place of the family and child and female labor, which were so widely noted by contemporaries, but these revolutionary changes encouraged new social and intellectual attitudes, patterns of trade, roles for the state, forms of politics, notions of class, and changes of social relations that eventually transformed more traditional industries and regions. Unlike most economic historians, however, who assume that the classical model of industrialization of steam driven large factories was a necessary stage through which manufacturing eventually had to pass toward a higher standard of living, her explanation is much less deterministic. Instead of relying primarily upon the economists’ growth models and stage theories, “which have narrowed our account of historical processes to aggregate and macroeconomic analysis,” Berg emphasizes the complex relationships between social history, economic history and the history of technology to offer us an account of the “age of manufactures” which sees an intricate web of improvement and decline, large and small scale production, and machine and hand processes that created the new and revolutionary market society. She is especially good at explaining how many new products were actually made in relatively small shops during the 18th century but were nonetheless technologically innovative and expanded the scale and productivity of manufacturing. Berg’s work fully integrates scholarship on women and children in her work and she insists that one of the most revolutionary and controversial aspects of early industrialization was its extensive use of female and child labor in a way that had a profound effect upon both the economy and society. Finally, by emphasizing the importance of the international economy in Britain’s economic transformation, as well as Britain’s world wide political and military power, Berg places the British industrial revolution in a broad European and world-wide context of international trade and empire. Binfield, Kevin, Writings of the Luddites, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. Pp. viii, 279. The term ‘Luddism,’ often defined as opposition to technological progress, originated in England to describe a movement popularly associated with machine breaking between 1811-17. In fact, Luddism was often a peaceful movement, which sought political and economic solutions to the economic problems of artisans and skilled workers during a period of considerable social dislocation toward the end and immediately after the Napoleonic wars. The movement was especially vigorous in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Northwest. It was never a national movement. Instead, each particular region had distinct economic problems for which redress was sought. In the Midlands, for example, the Luddites objected to the use of larger stocking manufacturing frames (manually-powered machines) provided by capitalist entrepreneurs than were allowed a 1663 statute regulating the trade. Luddism took its name from King Lud or General Lud, a mythical popular figure who protected the rights of workers analogous to the idea of Robin Hood. The latter, however, was an outlawed gentleman who escaped to the forest hoping for the return of the crusader, Richard I, while Lud was a worker and representative of a trade. Binfield’s book is a useful introduction to primary documents on Luddism and consists of edited and annotated Luddite documents from each of the main areas where Luddism was active. The documents consist of letters, petitions, economic arguments, and political explanations concerning the distressed situation of artisans caused by new machinery and production methods and pleas of how to improve the condition of the workers through the enforcement of existing laws, negotiated wages between employers and worker organization. Many of these documents bear the signatures of real workers and were designed to negotiate improved conditions for the workers. One of the most common demands, for example, was that existing apprenticeship laws be enforced in the skilled trades. What made Luddism famous, however, was the fact that failing peaceful methods of redress, some Luddites were willing to use violence against machinery and factories to achieve their demands. Binfield’s collection also contains many threatening letters, popular songs, posters and calls for violence against machines and methods of production that violated both regulatory statutes and the customs of particular trades. Binfield does not attempt to provide a tight definition of the movement or provide a unified theoretical framework. Instead, these documents give voice to a wide selection of workers who responded to specific local social and economic grievances in a variety of peaceful and sometimes threatening and more violent actions while often using the name King Ludd to represent the moral authority of their trade in their efforts to improve the conditions of their trade. Canny, Nicholas, ed. The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. I: The Origins of Empire: British Overseas Enterprise to the Close of the Seventeenth Century, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Pp. x, 533. This is the first volume of a five volume multi-author work on the history of the British Empire. This volume contains twenty-one useful essays by major historians of the Empire on such topics as its origin, politics, economics, war, and particular regions. Nicholas Canny argues that the origins of the British Empire should be seen in the private interests of English merchants rather than the state, which only became involved in trying to control and direct colonial policy in the second half of the 17th century. While John Appleby’s contribution argues that English merchant involvement in overseas expansion was a result of the disruption of trade networks in Europe, Canny emphasizes the role of militant Protestantism’s efforts to expand English power in light of Catholic Spain’s imperial expansion. Canny also emphasizes that, just as the English had planted colonies in Ireland to pacify the country, the Irish plantations served as a model for colonization in America and were designed to bring civilization to the wilderness and useful products to Europe. During the second half of the 17th century, as Michael Braddick shows, the English state began to see the colonies as a source of revenue, military resources, and profit for merchants and manufacturers. Thus, the state set out to aid English merchants in their efforts to compete with the Dutch, who dominated international trade and finance during the period. Nuala Zahedieh provides a useful outline of the development of English transoceanic commerce during the period and notes that by 1700 England’s overseas trade already constituted 20% of total overseas commerce and had grown rapidly in the second half of the 17th century. She concludes that English “colonial expansion, was not a sufficient condition for economic development, as demonstrated in Spain and Portugal, but it was certainly an important positive stimulus, as recognized by contemporaries.” Other essays in the volume treat such subjects as the English emphasis on the importance of establishing their rights over land and resources rather than over native peoples, the role of the emerging Empire in the context of European Continental power politics, English relations with the native peoples, the development of slavery in making the American colonies profitable, and the contemporary literature of empire. Although there is an excellent chapter by P. Marshall on the English in Asia, during this period the Empire was primarily an Atlantic phenomenon during this period. The volume contains a useful chronology and each chapter includes a selected list of further reading on its topic. Cohen, Deborah, Household Goods: The British and their Possessions, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006. Pp. viii, 296, 152 ills. During the last several decades, there has been a growing interest in the history of household consumption as a crucial force in British industrialization. This interesting study of British consumer culture during the period 1830 to 1930 focuses on what she calls the peculiar British ‘infatuation’ with the decoration and material content of their homes. She begins by explaining that the puritanical religious enthusiasm of the middle classes during the late 18th and early 19th centuries gave way during the 1840s to assigning a moral value to personal possessions and associating beauty with godliness. The acquisition and display of tasteful household goods was now not only a pleasure but also a moral and even religious imperative. She chronicles how the ideal of the home as a place of virtue gradually was replaced by the notion of an artistic home filled with well chosen goods and decorated with carpets, wallpaper and artful objects. She explains how new magazines and popular fashion writers kept the middle classes informed on changing fashions in household goods and decoration. She argues that for the Victorian consumer, the home became a stage for self-expression. In an interesting argument, she puts forth the notion that decorating the home was a preparation for later and more public forms of middle class female self-expression. Unlike many previous treatments of Victorian material culture, she does not focus on luxury and handcrafted goods but emphasizes the democratization of consumer goods made possible by the mass production of the industrial revolution. She also explains the development of new department stores, tasteful shopping arcades and streets in which consumers could acquire mass produced but prestigious household goods. The book has many excellent illustrations, which allow the reader to visualize the household goods and the enticements to purchase them during the period. Clark, Henry C. ed. Commerce, Culture, & Liberty: Readings on Capitalism Before Adam Smith, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003. Pp. xxiii, 680. This is an anthology of 17th and 18th century writings on political economy and culture before the subject’s classic formulation in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in 1776. During this period, writers on economics combined their analysis with moral and political considerations. They did not think of their subject as a science but as a branch of moral and political philosophy. Among the topics discussed are “the nature of exchange relations and their effects on a traditional and hierarchical social order, the role of commerce in fostering civility and sociability, the effects of commerce on the fabric of community life, the dangers to moral virtue posed by increasing prosperity, the impact of commerce on sex roles and the condition of women, and the complex interplay between commerce and civil or political liberty.” The volume demonstrates that the word ‘commerce’ in the period had a much broader meaning than it does today. During the 18th century it came to stand for economic relations as a whole. Culture as used here does not mean works of art, music or literature but the “system of symbols embodying the shared or contested values of society.” One of the chief innovations of he period was the redefinition of commercial values as promoters of the common good in a society whose social order had been defined by religious, aristocratic and customary values. Finally, many of the authors represented here saw a direct connection between the growth of commercial values and the development of freedom, or as Adam Smith called his ideal commercial society, “a natural system of liberty.” While most of the writers excerpted here wrote in English and French, the discussion about the nature and value of the growth of commercial culture took place in a European wide framework. Among the important subjects debated during the period were commerce and the spread of liberty; see, for example, Pieter de la Court; free trade and mercantilism, see Josiah Child; self-interest and the public good, see Bernard Mandeville, David Hume and Daniel Defoe; the debate about luxury, see David Hume and Jean Jacques Rousseau; and the influence of the growth of commerce on traditional social distinctions, see John Millar. This well edited and handsomely produced volume, available in an inexpensive edition from the Liberty Fund, is an excellent introduction to the intellectual history of capitalist economic thought in Europe before Adam Smith. Crafts, N.F.R. British Economic Growth during the Industrial Revolution, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985. Pp. 193, 48 tbls. This important quantitative study of British economic growth during the Industrial Revolution summarizes an important reinterpretation of the rate of British economic growth during the classic period of industrialization from 1760 to 1830. This book summarizes, in a fairly accessible form, Craft’s argument, published previously in more than a dozen specialized articles in scholarly journals, that the long held view that the British Industrial Revolution was characterized by a “take-off” and a subsequent and sustainable rate of economic growth during the period. His work was a direct challenge to the classic 1962 study, by W.A. Cole and Phyllis Deane, British Economic Growth, which had provided a statistical foundation for the traditional view that the British Industrial Revolution witnessed a dramatic and sustained acceleration of economic growth, which brought a fundamental break with an earlier traditional society characterized by low economic growth. Crafts based his work on the same statistical data as Dean and Cole but uses sophisticated statistical and theoretical economic techniques to come up with quite different conclusions. He argues that the macro-economic effects of the Industrial Revolution were limited before the 1830s and only became substantial after the 1830s, when many inventions of the earlier period, such as the railroads for example, became widely felt. Secondly, he argues that although the standard of living rose during the industrial revolution, the improvement was not as widely felt because of relatively modest economic growth. Third, he argues that technological innovation and productivity growth did not produce as much productivity as the amount of capital employed as has been argued. Moreover, technological innovation was largely limited to a few key industries. While technical innovations played a large role in the cotton, iron and machinery industries, and were fundamental to a large increase of exports, these dynamic industries were a small part of the economy and did not play a major role in accelerating economic growth in the economy as a whole. Thus, Crafts argues that a few dynamic industries, which saw dramatic technological innovation, were islands of rapid industrialization in a relatively slow growing British economy before 1830. By contrast, Crafts argues that there was relatively little innovation or increased productivity in the larger and more traditional parts of manufacturing and commerce during the period. As a result, according to Crafts, the economic growth that did take place during the period was more the result of increased capital accumulation and an increase of productivity in agriculture. Crafts places British industrial growth in a European comparative framework. He argues that Britain’s success in foreign trade was based rather narrowly upon a few key industries before 1830 and that its high standard of living had been built up relatively slowly over a longer period and in many areas in which technological change and productivity growth had been relatively modest. Craft’s work is heavily empirical. His conclusions rely upon aggregating data for the entire economy and upon such theoretical constructs such as “total factor productivity.” Nonetheless, his work, as well as the econometric economic history of many others, produced a major challenge to the traditional explanation of the Industrial Revolution as a radical transformation of a traditional economy into a modern industrial one that took place especially between ca. 1760 and 1830. Crafts later restated his position showing even lower growth for the classic period of British industrialization, see N.F.R. Crafts and C.K. Harley, “Output Growth and the British Industrial Revolution: A Restatement,” Economic History Review 45 (1992): 703-30. Daunton, M. J., Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. xv, 620. 1 figs. 58 tbls. Daunton described his goals for this book as follows: “the starting point of my survey is the performance of the economy, but the aim has been to integrate social and political history into the analysis in a way which will, I hope, make the more technical writings of economic historians accessible to a wider audience, while at the same time adopting a critical stance to the underlying assumptions of some of the recent work of economic historians.” In other words, Daunton’s purpose was to humanize Britain’s economic history again after several decades of work by the new economic historians who concentrated on statistics, economic theory and macro-economic growth analysis but left out much of the human drama. While this is not a short and easy book, it is a substantial one-volume survey that is readable, comprehensive and provides a balanced account of the economic history of the period and integrates it with social and political history. The book is organized into five sections: agriculture and rural society; industry and urban society; integrating the economy; poverty, prosperity and population; and public policy and the state. In terms of the origins of economic growth in Britain, Daunton supports the now stamdard view that the industrial revolution was a long and evolutionary process that began in Britain’s advanced organic economy but required a switch to a mineral economy, chiefly coal and iron, to escape from the Malthusian trap of a growing population being limited by increased costs of natural resources. The heart of his explanation for Britain’s economic growth lies in part three, ‘integrating the economy.’ For Daunton, it was the ‘middling sort,’ such as local and regional merchants, bankers, entrepreneurs, skilled craftsmen and workers who lowered transaction and production costs through regional and local specialization—Adam Smith’s famous division of labor—that made economic growth possible. Daunton sees growth as fundamentally a product of domestic demand rather than being a result of export led expansion. He also argues that the role of the state, and its relatively enlightened public policy, was crucial to the sustainability of Britain’s economic growth. As his title suggests, progress did not mean prosperity for everyone in Britain by 1850. His discussion of the standard of living controversy argues that broad improvements in the standard of living did not take place until the second half of the nineteenth century. He explains that despite the social unrest of the Chartist period, Britain remained politically and socially stable because of economic growth and political and social reform. The upper classes were flexible enough to undertake a slow process of political reform that not only saw the adoption of free trade in an economy, which was for a time “the workshop of the world,” but also agreed to the beginning of factory acts, government support for public improvements in living conditions, and the toleration for workers’ organizations and trade unions. The book includes useful lists of further reading after each chapter as well as some maps and statistical tables. It is an excellent overview of the subject for serious students. Davis, Ralph. The Industrial Revolution and British Overseas Trade, Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1979. P. 135. 64 tbls. The critical issue treated here is: did overseas trade play a crucial role in the origin of the industrial revolution during this period, as some have argued, or was growing domestic demand sufficient, as other have maintained? Ralph Davis’ main scholarly interest was in the history of the English shipping industry and in quantifying Britain’s foreign trade from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. While his empirical research has provided a great deal of statistical data on the volume and structure of Britain’s foreign trade, the debate on the role of international trade in the origin of the industrial revolution remains unsettled. His two path-breaking articles on England’s foreign trade during the late 17th century to the 1770s were published in 1954 and 1962 in the Economic History Review. These were followed by a major monograph, The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and a more general study, The Rise of the Atlantic Economies. In 1973. His work has helped to place the role of Britain’s foreign trade in the development of its industrial revolution in an international perspective. The Industrial Revolution and British Overseas Trade continues his analysis to the 1850s. It has been difficult to analyze Britain’s foreign trade between 1660 and the mid-19th century because the custom duty records upon which this research is based used “official” rather than real values for imports and exports. This study’s major contribution is that Davis has recalculated the “official” values into real values for the period 1784 to 1856, allowing the author to produce a more realistic estimate of the contribution of foreign trade to Britain’s national income for the period. His work results in the following overall conclusions: “Overseas trade did much to strengthen British economic life during the 18th century, and in doing so it helped to create the base without which the industrial ‘take-off’ might not have proceeded so fast or gone so far. Moreover, once home demand ceased to be sufficient to maintain the momentum of growth of the most advanced industries, around 1800, overseas trade did begin to play an absolutely vital direct part in their further expansion.” Davis especially points to the textile industries for having “provided the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution,” as well as the increase in agricultural productivity that initially sustained the surge in population growth. Deane, Phyllis and W. A. Cole, British Economic growth, 1688-1959: Trends and Structure , 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967. Pp. x, 350. 92 tbls. 7 figs. This pioneering statistical analysis of British economic growth provided a basic set of quantitative data for the economic history of the subject. While many particulars in the book were widely questioned from the date of its first publication in 1962, its broad overall conclusions were not successfully challenged until the 1970s and 1980s by a new generation of economic historians, such as N. F. R. Crafts (see above). The book remains an important historiographical document in the writings on the British Industrial Revolution. Already during the 1920s, J. H. Clapham, the greatest early 20th century British economic historian, had called for placing the history of the industrial revolution on a solid quantitative basis. Most of the writing on the subject before Clapham had been literary in form and had sought to promote various social and political agendas. Some sought to expose the social and economic problems of the working classes during the industrial revolution in order to promote schemes of state intervention in order to improve the condition of the working classes. Others focused on the role of the entrepreneur and the free market in explaining the origin of the industrial revolution in the belief that the continuation of free market policies offered the most effective solution to raising the standard of living of the entire population (Clapham belonged to this latter persuasion). From the end of World War II through the 1970s many economic historians came to believe that the use of economic theory and statistical analysis made them neutral social scientists who offered objective explanations of economic history. Despite their claims of objectivity, the more quantitative and theoretically informed economic history of the post-World War II period was also heavily influenced by contemporary concerns. Chief among these was the breakup of the colonial empires and a Cold War interest in promoting economic growth in the underdeveloped world. Thus, how and why national incomes grow became a prime concern. Dean and Cole’s statistical account of British economic growth demonstrated that an increased rate of growth in a developing economy could lead to a “take-off” into sustained economic growth. The concept of an economic “takeoff” was brought into the historiography of the industrial revolution in 1954 by W.W. Rostow, and later popularized in his The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (1960). Dean and Cole’s book offers statistical data and analyzes long tern trends and structural changes in the British national economy. After briefly discussing the main variables—population, the value of money, wages, and the international balance of payments—the authors go on to set out the quantitative date in a series of substantial statistical studies on such topics as the relation between industrialization and population change, the growth of occupations, industries and incomes, long term trends in national income and its composition, and changes in capital accumulation. Their key conclusions on national economic growth were that there was a long and slow build up of economic growth before the 1740s, of about 0.3% per annum, a modest increase in growth to 0.9% from 1745 to 1760, which was at first offset by rapid population growth, but quickened to 1.8% in the 1780s and outstripped population growth, producing sustained growth, which accelerated to growth of about 5% per annum from the 1820s to 1850. These conclusion provided quantitative support for the earlier and classical view that the industrial revolution should be chiefly association with the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Phyllis Deane subsequently published a popular introductory survey, The First Industrial Revolution (1962), which was a widely used textbook on the subject in universities into the early 1980s. Findlay, Ronald and Kevin O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007. Pp.vii, 619. 37 tbls. In this ambitious survey of the world economy during the last millennium, Findlay and O’Rourke have set out to place contemporary globalization in a broad historical context of uneven economic development. Many historians have seen the first industrial revolution as the source of the “great divergence” between Western Europe and the rest of the world. This study argues that the industrial revolution “can only be understood as the outcome of a historical process with multiple causes stretching well back into the medieval period, and in which international movements of commodities, warriors, microbes, and technologies all played a leading role. Purely domestic accounts of the ‘Rise of the West,’ emphasizing Western institutions, cultural attributes, or endowments, are hopelessly inadequate, since they ignore the vast web of interrelationships between Europe and the rest of the world that had been spun for many centuries, and was crucially important for the breakthrough to modern economic growth.” While Marxists have argued that Western Europe’s economic success was primarily due to its use of power and exploitation, the authors argue that they view “inventiveness and an incentives…as being the heart of growth” but this does not imply that European overseas expansion should be written off as irrelevant. “Plunder may not have directly fueled the industrial revolution, but mercantilism and imperialism were an important part of a global context within which it originated, expanding markets and ensuring the supply of raw materials. Violence thus undoubtedly mattered in shaping the environment in which the conventional economic forces of supply and demand operated.” Central to their study is their view that interregional trade was the key to economic growth. Their analysis consists of describing the geopolitics of Eurasia’s and North Africa’s major regions and their interactions, which gradually brought the rest of the world into a world economy. These regions are Western Europe (the Catholic area before the Reformation), Eastern Europe (Orthodox Christian), North Africa and South-west Asia (Islamic heartland), Central or inner Asia, South-east Asia, and East Asia. One of their key contributions is their constant reminder that economic geography and resource endowments were key factors in regional economic success. The authors point out that at the beginning of the millennium the pivotal region of the world was the Islamic world, for it was in contact with the rich areas of the east as well as the relatively less developed western European region. The central event during this period was the Pax Mongolica, which knitted together most of the Eurasian landmass under the Mongol Empire, stimulating trade from Japan to the Atlantic. This also allowed the spread of the plague, the Black Death, in the 14th century, which, despite its devastating immediate effects, helped create a “microbian common market” in Eurasia, which in turn allowed the expansion of population, output and prices around the world, but especially in Western Europe and Southeast Asia. This crisis set the stage for the launching of the Iberian voyages of ‘discovery’ of the New World and the initial exploitation of its resources with the labor of African slaves under the command of Western Europeans. This was followed by a long struggle for hegemony in the emerging world economy between the Dutch Republic, Great Britain and France, while, at the other end of the world, the Russian Czarist and Chinese Manchu Qing empires struggled for hegemony in central and far eastern Asia. At this point the authors interrupt their narrative to take a closer look at the fundamental breakthrough of the industrial revolution in Britain and Western Europe. They argue that the industrial revolution “set in motion economic forces that determined the future course of international trade, down to our own day.” It produced a “Great Divergence” in income levels between regions as the new technologies spread unevenly across the globe and created a “Great Specialization” between “an industrial core and a primary-producing periphery. This resulted in the protection of agriculture in the core and the protection of manufacturing in the periphery and “finally a gradual unwinding of these trends as the industrial revolution spread to encompass an ever increasing proportion of the globe.” The authors explain that this process was not a smooth evolution but “was profoundly marked by the political consequences of three major world wars, the French and Napoleonic wars that ended the age of mercantilism, World War I and World War II.” According to the authors, war, the ultimate exercise of power, which was vastly expanded by the industrial revolution, has had and continues to have a vast impact on the evolution of the world economy. The authors have successfully synthesized a vast body of economic and historical literature to produce an impressive economic history of the world economy that places the study of the European industrial revolution in a world historical context. Its extensive bibliography is an excellent guide to the contemporary debates on the history of globalization and the origin and consequences of the industrial revolution. Floud, Roderick and Donald McCloskey, eds. The Economic History of Britain Since 1700, Vol. 1, Industrialisation, 1700-1860, 3rd ed. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004). Pp. xix, 377. 33 figs. 74 tbls. The third edition of this important survey of industrialization in Britain takes account of recent scholarship and is considerably different from the first (1981) and second (1994) editions. Its sixteen chapters, written by recognized authorities in the field, offer a sophisticated survey of contemporary interpretations of major topics on the subject. This edition reflects the current overall consensus that early British industrialization proceeded relatively slowly between 1700 and 1860, without a dramatic industrial revolution in a relatively short period between 1780 and 1830 as depicted in many earlier treatments. Although the rate of economic growth quickened in the early 19th century, and the cumulative effects of industrialization became especially obvious in certain sectors of the economy from the 1830’s, the relatively modest rates of economic growth during the period as a whole meant that industrialization left the bulk of the population with only modest gains in their standard of living by about 1850. Advances in knowledge and technological innovation over this long period remain fundamental to an explanation of cumulative economic growth within the context of a relatively open social system, political stability, an effective government, and access to natural resources. While factories and large-scale business organizations were developed in this period, most British businesses remained relatively small and a good deal of production was still done in small workshops. Changes in family structure and gender roles were important in some industries but overall these social changes were far less dramatic than has been argued in earlier historiography. In an excellent opening chapter, “Accounting for the Industrial Revolution,” Joel Mokyr provides a useful summary on the rate of growth debate. Other chapters included are “Industrial Organization and Structure,” Pat Hudson; British population, E. A. Wrigley; agriculture, Robert Allen; technology, Kristine Bruland; “Money, finance and capital Markets,” Stephen Quinn; “Trade: discovery, mercantilism and technology,” Knick Hartley; government and the economy, Ron Harris; “Household economy,” Jane Humphries; living standards, Hans-Joachim Vost; transport, Simon Ville; education, David Mitch; consumption, Maxine Berg; Scotland, T. M. Devine; extractive industries, Roger Burt; and “The industrial revolution in a global perspective,” Stanley Engerman and Patrick K. O’Brien. The volume includes an excellent set of statistical tables and suggestions for further reading. Freeman, Michael, Railways and the Victorian Imagination, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999. Pp. vii, 264. 279 ills. For the Victorians, the railway symbolized the great divide between old and new. Between 1830 and 1850, the railway mania created a dense railway network in Britain and brought the experience of the industrial revolution to almost everyone in the country. Much of the published railway history is institutional, narrowly economic, technical or of the ‘trainspotting’ variety. Freeman, a geographer by training, has given us a well-written and beautifully illustrated volume that places the history of the railway in Britain in a broad cultural context. Given his training in geography, he is especially good in his descriptions and choice of illustrations of the new spaces and visual world created by the railway, such as its palatial railway stations and hotels. Britain’s new ailways drew straight lines through the countryside, which seemed to defy the natural landscape. It also brought marvels of engineering. The steam locomotive became a symbol of the new power of industry. Its cuttings and tunnels revealed fossils and a geological world that prepared the Victorians for the science of evolution that undermined the doctrine of creation. Freeman argues that both figuratively and literally the railway was the engine of ‘circulatory ferment’ that distributed people, goods and money, making everyone a member of a capitalist society. It encouraged the growth of cities and suburbs. Its speed and mobility expressed the spirit of the age. Its timetables required the standardization of time and brought a new discipline to society, including its cows since they had to be milked in the morning so that the railway could take fresh milk to the market. While it democratized travel, allowing, for example, ordinary people from all over the country to attend the Great Exhibition in 1851, it also reinforced society’s class structure through its first, second and third class carriages. The author also discuses such traditional topics such as the economics of the railways, its finance, its corporate management, and its labor force but he is especially good at drawing out its cultural implications by using the literature of the period, such as Dickens novels and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, for example. In addition to discussing the representation of the railways in formal Victorian painting and the graphic arts, he uses less conventional sources such as cartoons, musical theater, sheet music, travel posters, board games, and toys to demonstrate that the railway was a central and pervasive feature of the Victorian imagination. Hammond, J. L. and B. Hammond, The Town Labourer: The New Civilization, 1760-1832, Preface by Asa Briggs, New York: Anchor Books, 1968. Pp. xviii, 298. First published, 1917. J. L. and Barbara Hammond, often simply called ‘the Hammonds’, were the+ most widely read social and economic historians in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. Neither held academic appointments but, at a time when the subjects of economic history, social history and economics had not yet been forged into clearly separate academic disciplines, their books provided a foundation of historical evidence for a ‘pessimistic’ interpretation of the social and cultural consequences of the Industrial Revolution, which has had an enduring influence upon both history and the public perception of economics as the ‘dismal science.’ Their view of the industrial revolution was of a period of massive technological change and rapid economic growth that had failed to improve the condition of the working classes before 1850 despite the economy’s vast increases in economic productivity. John Hammond was a professional journalist and civil servant, while Barbara Hammond spent a great deal of time in the Public Record Office amassing evidence. They wrote well and their books became immensely popular between the wars and had a considerable impact on the development of social democracy and the labor movement in Britain. Their best-known work is their Labour trilogy. The Village Labourer, 1760-1832: A Study in the Government of England Before the Reform Bill (1911), traced England’s agrarian transformation from the enclosure movements of the eighteenth century to the rural risings of 1830. In The Town Labourer: The New Civilization, 1760-1832 (1917) they told of the rise of a “new Civilization” that had added “the discipline of a power driven by competition that seemed as inhuman as the machines that thundered in the factory and shed” to the poverty of the old domestic system of production. They concluded that this revolution had “raised the standard of comfort of the rich,” but had “depressed the standard of life for the poor.” Moreover, they declared that the dislocation brought by the rise of modern industry had been made harsher by the ruling class’s fear of social and political revolution. This fear, often dressed in the gospel of evangelical religion, had added intensity to the war of the ruling classes against the workers’ efforts on behalf of political and social reform. The Town Labourer, remains especially worth reading because of its gripping accounts of child labor, government repression, and the ideology of laissez faire that prevented effective social and economic reform during the period. In The Skilled Laborer, 1760-1832 (1919) they treated the efforts of workers, especially in the mining and textile industries, to improve their conditions, including the first well-documented account of the Luddite movement. The work of the Hammonds provided an account of the lives of the common people during the industrial revolution that was nearly as concrete as that of earlier literary critics of industrialization, such as Dickens, while their extensive documentation from printed and archival sources provided their pessimistic interpretation with the credibility of historical scholarship. While many of the particulars of their work have been seriously modified by later scholarship, their extensive use of lengthy quotations from a wealth of primary sources, and the moral power of their view, founded a vital tradition of scholarship that remains central to the subject.

Hobsbawm, E. J. Industry and Empire, from 1750 to the Present Day, rev. ed. New York: The New Press, 1999. Pp. xx, 412. 52 figs. Eric J. Hobsbawm, the best-known Marxist historian in Britain, first published this one volume economic and social history of Britain in 1968. Its first five chapters provide a classic 1960’s British Labour and Socialist interpretation of the industrial revolution in Britain. As its title suggests, Hobsbawm argues that the British Empire was central to British industrialization. Although he sees foreign trade as crucial to the success of British industrialization, it is not clear whether the international trade of the period was a consequence of Britain’s Empire or that the expansion of the Empire in the 19th century was a consequence of Britain’s industrial revolution. Regardless of the answer to this question, Hobsbawm emphasizes that Britain’s industrial revolution must be seen in the context of its extensive international trade with many parts of the world and its use of imperial power. Hobsbawm is also the author of a widely read four-volume history of Europe within a worldwide historical perspective from the late 18th century to the end of the 20th century. Indeed, his treatment of the industrial revolution in Industry and Empire is quite similar to his discussion of industrialization in the first volume of his European history, The Age of Revolution, 1789-1848 (1962). Hobsbawm argues that Britain was not only the first industrial nation, but played the major role in shaping the world’s capitalist economy in the 19th century. According to Hobsbawm: “There was a moment in the world’s history when Britain can be described …as its only workshop, its only massive importer and exporter, its only carrier, its only imperialist, almost its only foreign investor, and for that reason, its only naval power and the only one which had a genuine world policy.” While Hobsbawm’s rhetoric may be a bit too enthusiastic, his argument challenged historians to consider his argument that it was Britain’s growing international trade, both outside and within the Empire, which allowed Britain to become the first industrial nation. In addition to his important argument that it was the Empire that sparked the industrial revolution in Britain during the late 18th century and sustained it in the century that followed, Hobsbawm provides classic ‘new left’ arguments on such topics as the development of class-consciousness among the working classes, the debates about the connections between slavery and the industrial revolution, the economic interpretation of imperialism, the standard of living debate during industrialization before 1850, and the wider revolutionary implications of the British industrial revolution upon world history. This new edition was revised and updated by Chris Wrigley but retains broadly true to its original interpretations. The book also includes more than fifty interesting statistical tables, charts and an updated bibliography. Hobsbawm himself wrote an interesting new conclusion for this edition, which places Britain’s economic history in a late 20th century historical perspective. Honeyman, Katrina, Women, Gender and Industrialisation in England, 1700-1870, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Pp. viii, 204. With the exception of a few early pioneers, such as Ivy Pinchbeck and Alice Clark early in the 20th century, it was not until the 1970s that the role of gender and women in the Industrial Revolution became a serious topic of scholarly research. Katrina Honeyman’s synthesis of recent scholarship is a useful and accessible introduction to the roles of women and gender during the industrial revolution. She notes that her work is “feminist history” and argues convincingly that, not only was gender central to the making of the industrial revolution, but also that “industrialization was important to the making of gender” in Britain. She begins with a survey of the historiography of the subject and demonstrates that research on women and gender has given us a much broader understanding of the process of industrialization in Britain. Her survey of the literature points out that it is now no longer possible to explain the industrial revolution in Britain without acknowledging the key role played by female labor. While industrialization also had a very significant impact upon middle class gender formation, her treatment is almost entirely of gender issues in the working classes. She focuses upon the lives of workingwomen and upon the often-conflicting patterns of workingmen as they struggle to maintain their standing in society as machines devalue their traditional skills and they become, like many women, a source of cheap and easily replaceable labor. The result was that many trades unions actively opposed the entrance of women into formal and full-time employment in modern industries. Her emphasis is on the classic period of industrialization from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century. Building upon the work of such contemporaries as Maxine Berg and Pat Hudson, she notes that universal conclusions about the economic experience of working-class women did not conform to one overall pattern. In addition to strong regional differences, as well as very the different experiences of workers in agriculture than in more urban environments, she notes that some women, especially young single women, benefitted by working with machines in the early factories before these jobs became much more exclusively male. Overall, she supports the conclusion in the literature that gender roles and women’s subordination became more rigid during the classic period of industrialization for workingwomen. Most of the book consists of a discussion of case studies of women’s work before and the changes, or lack of changes, brought by industrialization. In her final chapter she explores the impact of the growing ideals of domesticity promoted by both middle class reformers and male workers as they sought to push married women out of the formal labor force. Thus, one of the consequences of industrialization for Victorian working-class women was that there was a dramatic increase in employment for domestic labor and the growth of sweated labor as an adjunct to factory produced goods. The book contains a useful bibliography for further study. Hoppit, Julian and E. A. Wrigley, eds. The Industrial Revolution, vols. 2 and 3: The Industrial Revolution in Britain. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1994. This is part of a eleven volume encyclopedia on the Industrial revolution, which also includes volumes on pre-industrial Britain; the industrial revolutions in North America, Europe, and Japan; and on particular industries, such as textile, metal and engineering, coal and iron, and commercial and financial services. These volumes do not contain the usual encyclopedia style articles arranged alphabetically. Instead, these books, produced by the Economic History Society in Britain, contain important scholarly articles and chapters from volumes of essays and journals. Many of the articles included were written during the 1970s to early 1990s but there are also classic articles from earlier in the century. All are by recognized authorities in the field. The articles contain their original paginations well as continuous volume pagination. Since very few libraries have all the journals and books from which these essays are drawn, this is a very useful collection of well- chosen important essays, which allows the student to learn from the acknowledged experts on the subject and to appreciate the changing interpretations of the British industrial revolution. Among the most important essays included in Vol. 2 are: D. Cannadine, “The present and the past in the English industrial revolution, 1880-1980 (1984)—a very useful historiographical article on the relationship between interpretations of the British industrial revolution and contemporary concerns; R. M. Hartwell, “The rising standard of living in England, 1800-1850” (1961)—the classic optimistic view on living standards of workers; E, J. Hobsbawm, “The British standard of living, 1790-1850 (1957)—the classic pessimistic view; E. P. Thompson, “Time, work discipline and industrial capitalism (1967)—the most famous discussion of the new discipline required by industrial capitalism from a Labour perspective; E. A. Wrigley, “the Growth of population in eighteenth century England: a conundrum resolved,” (1983) — Wrigley is the most important British demographic historian for this period; and Charles Wilson, “The entrepreneur in the industrial revolution in Britain (1955). Among the important articles in Vol. 3 are: R. C. Allen, “The growth of labour productivity in early modern English Agriculture”(1988); F. M. L. Thompson, “The second agricultural revolution, 1815-1880” (1968); E. A. Wrigley, “The supply of raw materials in the industrial revolution”(1962); D. S. Landes, “Technological change and economic development in western Europe, 1750-1914” (1965); R Samuel, “Workshop of the world: steam power and hand technology” (1967); N. McKendrick, “Josiah Wedgwood: an eighteenth century entrepreneur in salesmanship and marketing techniques” (1960); and Joel Mokyr, “Demand versus supply in the industrial revolution” (1977). Hudson, P. The Industrial Revolution, London: Edward Arnold, 1992. Pp. xi, 244. During the 1980s a new consensus appeared to be emerging among economic historians that the British industrial revolution, which had previously been pictured as a revolutionary transformation of the economic landscape between 1760 and 1830, should be replaced by a much more gradual process extending over a much longer period characterized by relatively slow rates of economic growth of no more than 3% per annum before 1830. In addition, many economic historians rejected the overall importance of the ‘modern industries’ during this period, such as textiles, mining and engineering, since they remained a relatively small part of the total economy during the period. Hudson does not directly disagree with the aggregate statistical evidence for Britain but suggests an alternative argument for why we should nonetheless see the classic period of the industrial revolutionary as having had a revolutionary impact. Hudson, a Professor of economic history at Liverpool University, has contributed widely to the scholarly literature on British industrialization with an emphasis on regional studies. The first part of this very useful introductory survey of the British industrial revolution is an extensive historiographical review of the literature. The second, and larger, part argues that since industrialization, as traditionally understood, was largely confined to particular regions and industries during this period, aggregate statistics obscure the reality of dramatic change in some regions. For example, she notes that the growth of woolen textile production of 150% over the entire 18th century appears rather modest but the fact that Yorkshire’s share woolen textile production rose from 20% to 60% of national production demonstrates that the consequences were indeed revolutionary for that particular region. She makes a similar argument for revolutionary change in other modern industries when studied from a regional perspective. Moreover, she insists, that these dynamic regions and industries not only witnessed their own transformation in technology, the physical environment, the scale of enterprises, the social roles of owners and workers, demographic behavior and the place of the family and child and female labor in the economy, but encouraged new social and intellectual attitudes, patterns of trade, roles for the state, forms of politics, notions of class, and changes of social relations that eventually transformed the entire society. Her emphasis upon such social issues as the demography of labor, consumption patterns, and issues of class and gender lend further substance to her argument that the British industrial revolution produced dramatic changes in Britain’s economy and society during its classic period despite modest aggregate rates of growth. This is an important and readable introduction that emphasizes the social-cultural importance of the origin and consequences of the British industrial revolution. Humphries, Jane, Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. xiii, 456. This is a study of more than 600 autobiographies by men (working-class autobiographies by women do not appear to be available for the period) who lived through the British industrial revolution and later described their labor as children, childhoods, family and social connections, careers and schooling in an effort to search for historical patterns in the experience of industrialization by the workers. The study provides concrete and personal examples to demonstrate that “child labor was endemic in the early industrial economy, entrenched in both traditional and modern sectors and widespread geographically.” The evidence shows that there was a considerable upsurge of child labor during the classic era of industrialization between 1790 and 1850. However, it was not just found in the islands of modern production, such as the new factories, which provided the majority of jobs for children, but was also extensive in the more traditional sectors, with its customary methods of production in agriculture, small-scale manufacturing, and services. Indeed, the evidence shows that the increase use of child labor during the period was in large part a consequence of a deepening of the division of labor during the period, which helped sustain the traditional units and methods of production and maintained their competitiveness during the period. Examples of deskilling due to a greater division of labor come especially from trades such as shoemaking, saddle making and the toy trades. Nonetheless, she argues, since the factories were new, and thus could not draw upon an established labor force, child labor was essential to the growth of new factory based industrial production. Humphries notes that her work explicitly contradicts Kirby’s work (see below) that very young children’s labor was never widespread, since the rise of child labor during this period was especially a consequence of adding children under 10 years of age to the labor force, particularly in the factories. These autobiographies support the widely held view that households in Britain were already nuclear during the period and were relatively small but growing during the period. High mortality, migration and significant celibacy meant that a large percentage of the population reached old age without kin to support them. She also shows that families were becoming increasingly dependent upon male wages well in advance of when male breadwinner wages were sufficient to support a family. Moreover, these autobiographies suggest that there were many families where he male breadwinner was not present or was not dependably present. The fact that mothers were not able to support a family by themselves was a major motivation for child labor. As Humphrey puts it: “hunger emerges in this survey as the primary motivators of children’s efforts.” An increase in child labor during this period of rapid population increase resulted in children shouldering “some of the increased dependency during the period and helped society evade the potentially devastating consequences of population increase.” This study also shed light on the amount and quality of education during the period, in contrast to the orthodox narrative of a slow but steady improvement in education during the period, the amount and quality of education stagnated and perhaps declined. Without the growth of the new Sunday Schools, night schools and other efforts to promote adult education, literary and numeracy rates would have probably fallen further during the classic period of industrialization. The book includes many useful statistical tables. While the author is very much aware that this period was one of war and rapid population increase, and that the evidence for this study comes from autobiographies—a category of sources that historians find problematical, the personal stories presented are fascinating and her general conclusions reinforces the widely held view that the period of classic industrialization was a difficult time for a large section of the common people and especially their children. Inikori, Joseph E. Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A Study in International Trade and Development, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Pp. xi, 576. Inikori’s study is an important contribution to a long-standing debate about the economic connections between African slavery and the British industrial revolution. Although Marx had already suggested that the profits from African slavery were a contributing factor to the development of industrial capitalism, it was Eric Williams in his Capitalism and Slavery (1944) who was the chief source of the modern debate. Williams suggested that profits from the slave trade were an important contributing factor to the origin of the first industrial revolution, but he did not provide a broad scholarly foundation to make the argument persuasive. While much scholarship has been published on this topic since Williams, there has also been a great deal of ideological intensity about the issue that has limited the credibility of the argument that African slavery was a crucial contributor to the industrial revolution. Inikori’s substantial study has successfully placed Williams’ argument on a much more secure scholarly foundation, although his conclusions remains quite controversial because they are dependent upon the argument that international trade is a key explanation for the British industrial revolution. Traditional explanations of the British industrial revolution focus on the supply side factors, such as technological innovation, population growth, agricultural change, and capital formation. By contrast, Inikori identifies international trade as a prime cause of British industrialization. Using a theoretical concept from modern international development theory, he argues that import substitution was crucial to British industrialization. Taking a broadly Atlantic view, Inikori argues that Britain’s extensive Atlantic trade system was heavily dependent upon Africa slavery during the period 1650 to 1850. It was not just the profits from the clave trade, as some have argued, that helped fuel British industrialization. Instead, Inikori explains that slavery was fundamental to the entire trade system. Slaves produced such important raw materials as cotton, tobacco, sugar, rice, and many other products, whose production were not only profitable in themselves, but these products were processed in England, served to develop manufacturing in England, and were widely re-exported to other countries. He notes that the technical innovation and dynamic manufacturing industries in the regional economies of Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the West Midlands especially benefitted from their close connection to the Atlantic economy. For example, cotton constituted 2.9% of value added to British manufacturing in 1770 and 29.2% in 1831. In 1854-56, raw materials from Africa and the Americas constituted 43.3% of England’s imports. The bulk of these raw materials were produced by slave labor. Taking a broad view, he estimates that the export commodities produced by slaves in all of the Americas amounted to 69% in the 17th century, 80% in the 18th century and 70% by the mid 19th century The slave trade and the goods that slaves produced in America also had an important impact upon he development of Britain’s shipping industries, as well as on the growth of its financial and insurance services. In addition, Inikori notes that the growing demand for British exports in the Americas was dependent upon the growing wealth of American consumers, which in turn was heavily dependent upon wealth produced by slave labor. The book includes many interesting statistical tables and an extensive bibliography.

Jacob, Margaret C., Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Pp. iv, 274. In this original and very readable book on the history of science and economic development, Margaret Jacob shows that how and why scientific knowledge became such an integral part of European, and especially English and Scottish, culture during the early modern period, and how this culture helps explain why Britain became the first industrial nation. In the first part of her book, she summarizes her earlier study of why Newtonian science became so important in England and Scotland. In the latter part of her study, she explains that it was especially in England that a secularized and more popular version of Newtonian science became an essential part of the world-view of English entrepreneurs and inventors during the 18th century. Using the James Watt (an important developer of the steam engine) family archive in Birmingham, she shows quite concretely that scientific culture was “not a mere adjunct to the emergence of mechanized industry” but “was its essential source.” Comparative in structure, the book not only discusses Britain but also includes an analysis of the history of science and technology in France, the Netherlands, and Germany. This allows her to explain why a scientific culture and mechanical innovations became more pervasive in Britain. She shows how science was applied to worldly concerns, focusing mainly on the entrepreneurs and engineers who possessed scientific insight and were eager to profit from its advantages. She argues that during the mid-seventeenth century, British science was presented within an ideological framework that encouraged material prosperity. The book includes readable summaries of the major scientific achievements of the 17th and early 18th centuries that help us understand how the central scientific innovations of the period were important to many technological inventions crucial to early industrialization.

Kirby, Peter, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003. Pp. ix, 172. 1 fig. 14 tbls. Unlike Jane Humphries’ study of child labor (see above), which deals with the subject through autobiographies of working-class men of the period, Kirby’s survey of child labor in Britain is an effort to provide a quantitative answer to the question of the prevalence of child labor in Britain during the period. He stresses that national statistics for child labor are quite scarce for this period. His study relies heavily upon census data and includes an interesting discussion of the classification of occupations used in the 1851 census. Based on the sources available he discusses the broader social and demographic context of child labor for the period, its role in production, and the impact of the state’s effort to regulate child labor, which began in the early Victorian period. The book includes an interesting discussion of the changing nature and conception of childhood during the period. He argues that the traditional narrative that stresses child labor in the new factories is a serious distortion, for that even by the middle of the 19th century, most child labor still occurred in traditional sectors such as agriculture, handicraft industries, and domestic service. His concludes that relatively few children under ten years old engaged regularly in child labor. This conclusion is disputed by Humphries (above) as well as many other writers who stress literary rather than statistical sources. Kirby’s work includes a useful bibliography and is a useful introduction to the subject despite the fact that it rather neglects the large amount of literary evidence on the subject found in more passionate critiques of child labor during the British industrial revolution. Klingender, Francis, Art and the Industrial Revolution, ed., Arthur Elton, New York: Shocken Books, 1970. Pp. 280. 117 ills. Klingender’s book is a pioneering work on the rather neglected subject by art historians of the connection between the British industrial revolution and art. Klingender was born of British parents in Germany in 1907. His father was a painter but, unable to make a living in Germany, the family returned to England in 1925 and lived in poverty. Klingender studied sociology for his BA in the evening school at the London School of Economics and subsequently received a scholarship, which allowed him to complete a PhD in 1934. Not trained as an art historian, he published books on such subjects as The Condition of Clerical Labour in Britain and Money Behind the Screen. As an avowed Marxist, he was drawn to the subject of the social conditions experienced by the common people during the industrial revolution. His Art and the Industrial Revolution, first published in 1947, reflects a harsh view of the social consequences of the British Industrial Revolution, which was common in the radical and socialist inspired writings on the subject, and was fairly popular among his contemporaries. An edited version was published in 1968 by Arthur Elton, which toned down some of his harsher rhetoric. Klingender, along with Marxists in general, was a proponent of a realistic art in the service of radical social reform. Included in Klingender’s study of art and industrialization are literary critiques of industrial society by 19th century writers, but his focus is on the visual arts. He explains how the new factories, canals, railroads, and other physical aspects of industrialization were first depicted in technical and engineering drawings, then appeared in graphic arts illustrating the newly built environment, and only gradually appeared in the higher forms of professional art such as painting. Thus he shows, for example how the famous iron works at Coalbrookdale were first documented by topographical artists and later immortalized by such early Romantic painters as Loutherbourg, Cotman and Turner. Klingender was the first modern critic to point to the early work of James Sharples, the blacksmith-artist praised by the great Victorian art critic, John Ruskin. Klingender was also the first to emphasize the important industrial paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby, whose heroic paintings of workingmen and iron forges, as well as his painting of Arkwright’s textile mill depicted in the classic style of a great country house, have become staples in illutrations of the industrial revolution. He also demonstrated that the monumental work of John Martin was directly influenced by contemporary realistic-romantic portrayals of bridges, tunnels and railways. Klingender was very concerned that modern machine-made goods and industrial design was primarily motivated by profit and neglected craftsmanship and good design. He noted that Wedgewood had employed many artists to design his manufactured products and that the Crystal Palace, which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851, was a brilliant work of industrial design. The work of William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts tradition he inspired, were a in large part a critique of machine produced goods and a plea for new principles of design tied to traditional methods of production. Klingender was especially taken by the heroic depiction of workers in the famous murals in Manchester’s neo-Gothic Town Hall by Ford Madox Brown. While a great deal of work has been done on art and the industrial revolution since Klingender, the book remains a very useful introduction to the subject. Lambourne, Lionel, Victorian Painting, London: Phaidon Press, 1999. Pp. 512. 626 col. pls. This is a large format art book with hundreds of excellent full color illustrations. It covers painting for the entire period of Victoria’s life, 1819-1901. Lambourne was for many years the Head of Paintings at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London. The book is arranged topically and within the topics it is largely chronological. It contains many broad generalizations but does not offer an overall thesis or a coherent argument about the nature of Victorian Art. Instead it is a brilliant tour of the subject by one who has an intimate and life-long acquaintance with these paintings. It is full of interesting anecdotes, stories, and endless interesting facts and observations, which filled his immensely popular and frequent lectures on the period. The book is especially good at analyzing narrative art, which was an important strand in Victorian painting. If there is an overarching theme, it is his observation that “we are much nearer to the Victorian than might be supposed.” By this he meant, that while we often criticize the sexism, chauvinism, racism and hypocrisy of the Victorians, our popular culture retains many of these prejudices and biases. There are chapters on the Victorian art establishment, the fresco revival and murals, portraits, landscapes, watercolor paintings, narrative and genre, the panorama as virtual painting, childhood, fairy painting (he wrote a large study of this), sport and animal works, the pre-Raphaelites, social classes, the nude, women artists, social realism, emigration and war, the fallen woman, transatlantic exchanges, colonial painters, the aesthetic movement (about which he also wrote a major study), impressionism, and the fin de siècle. One of the striking conclusions you come away with after feasting on this volume, that there is little here that actually treats the topic of industrialization although there is much that might be seen as a reaction to mechanization and factory produced goods. If you are unfamiliar with the painting of the period, this is the place to begin. If you are well acquainted with the subject, you will thoroughly enjoy Lambourne’s tour de force. For a brief and systematic scholarly study of 19th century British painting, you might begin with Kenneth Bendiner, Introduction to Victorian Painting (1985). Landes, David S. The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969. Pp. ix + 566. 57 tbls. This is the classic study that argues that technological innovation was a major cause of the industrial revolution. Prometheus Unbound is an expansion of volume 6 in the Cambridge Economic History of Europe published in 1965. Although it covers all of Europe, as well as the entire period from 1750 to the 1960s, its discussion of the British industrial revolution is a very useful account of the topic. Moreover, since it covers Europe as a whole, it provides a broad context to the wider debate on why Europe was the first region of the world to industrialize and why the West retained industrial primacy in the world right through the 20th century. With the rapid growth of Asian economies during the late 20th century, the debate on the origins of Western economic primacy, and whether this primacy would perhaps move to East Asia in the future, rekindled the debate. In 1998 Landes published a major contribution on this topic with his The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and Some so Poor (1998). The latter book restates and updates his earlier argument within a world-historical perspective. Prometheus Unbound remains a classic book on the role of technological innovation as an important reason for Europe’s industrial revolution and Britain’s premier role in its birth. Landes provides a detailed and learned study packed with fascinating details on each of the leading industries in the British industrial revolution. He draws upon a vast variety of sources in many languages. Proof of this lies in his extensive bibliography, which, unfortunately, is missing from this volume, but can be found in the Cambridge Economic History version. In addition to serving as a source of information on the technological innovation, Landes’ substantial discussion of Britain contains a more general explanation of the broader social and political factors that made Britain the first industrial nation. Landes does not have much faith in theoretical economic explanations of economic growth. In this respect, he remains an old school economic historian, who is firmly rooted in an empirical tradition and is suspicious of “the construction of simple explanatory models and prefers the “wholeness of reality, however complex it may be.” Instead of a grand theory, he favors what he calls a “plausible” argument that finds the roots of technological innovation and economic growth in Britain’s scientific culture, its representative form of government, its geographic position, and the popularity of scientific experimentation and application. Above all, he argues that Britain’s industrial revolution was an outcome of the “scope and effectiveness of private enterprise” that ensured “the rational manipulation of the human and natural environment.” Landes definition of the industrial revolution is still widely quoted. He argues that an “interrelated succession of technological changes” was “the heart of the Industrial Revolution:” “(1) the substitution of mechanical devices for human skills (2) the substitution of inanimate power—in particular steam—for human and animal strength; and (3) the marked improvements in the getting and working of raw materials.” According to Landes, this is what “marked a major turning point in history. To that point, the advances of commerce and industry, however gratifying and impressive, were essentially superficial: more wealth, more goods, prosperous cities, merchant nabobs…In the absence of qualitative changes, of improvements in productivity, there could be no guarantee that mere quantitative gains would be consolidated. It was the Industrial Revolution that initiated a cumulative, self-sustaining advance in technology whose repercussions would be felt in all aspects of economic life.” Prometheus Unbound is the classic argument, told with fascinating empirical detail, that technological innovation led to a self-sustaining growth of productivity that is the chief characteristic of the industrial revolution. McKendrick, Neil, John Brewer, and J. H. Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth Century England, Bloomington, Indiana; Indiana University Press, 1982. Pp. 345. Traditional studies of the industrial revolution have concentrated on the supply side of production, such as technology, methods of production, capital, and labor. In recent decades there has been a great deal of research on the demand side of the British industrial revolution. This volume by three well-known Cambridge University historians played an important role in encouraging the latter approach. Although there is an effort here to eplain the ultimate source for the expanded demand for goods, much of the evidence in this volume is about how producers responded to increased demand. The authors suggest that a consumer revolution of the 18th century provided the incentive for inventors and entrepreneurs to revolutionize British industry in order to meet the growing demand for all sorts of goods by a larger segment of society. Demand, of course, has to be effective demand in order to encourage entrepreneurs to provide more and different goods. The simplest way to increase demand was an increase of wealth in a society, but greater wealth need not be spent on consumer goods. It could, for example, be saved, spent on church decorations or on war. The claim here was that during the eighteenth century, and especially during the second half of the century, Britain experienced a consumer revolution, which was not just limited to a small upper class as in previous centuries, but also was broad enough to have a significant impact on economic growth and thus played an important role in the British industrial revolution. About half the book consists of essays by McKendrick. In an opening essay he argues that the late 18th century developed a new materialistic attitude that accepted the acquisition of material goods as an honorable pursuit of pleasure and even of demonstrating sociability and virtue. He points for example to Mandeville’s praise of fashion and luxury in his famous Fable of the Bees and to Adam Smith’s support for the proposition that the pursuit of profit by an individual provides for the economic growth that produces benefits for all. His other essays are on he growth of advertising, the role of fashion in stimulating demand, and on Josiah Wedgwood’s sales and marketing techniques. John Brewer’s section shows how pottery makers, printers, graphic artists, and pub owners used the growth of popular politics and agitation for reform in the late 18th century to increase their business. Finally, there are three chapters by Plumb on the commercialization of leisure in such areas as theater, spas, and horse racing, In an interesting chapter on the changing attitudes toward children during the period, he notes that the dramatic increase in the purchase of children’s books, toys, and fashionable clothes produced a whole new category of consumption. In “Acceptance of Modernity,” Plumb argues that the 18th century enthusiasm for manipulating nature, rooted in the popularization of ideas produced by the scientific revolution, led to a passion for the breeding and collection of decorative animals, the hybridization of plants, the popularization of gardening, and the assemblage of cabinets of curiosities. Plumb argues that the search for novelty, the exotic, the latest fashions and the acceptance of luxury and materialism all contributed to the creation of a consumer culture. What made these 18th century developments so important for economic growth was that its consumer culture was no longer confined to a small upper class, but was now prevalent among the growing middle ranks of society so that it became a major source of economic growth in the economy without which the industrial revolution would not have occurred in Britain. Marshall, P. J. ed., The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. II, The Eighteenth Century, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Pp. xxii, 639. This is the second of a five volume multi-author work on the history of the British Empire. This volume contains twenty-six useful essays by major historians on such topics as Empire politics, economics, war, culture, particular regions, on the Empire’s growth in the 18th century, its experience during and the consequences of the American Revolution, and its expansion, especially in Asia, during the wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was a series of wars throughout the 18thy century against native peoples, the French and the Spanish that established Britain as the major colonial power in North America during the 18th century. The turning point in the conflict was the British victory in the Seven Years war, which left Britain, a latecomer to colonization, as by far the most important imperial power in North America. In an important chapter, Patrick O’Brien argues that, while the merchants, manufacturers and skilled British labor force were the key forces, both in the colonies and the home country, in developing the economy of the early empire, its success in the 18th century also owed a great deal to the mercantilist policies and military efforts of the state. A coalition of merchants, manufacturers, and military and political leaders was able to use the fiscal and military power of the state to support their economic interests in British imperial expansion. Nonetheless, as these essays point out, and as the American Revolution demonstrated, there was no coherent and effective central state authority in Britain that was able to create a unified and effective imperial governing structure. Political authority remained largely in the hands of British citizens and their representatives in the colonies. Economic decisions and trade, despite the effort of the Navigation Acts to control them, were made by networks of entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic in pursuit of profits. Central to the economy of the British Atlantic Empire were plantation commodities, such as sugar and tobacco. David Richardson, Philip Morgan and Richard Sheridan have excellent chapters on the plantation complex while Daniel Richter treats the experience of Native Americans. The old argument that the profits from slavery and the plantation economy underwrote the industrial revolution Britain, first popularized by Eric Williams in 1944, is not supported in these essays. Instead, some of the essays lend support to the argument that Britain’s success in international trade during this period was an important contributing factor in Britain’s industrialization. While most of the volume deals with the Western Hemisphere, there are four excellent chapters on British expansion in Asia, especially the transformation of the East Indian Company’s monopoly trading system into a territorial empire in India during the latter half of the 18th century. In addition there are interesting chapters on the role of religion in a commercial empire, the growth of the British Navy and the importance of Sea Power, the black experience in the Empire, the birth of the abolition of slavery movement, and the crisis of the American Revolution. The volume concludes with on excellent essay by P. J. Marshall noting that, although the wars with France between 1793 to 1815, as well as the East India Company’s wars in India, vastly expanded the world-wide reach of he British Empire, the early 19th century Empire still lacked a coherent vision, was largely a consequence of opportunities seized on the spot, and did not result in the building of a central political and military imperial structure or a coherent set of economic policies during the period. The volume contains a useful chronology and each chapter includes a selected list of further reading on its topic. Mathias, Peter. The First Industrial Nation: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1914, 2nd ed., London and New York: Routledge, 2001. Pp. xxii, 493. 26 figs. 11 tbls. First published in 1969, this is a classic text on the British Industrial Revolution, which was widely used by university students well into 1990s. The 2001 edition, although fundamentally similar to the earlier edition, contains an interesting new preface by the author on the historiography of the subject. When Mathias first published this volume, the ‘new economic history,’ which uses theoretical mathematical economic models and complex statistical tools to explain economic history, was already challenging the more traditional analytical approach to the subject. This mathematical complexity produced a growing divide between economic historians who were primarily economists and those who were primarily historians. The result for the non-mathematically trained reader was that the econometric approach to economic history made the subject inaccessible. Mathias notes in his 2001 preface that, more recently, economic history has once again become more institutional in its approach while many of the conclusions of the new economic history have now been reintegrated into general accounts of the industrial revolution in a fashion that makes them more accessible to students. While very much an economic history, Mathias’ volume remains a sophisticated and excellent overview of the classic interpretation of the British Industrial Revolution that combines the literary tradition with quantitative economic analysis. When the book was first written, economists were searching for a model to help guide underdeveloped countries toward development. Mathias begins with a Prologue in which he warns that the search for the single most important cause for the Industrial Revolution, as in a mathematical equation, is impossible for such a deep and complex human phenomenon as the Industrial Revolution. Part I covers the period from 1700 to the early 19th century. Mathias agues that the Industrial Revolution built upon a long and complex development of the British economy, which accelerated and deepened during the late 18th and early 19th century to produce the first ‘industrial nation.’ While he mentions political, sociological, demographic, geographical and cultural factors, his emphasis is upon specifically economic factors. The book is organized topically with chapters on agriculture; economic policy, trade and transport; industrial growth and finance; working conditions; and the standard of living controversy. He argues that there is no consensus on the standard of living for the workers between 1790 and 1850, but that it improved after 1850. In Part II, he continues the story through the 19th century, with chapters on the railways, free trade, industrial organization, finance, the rising standard of living and labor organization. Overall, Mathias’ explanation of the British Industrial Revolution is one that emphasizes the interdependence of many factors with special praise for the entrepreneurs. The book contains 39 useful statistical tables and charts. Mokyr, Joel, The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Pp. x, 564. 16 tbls. Although the phrase ‘industrial revolution’ does not appear in its title, this is a major new study of the British industrial revolution by one of the best-known economic historians writing on the subject today. It is a large and very well written volume that exhibits an impressive command of the extensive scholarship on the subject. The book includes an extensive bibliography. Although Mokyr agrees with the increasingly popular view among historians that the transformation of Britain’s economy, which has been traditionally called an industrial revolution, took place over at least a century and a half, he nonetheless points to the classic period of the industrial revolution between ca 1770 to 1830 as crucial to the larger transformation of the economy. Mokyr’s earlier publications were especially concerned with the role that technology plays in economic growth. The overall thesis of this volume is “that the industrial revolution…placed technology as the main engine of economic change” and that this was driven by “the changing set of beliefs that we associate with the Enlightenment.” The use of the word Enlightenment in the title, and its frequent use throughout the book, does not mean that Enlightenment ideas caused the industrial revolution as such. Instead, what he means is that Britain’s culture and institutions were open to Enlightenment ideas in science, economics, politics and social organization and the British were able to use these to alter their political, social and economic institutions to take advantage of technological and business innovations. For Mokyr, the sustainable growth of economic productivity during the period are not just be a result of unusual scientific and technological breakthroughs, but their very origin, and their ability to increase productivity, must take place in a receptive and broader social context. Thus, Mokyr does not give us a strictly economic or technological explanation for the origin of Britain’s industrial revolution, but a broadly cultural one. The book contains extensive discussions of the social basis of knowledge production and distribution as well as explaining the major and many minor technological innovations. This is, however, far more than a technological history of the British economy. It includes an extensive discussion on British political and social institutions and how these provided incentives for economic development. There are also chapters on the contributions of agriculture and Britain’s openness to international trade to economic development. Mokyr does not only focus on the supply and demand of goods but also has several important chapters on the often-neglected areas of the service industries. In addition there are chapters on Britain’s demographic transformation and on the increasingly important topics of gender and family structure in economic development. His discussion of income inequality and living standards constitute a balanced treatment of this contentious topic. In short, this is a comprehensive and impressive treatment of Britain’s economic transformation that remains revolutionary in a world-historical perspective even though it took place over a long period of one hundred and fifty years. Morgan, Kenneth, The Birth of Industrial Britain: Social Change, 1750-1850, Harlow, UK: Pearson Longman, 2004. Pp. vi, 171. This is a volume in the well-regarded “Seminar Studies in History” series. The purpose of these is to provide a scholarly but relatively brief introduction to the state of knowledge on an important subject written by an expert in the field. The volumes include suggestions for further reading and a selection of primary documents. The focus of this volume is on the social changes brought about by the industrial revolution. There are chapters on work and leisure, living and health standards, religion and society, popular education, the old and new poor law, popular protest, and crime, justice and punishment. The documents are well chosen and provide a handy collection of primary sources for teaching. Morgan concludes that by the early nineteenth century factories were prominent in the Midlands, north of England and lowland Scotland but relatively uncommon in other industrializing parts of the country. At the same time, the period also saw major changes in cottage and handicraft industries in other parts of the country. On the standard of living question, Morgan concludes that “a fair case could be made for a deterioration in the environmental and epidemiological context of most people’s lives during early industrialization…but there is no evidence of wholesale deterioration in wages for the entire working population in the first half of the nineteenth century.” He argues that increased population, social and geographical mobility, combined with periodic agricultural and industrial slumps, brought increased insecurity for most workers. At the same time, the New Poor Law saw a decreased expenditure on poor relief and stricter regulations made public assistance more difficult to obtain. Despite the social unrest of the early nineteenth century, he argues that there was never a serious threat of a radical revolution. He notes that it was during the early Victorian period, despite the fact that workers were excluded from the franchise, that the state began to lay the foundation of a system of state regulation of industry and public improvements which, combined with the growth of labor unions and economic growth, began to improve the living and working conditions of the people. Morgan, Kenneth, The Birth of Industrial Britain: Economic Change 1750-1850, London and New York: Longman, 1999. Pp. vi, 147. This is a volume in the well-regarded “Seminar studies in History” series. The purpose of which is to provide a scholarly but relatively brief introduction to the state of knowledge on an important subject written by an expert in the field. The volumes include suggestions for further reading and a selection of primary documents. The focus of this volume is on the economics of the classic period of the British industrial revolution. The major topics covered are population growth; agriculture; domestic industry and proto-industrialization; factory production and the textile industries; coal and iron; entrepreneurs, capital, and business enterprises; foreign trade; and internal transport. Instead of favoring a particular factor as the key to the origin of the British industrial revolution, he stresses that British industrialization was built on an advanced organic pre-industrial economy with a productive agriculture, which experienced an increase of population through earlier marriages and greater fertility. Demographic growth provided for greater labor mobility, which allowed for the expansion of both factory and handicraft industries. The transition from an organic economy to a mineral fueled economy gave Britain an advantage over its rivals, such as the Low Countries and France, especially during the period of war and revolution between 1780 and 1815. Morgan does not see the state as having played a significant role in promoting economic growth other than in its military defense of the country, the provision of a stable functioning government and a framework in which entrepreneurs could develop their businesses. The country’s infrastructure, such as the turnpikes, canals and railways, were built with private money within the context of Parliamentary right of way regulation. He also does not assign a leading role to British exports as a major cause of the industrial revolution. Despite the fact that economic growth rates were modest for most of this period, and that only some regions of the country experienced rapid economic growth and fundamental physical changes during the period, Morgan argues that the cumulative effects of economic growth during the period were sufficiently large and original to be labeled a revolution. The book contains suggestions for further reading and an excellent section of documents useful for teaching. O'Brien, Patrick and Roland Quinault, eds., The Industrial Revolution and British Society, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pp. ix, 295. This volume of essays was published to honor the career of Max Hartwell, whose 1971 study, The Industrial Revolution and Economic Growth, helped reinvigorate the study of Britain’s industrial revolution by focusing on the economics of growth rather than emphasizing its social consequences or the development of particular industries and their organization. Ironically, a good deal of the economic history of the industrial revolution written between 1970 and 1990 came to the conclusion that Britain’s overall economic growth rates during the classic period of industrialization were relatively low. This led many to argue that we should abandon the very idea of a British industrial revolution for this period. Hartwell, however, was also a social historian and he continued to argue that the industrial revolution had an enormous impact on British society during the period. The topics of these essays support this view and can serve as a good introduction to its broad social context. In addition to excellent historiographical essays by Patrick K. O’Brien and Gary Hawke on interpretations of the industrial revolution, there are chapters on women in the workforce, the role of religion in the preservation of political stability, on sex and desire during the period, the political preconditions for the industrial revolution, the industrial revolution and parliamentary reform, technological and organizational change in industry, and the impact of industrialization on the more economically marginal regions of Britain. During the last twenty years, it is these broader social topics, plus the subjects of gender, consumption, and a renewed interest in why the first industrial revolution was British, which have seen the most interest and research. Ormrod, David, The Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650-1770, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. xvii, 400. 15 figs. 33 tbls. 11 ills. Orrmond argues that the British industrial revolution should no longer be regarded as the critical moment in European economic history. Instead, he suggests that the great divergence, as historians have called Europe’s emergence as the world’s most dynamic economy between c. 1600 and 1850, took place not in one country or all of Europe, but in the region around the North Sea. Within this region, it was the Dutch Republic, which was the most dynamic, enjoyed the highest standard of living, and dominated the European and international trade system for most of the 17th century. As de Vries and de Woude (see below) have shown, it was the first modern economy. While the Dutch retained their high standard of living, the British caught up with the Dutch standard of living, took over Dutch leadership in international trade during the early 18th century, and then went on to create the first industrial economy based not on organic but on the mineral resources of coal and iron by the early 19th century. The latter was Britain’s real innovation but, according to Ormrod, England, especially the southeast of England, laid the economic foundation for this during the early modern period by an ‘apprenticeship,’ as a prominent economic historian, Charles Wilson, argued a generation earlier. For Ormrod, international trade was a key factor in the origin of the industrial revolution and it was Britain’s success in trade that made possible the British industrial revolution. His book seeks to explain in considerable detail that Britain’s success in international trade was not won by peaceful competition alone but through mercantilist practices and coercion. England’s growth before 1750 was especially centered in the southern and eastern part of the country, especially London and the home counties, all of which were dependent upon the markets of the Low Countries and Europe. Early in the 17th century, English-Dutch competition involved localized issues. It was not until the war with Spain ended in 1647-48 that competition between England and the Republic became central. Cromwell’s Navigation Act of 1650 marked the beginning of England’s effort to free it from Amsterdam’s control of international trade. Subsequent legislation prohibited the indirect supply of Baltic goods to England and, according to Ormrod, from 1670 Amsterdam was no longer an entrepôt for Baltic goods for England. The Navigation Acts placed a greater emphasis on the colonial trade and the Anglo-Dutch naval wars saw the theater of naval operations extended to the West Indies and New Netherland. After the Dutch loss of its colonies in Brazil and the taking of New Amsterdam, Dutch trade across the Atlantic, while still important, was reduced as Dutch merchants found themselves increasingly dependent on British commercial networks. The Dutch trade in Asia had always been more important than its Atlantic trade but British mercantilist legislation, rather than simply economic competition, reduced Dutch access to the growing wealth of the Atlantic world. Ormrod concluded: “The Europeanization of America and its incorporation into the world economy marks one of the great discontinuities in global history, and it was England’s role to complete what the older colonial powers had had initiated.” Ormrod emphasizes that the purpose of Britain’s three 17th century naval wars with the Dutch was not just to achieve dominance in trade but to shift the processing and re-export of international trade goods from Amsterdam to London, for this produced a much greater and a more fundamental expansion of manufacturing, employment and finance. When William of Orange successfully invaded England in 1689, his purpose was not just to win the English crown for himsel fand his wife, Mary, but also to use English resources in his wars with France. One of the ironic consequences of this was that the English created a financial system based upon the Dutch model and that a great deal of capital moved to London after 1694. Ormrod’s book tells the story of English-Dutch trade competition in great detail but he never loses sight of his larger argument that it was power that helped plenty come to England: ““It was the mercantilist state which decisively shifted the balance of power and influence towards London, through the creation of a national entrepôt within an imperial trading network.” Perkin, Harold, The Origins of Modern English Society 1780-1880, 2nd ed., London: Routledge and New York, 2002. Pp. iv, 465. When Perkin’s book was first published in 1969, it was an ambitious attempt to provide a non-Marxist social history of Britain. By the 1960s social history no longer meant an “evocative study of how people lived and worked and how they felt.” Instead, social historians had borrowed the tools of the social scientists to create a rigorous and often statistical account of social structure. Their greatest success at the time was in historical demography. Perkin, and other social historians, however, had much greater ambitions than providing quantitative studies on social history topics. They hoped to provide a general explanation of the evolution of society. There were basically two models for this. One model was derived from Karl Marx and centered on class conflict, which was especially defined by how a social class was related to the means of production. The other approach, rooted in the ideas of Max Weber, was to study, the complexity of social or economic relations within a particular context. The latter approach led to studies that described relatively formal social systems for a particular time and place and used largely static social analysis. Perkins attempted to combine these different methods and to reconcile them. His approach was essentially social evolutionary. He described particular pattern of social relations, with each pattern evolving out of its predecessor. Within each pattern he tried to describe an ideal set of social relations. Unlike Marx, he was not a social determinist but he did try to demonstrate that English history should be understood primarily as an evolution of society. He argued that Britain’s industrial revolution was made possible by the existence of the usual necessary economic conditions, such as capital, technology, initiative, and social values, resources such as coal and iron, and a unique social structure. The essential character of this social structure was that it combined aristocratic hierarchy with a “classlessness” that allowed a great deal of social mobility between the upper order and the “middling sort.” The common people within pre-industrial society, who were relatively well-fed and prosperous, accepted this hierarchy. The middle groups were able to pursue economic initiatives and their antagonism to the aristocracy was partly sublimated through religious dissent. The entire system was rooted in the principles of patronage and secure private property rights. According to Perkin, the industrial revolution was triggered by population growth, consumer demand and trade. He argued that the industrial revolution saw the birth of a “new class society,” in which each of the three major classes sought to create their own ideal identity: the aristocratic ideal—a survival from the past, the entrepreneurial ideal—the capitalist values of the new bourgeoisie, and the working-class ideal--security and community. He describes these ideals as “the spontaneous response of large social groups to the release of long and suppressed yearnings which had been latent in the old society.” Instead of the class warfare predicted by Marx, Perkin argued that by the 1880 an accommodation was reached between the classes and their ideals because the middle class was successful in imposing its values, chiefly a moral conception of work, upon society through the projecting of its “traditional Puritanism” into education, public affairs, and the creation of a meritocracy. While conflict between the three major classes and their ideals continued, the classes were able to negotiate these conflicts peacefully and this created a “viable class society” by about 1880. Thus, for Perkin, the class equilibrium of pre-industrial society was disrupted by the industrial revolution and, after a period of considerable turmoil, a new stable equilibrium emerged. In 1989, Perkin followed this work with a study of English society after 1880, The Rise of Professional Society. In this volume he argues that the meritocracy of professionals--such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, managers, engineers, public officials and even leaders of the working-classes—who had already emerged as a distinct group in the Victorian middle class—came to dominate British society during the second half of the 20th century. When Perkin published his original study in 1969, the most popular notions of class were those derived from Marx. Classes were essentially defined in economic terms. Since then historians, have largely abandoned Marxist notions of class as the driving forces of history. Perkin’s ambitious effort to use his model of classes, which are especially rooted in shared ideals and explain social evolution in a relatively simple scheme of three classes during the period of British industrialization, are now also out of fashion. Perkin’s own notion of the dominance of a professional class in late 20th century Britain suggests that the whole idea of different classes ought to be abandoned. Indeed, professional historians today rarely talk about a classic three-class structure of society. Instead, they emphasize the complex identities of various groups within society forged by many different factors. Nonetheless, Perkin’s books remain worth reading since much of popular culture, and most school textbooks, still often employ the older notions of class rooted in Marxist analysis or Weberian notions of class defined by power and status. Porter, Andrew, The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol. III: The Nineteenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Pp. xxii, 774. This is the third of a five volume multi-author work on the history of the British Empire. This substantial volume contains thirty useful essays by major historians on such topics as the expansion of the Empire, the economics of empire, British migration to and within the empire, trade policy, the development of imperial governance institutions, imperial wars, imperial culture and religion, and essays on particular regions and colonies. One of the chief developments chronicled in this volume is the division of the Empire into two broad categories. One was the empire of white settlement, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zeeland, in which the white settlers achieved virtual self-rule through institutions broadly similar to those in Britain. The other was a ‘dependent’ empire in which British officials ruled the local population through authoritarian institutions backed by military power. In highly developed societies, such as India, the British gradually recruited a large local civil service to make effective rule possible, while other methods of indirect rule were often employed in less developed areas. The volume demonstrates that the complexity and huge size of the British Empire in the 19th century makes it very difficult to assess what benefits Britain received from its empire. During the mid-Victorian period Britain had the largest industrial economy, controlled the largest share of world trade, dominated international finance and enjoyed the highest standard of living. The contribution of the Empire to its economic success remains highly debatable. There is no doubt that Britain’s international trade and finance made a sizable contribution to Britain’s economic success but Britain’s most important trading partner was the United States. The white settler colonies constituted another large percentage of Britain’s international trade but it can not be argued that these societies were exploited except in the sense that the settlers took away the land and resources formerly controlled by the native peoples (see Tomlinson). Included here are several essays on India, which by the late 19th century had become a major international trade partner for Britain. Other British imperial holdings in Asia were of far less economic importance, while Britain’s African empire, with the exception of South Africa late in the century, were of little economic consequence during the period. While the British Caribbean colonies offered very little of economic value by the mid-Victorian period, Britain’s trade with Latin America increased during the period and some historians have labeled British trade with these and other relatively weak independent states ‘informal empire’ or ‘free trade imperialism’ (see Lynn and Knight). The Empire also involved very considerable costs, especially for the armed forces and the many wars imperial expansion required. In an interesting final essay, Avner attempts to assess the costs and benefits of empire for the period 1870-1914. He estimates that during this period the empire contributed about 5 to 6% to Britain’s national income. However, he notes that the most important benefit to British consumers was cheap grain and other commodities from the settlement colonies. While Britain made very large capital investments abroad during the 19th century, rather little of this investment was made in the dependent empire. These essays suggest that, while the economic benefits of Britain’s empire in the 19th century were modest, perhaps the greatest economic contribution of the Empire during the 19th century was the export of English speaking people and the integration of the world economy. The volume contains a useful chronology and each chapter includes a selected list of further reading on its topic. Rule, John, The Labouring Classes in Early Industrial England, 1750-1850, London: Longman, 1986. Pp. x, 408. 6 tbls. This survey of Labor History during the classic period of the industrial revolution remains a solid and accessible introduction to the subject. Since it was published in a series, Themes in British Social History, it is narrowly focused on the traditional subjects of labor history. There is very little here on factory legislation or religion, for example. Also, because it was written in 1986, the book was not able to include the large volume of research on gender published after more recently. Despite these shortcomings, the book remains a good introduction to traditional labor history. Part I contains an excellent discussion of the standard of living question. He not only provides a statistical evidence for wages and levels of consumption but also discuses housing and the broader environmental conditions in which the common people lived and worked. Writing at a time when the optimistic interpretation on living standards for the period was in the ascendant, his book helped to reopen the debate with a thoughtful and cogent argument for a more pessimistic conclusion. In Part II, he deals with the form of wages, labor intensity, work discipline and health. In Part III, he discusses topics such as community, the family, sentiment and sex, popular recreation and education. This part includes a section on women in which he explains that overall the industrial revolution did not increase the participation rate of women in waged labor. His discussion of community and work explains that workers were not a monolithic class with uniform characteristics. Instead, he deals separately with factory workers, skilled artisans, unskilled laborers and servants. The fourth and final section is about the response of workers to industrialization. He discusses trade unionism before 1825, the Luddites, the rise of the craft unions from the mid 1830s, the miners, Chartism and various popular riots and disturbances. Unlike the most famous left-wing historians who wrote about class-consciousness, E. J. Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson, both of whom declared that an overall working-class consciousness developed in England during the early 19th century, Rule’s position is more nuanced. While he accepts Thompson’s argument that there existed a “moral economy,” which the workers attempted to preserve and restore through organization and other forms of collective action, Rule argues that there were very important differences between the skilled workers, such as artisans and mechanics, and unskilled workers. He concludes that there was no unified class consciousness among the working class by 1832 and that that there was no likelihood of a working-class revolution after the mid-1830s: “Indeed, no historian seriously suggests that following the events of 1829-1834, there issued a permanent, broad-based and continuous class consciousness.” Rule, whose political sympathies are clearly with the Labor Movement, has given us a survey of the working-classes from 1750 to 1850, not in the socialist tradition of Hobsbawm and Thompson, but in the tradition of the Hammonds, with the added value that Rules argument has been strengthened by of more than a half-century of historical research since their pioneering work. Smith, Woodruff, Consumption and the Making of Respectability, 1600-1800, New York and London: Routledge, 2002. Pp. x, 339. This is a good introduction to the burgeoning literature on the connection between consumption and the origin of the industrial revolution in northwestern Europe. Today we are painfully aware that the consumption of consumer goods, rather than just necessities, drives the economy. However, if we look at the early modern European economy, we see a world where there was relatively little economic surplus after satisfying the basic needs of the population. In order to explain the industrial revolution, economic historians have emphasized advances in the production of goods, which increased income and subsequently increased the consumption of goods. Smith boldly proclaims in this study what few of the many studies on consumption only implied: that the increased consumption of goods between 1600 and 1800 was the primary reason for the economic growth that resulted in the industrial revolution. His book aims to provide an overall theoretical framework for this claimn. Unlike economic historians, who can tie their history to a well-developed framework of economic growth theory, there is no comparable set of social theories that describe social and cultural motivation upon which most social historians can agree. Smith does point us to social theories about the consumption of luxury and status goods, but in the end his evidence is chiefly based upon the large body secondary works on the ‘consumer revolution.’ Most of his primary sources are such writers from the period as Defoe, Franklin, Pepys and many others. He also uses a number of Dutch and French sources. This makes this study particularly useful, since the increase in consumption was not just an English but a northwestern European phenomenon. Moreover, many of the new consumption goods that he discusses were internationally traded goods. Central to the idea of a consumer revolution between 1600 and 1800 is the notion that increased prosperity was producing a new elite, such as merchants, manufacturers, traders, professionals and prosperous farmers. He does not call this a middle class, since this is a 19th century formulation inappropriate for the earlier period, but these social groups did have surplus income to spend on luxuries. Smith does not agree with those who have argued that their increased consumption was largely a matter of imitating the life styles and consumption of the aristocracy. Instead, he argues that they created new cultural contexts in which the motivation for the consumption of luxury goods was the conferring of respectability upon the consumer. This new elite did not just rely on the assertion of power and status and conspicuous consumption to drive home their power, but sought to become respected and respectable through endowing their pursuit of profit with moral value and demonstrating their status with respectable forms of consumption. The author, who has also written about international trade, discusses the consumption of such new luxury goods as tea, coffee, sugar, spices, tobacco, cotton textiles, and ceramics. His chapters explain how the consumption of particular kinds of goods were endowed with characteristics that promoted gentility, luxury, rational masculinity, domestic femininity, and above all respectability. Central to Smith’s argument is his claim that the consumption of goods must be seen in specific social contexts. The consumption of these goods did not just take place in the home, but also in public places such as coffee houses, theaters, shops, churches and city squares. The consumption of these luxuries gave their consumers an opportunity to forge a new identity for themselves, which not only distinguished them from the vast majority of the public below them, but from the old elite above them who still governed their societies. While Smith does not succeed in providing a new theoretical framework for the patterns of consumption he describes, this is an informative and interesting introduction to the research on the consumer revolution as an important component in an explanation for the origin of the industrial revolution. Tilly, Louise A. and Joan W. Scott, Women, Work and Family, London: Routledge, 1987. Pp. vii, 274. Originally published in 1978, this is one of the seminal works on the role of women during the transition from a pre-industrial to a modern economy. Tilly and Scott were trained as social historians and have made major contributions to both women’s and social history. This is a comparative study of the work experience of women in England and France from the early 18th century to the 1960s. Its main focus is on paid work rather than the many unpaid tasks performed by women for their families. The study relies heavily upon the statistics and methods of demography and historical sociology. The book is clearly written, free of jargon and provides many interesting life stories to enliven the social science data. It is also relatively short so that it makes an excellent and accessible introduction for students on the topic. Although this is a survey of a large subject over a long period and two countries, and thus relies heavily upon many specialized local studies, the book also draws upon their own archival research in both France and England. Their identification of three major phases in the relationship between women, work and family has been widely adopted by later scholars of the subject. According to Tilly and Scott, the first and preindustrial period, between 1700 and the late 18th century, was characterized by a family economy. The family was essentially a cooperative economic unit within which women combined tasks of economic production with domestic activity within the household. The authors emphasize that the work performed by women during this period was essential to the survival of families and that almost all women in society did economically productive work. The second period—the period of industrialization—is characterized as the family wage economy. During this period many areas of economic production were removed from the household and this created serious problems for women who sought to combine domestic tasks with economically productive employment. The authors show that during the early phase of industrialization, the work of women, especially in the textile industry, was essential to the success of the nascent factory system. They note, however, that it was especially young and unmarried women who worked in these factories. Relatively few women, whether single or married, found work in the metal, mining, machinery and other expanding industries. Instead, industrialization relegated paid women’s work to the margins of most of modern industry in sweatshops and to a dramatic expansion of domestic service. The final phase, from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century, is characterized as the family consumer society. During this period, women were drawn into the service economy, specialized dealing with children, education and health care, and managed the family’s consumption. The overall conclusion of this pioneering study is that most women’s employment did not benefit them directly during the period of the industrial revolution. Instead, it diminished their opportunities for productive and paid employment. Families adopted to the new wage economy by sending their children, including the girls, out for paid employment while the male head of household sought to obtain a ‘family wage’ and most married women earned whatever was possible in supplementary work inside or near the home. They suggest that, despite the suffering that the industrial revolution inflicted upon the lives of many women and children, both women and men were able to pursue family strategies that permitted a remarkable continuity in family life. At the same time, industrialization helped create ideals of domesticity, laws that controlled the working lives of women, new patterns of fertility and work, and the rise of the male demand for a "family wage.” It was these basic factors that combined to construct the classic gender roles of 19th century industrial society and which retain a powerful influence in our own time. Tilly and Scott’s framework has been amplified, developed and made much more nuanced by a great deal of subsequent research but this early framework on women, work and family remains highly influential in more recent interpretations and remains an excellent introduction to this topic. Thompson, E. P. The Making of the English Working Class, London; Victor Gollancz, 1963). Pp. 848. E. P. Thompson’s study of the English working class between c. 1780 to 1832 remains the most important product of the influential British School of Marxist history. However, to label the book Marxist in order to dismiss it would be a serious error, since it is the most important example of a large, passionate, romantic and literary tradition of New Left history that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, which itself hast its root in the earlier work of the Hammonds, the Webbs and R.H. Tawney. Thompson’s explicit aim to recast this tradition in a Marxist framework in order to provide the British working class with a revolutionary tradition. His central argument is that the experience of the industrial revolution, combined with the example and English consequences of the French revolution, led to insurrectionary movements among the British working classes. According to Thompson, England’s government, led by an unreformed landed and bourgeois elite, staged a counter-revolution, which brutally repressed the insurrectionists in order to forestall a revolution in England. For Thompson, it was this repression that created a revolutionary working-class consciousness among England’s common people by 1832 (the date of the first Parliamentary Reform Bill). The problem with his thesis is that the subsequent history of the working-class in Britain, including during social unrest of the Chartist 1830s and 1840s, or the turbulent 1960s, has never been revolutionary. Despite his over-enthusiastic thesis, this is a very valuable work of social history because of its detailed narratives of the various insurrectionary movements during the period, as well as his broader picture of the lives and experience of the common people during the period. This is a substantial work of 848 pages in its first edition and over 900 in its second 1968 edition. Thompson is a master of an immense number and variety of literary sources. His method is to use working-class voices to tell their stories whenever possible and to quote the most outrageous middle and upper class voices, which sought to control the workers and to repress their efforts to improve their living conditions through organization, a great deal of rhetoric and sometimes revolutionary actions. This is the real value of the book. In Part I, he explains the tradition of liberty, or ‘the rights of free-born Englishmen,’ as it existed in England during the 1780s. In Part II, he discusses the working lives of workers, including field laborers, artisans, and domestic industrial workers. He emphasizes that the goal of the English working classes was to maintain their traditional, regulated and “moral economy” in the face of the growing competition from new technology and new forms of capitalist business organization. He describes in great and sympathetic detail their leisure and personal relations, their rituals of communality, the role of religion, and their standard of living. In Part III, he explains how the political repression in England that followed the French Revolution, and during the more than two decades of war with France, led to the curbing of the liberties of the English people. He describes in great detail the many insurrectionary movements of the period between 1790 and 1820, such insurrectionary movements as the Black Lamp, the Cato Street Conspiracy, and many others. His extensive study of Luddism is especially valuable. He places the massacre at Peterloo in this broad revolutionary context and provides a fascinating discussion of the radical culture that produced revolutionaries but also the peaceful utopian socialism of Owenism. Thompson’s work helped revive the debate on the standard of living controversy during the 1960s by shifting its focus from the efforts of economic historians, who attempted to demonstrate statistically that the wages of workers in the new industrial order had improved during the period, to the issue of the quality of life of the workers, which Thompson argued, seriously deterioration during the period and was further aggravated by political repression and the new discipline of machinery and the factory. Secondly, Thompson rejected the argument of many earlier Labour historians that the workers suffered passively under the new regime of laissez faire. Instead, he argued persuasively that there were indeed working class revolutionaries who sought to overthrow the government during the period. Thirdly, Thompson revived an important debate about the role of religion in British popular culture. One of the most valuable sections of the book is his use of the insights of sociology and social psychology to argue that Methodism sought to create a docile working class for the new industrial order. Whether one agrees with his overall thesis that a revolutionary working-class consciousness was created by 1832 or not, one can not deny that he has given a voice to the common people during a period of profound industrial and political change. As Thompson explained, he set out “to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the ‘obsolete’ handloom-weaver, and even the deluded follower of Joanne Southcott [a millenarian Primitive Methodist], from the enormous condescension of posterity.” Trinder, Barry, The Making of the Industrial Landscape, London: J. M. Dent, 1982. Pp. xii, 276. 71 ills. This is an excellent introduction to the subject of the impact of industrialization upon the industrial landscape. Trinder points out that during the late 18th century, tourists, artists and writers “marveled at the discipline and order of Richard Arkwright’s mills at Cromford or Josiah Wedgewood’s pottery at Etruria, and were fascinated and awestruck by the terrifying dramatic sights of Coalbrookdale.” He notes that it was not until the 1830s and 1840s that industry came to be regarded with disgust, “as something unworthy of the attention of cultivated people, as awareness spread of the squalor of working class districts in large industrial towns, and of the degrading conditions in which women and children were forced to work in mills and mines.” Most of the drama, squalor and even most of the early factories and factory communities (but not Cromford) have now been erased from the landscape or made into interesting and sanitized historical monuments. Through a lively text with many contemporary quotations and illustrations, Trinder has brought the 18th and 19th century English landscapes of industrialization back to life. He approaches his subject not by region or place, but provides a chronological treatment divided into five periods: the early 18th century landscape of “busy-ness,” or what we might call proto-industry; the landscape of economic growth between 1750-1790; the heroic age, 1790 to 1810; the age of the engineer, 1810-1850; and the palaces of industry, 1850-1890. He describes the busy early 18th century English landscape of mostly domestic and small-scale industry and notes that travelers from across the North Sea would not have found this landscape of early industry unusual. It was not until the classic period of the industrial revolution during the late and early nineteenth century that factories, railways, and large iron works brought a new industrial landscape. This larger scale also brought much more and visible pollution. As a visitor noted about the hills above Swansea’s copper works there was not “a blade of grass, a green bush, nor any form of vegetation” but only “volumes of smoke, thick and pestilential.” Trinder especially uses Manchester to demonstrate the congestion, pollution, and squalor brought by urban factories and working class housing before order was restored by sanitation and urban reformers later in the century. The age of the engineer brought fantastic engineering achievements, such as iron and then steel bridges, railway viaducts, the Great Exhibition of 1851, urban parks, and the fantastic palaces of industry and impressive civic buildings during the second half of the 19th century. Trinder includes an excellent bibliography for further reading and an interesting list of descriptive literature from the period. Uglow, Jenny, The Lunar Men: Five friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. Pp. xx, 588. 15 ills. This is the story of a group of amateur scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs in the English Midlands who met from the 1760s to the 1790s to discuss natural science, philosophy, and technology. Known as the Lunar Society, they met on the evenings of a full moon to exchange ideas and experiments. Historians have credited this remarkable group of individuals, as well as other similar and lesser-known voluntary and local groups, as being one of the chief sources of technological and entrepreneurial innovation during the British industrial revolution. Jenny Uglow, who has written biographies of the novelists Henry Fielding, George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell, has constructed this popularly acclaimed study of the Lunar Society as a collective biography. The American title of the book emphasizes the central five personalities in its title, while the English versions’ subtitle is The Friends who Made the Future. Among the leaders of Lunar Society were Mathew Boulton and James Watt, partners in the famous Soho works in Birmingham, which produced ornamental metal work as well as steam engines; Josiah Wedgewood, the founder of the Wedgewood pottery factories at Etruria in Staffordshire and canal entrepreneur; Erasmus Darwin, a well-known physician, inventor and theorist of evolution who later became the grandfather of Charles Darwin; and Joseph Priestly of Birmingham, a chemist, philosopher and discoverer of oxygen who was also a well-known political radical. All five were outsiders to England’s aristocratic establishment. They were religious non-conformists from relatively humble backgrounds and lived in provincial but industrially dynamic cities and towns. They shared a common interest in science and challenged the intellectual, political, and social orthodoxies of the period. They were joined in their meetings by such other important figures as James Keir, a chemist; John Whithurst, a clockmaker; the physicians William Small and William Withering; and two proponents of Rousseau’s philosophy, Richard Lovell Edgeworth and Thomas Day. At their monthly meetings they not only shared ideas about science, technology, politics, and philosophy but also applied their findings in efforts to solve practical problems, including joint ventures in canal building and factory production. Individually and collectively, they were responsible for such innovations as steel fusion plating, hard paper mache, innovative textile production at Northampton that became the inspiration of Richard Arkwright’s factory at Cromford, and industrial chemical experiments that served as the foundation of England’s innovative pottery industry. New products required new marketing techniques. Both Wedgewood and Boulton developed innovative marketing schemes, such as showrooms for their wares and networks of agents to sell and promote their products in both Britain and abroad. Almost all the Lunar Society members invested in the new canal industry. Boulton, Watt and Wedgewood were particularly important in the founding of the Joint Stock Company that developed the Grand Junction Canal, linking London to the Midlands and Northern canal systems. In an age when specialization was not yet fully developed in science and technology, the amateurs of the Lunar Society contributed many inventions outside their main area of expertise. Darwin, for example invented a new kind of canal lift while Watt developed surveying levels and telemeter instruments. The Lunar Society’s members were important participants in debates about the American Revolution, Parliamentary reform in England, and the important questions being raised about free trade and protection during the period. Ten members of the Lunar Society members were named Fellows of the Royal Society. By the early 19th century, Lunar Society members had become part of a new establishment that they helped create--an entrepreneurial and intellectually curious middle class, which would play a leading role in creating the new industrial England of the 19th century. Uglow’s work is based upon extensive secondary and sources and upon original research at the Birmingham City Archives and the collections at the University of Keele. The book consists of forty chapters on particular innovations, which together make for an impressive, very well written, and exiting story of scientific, technological, philosophical and political innovation combined with entrepreneurial action that was central to Britain’s industrial revolution. The book includes many illustrations and contains extensive documentation for further reading. Histories of science and technology rarely win popular acclaim but this volume won several book of the year awards and was widely reviewed in the popular press. Valenze, Deborah, The First Industrial Woman, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Pp. ix, 251. Valenze’s central question in this well written and engaging study of women and work during Britain’s industrial revolution is: how did women’s work become so devalued in industrial society? Her answer is that it was chiefly ideology, rather than technology or economic necessity, which associated women’s work with domesticity. This is primarily a work of cultural history. There are few statistics in the book; it is, however, rooted in a wealth of interesting literary sources. Valenze states that her book “has aimed to dislodge the ‘Whig history’ of industrialization—an unbroken narrative of progress—from its dictatorial role.” She argues that during the crucial early stages of the industrial revolution, important precedents were set about “who would work, how well they performed, and how they were to be remunerated.” She argues that both women and men were seen as industrious during the early 18th century but that new attitudes to the poor from the 1760s, as well as growing unemployment and the increased cost of poor relief, began to erode this attitude. While early 18th century society was paternalistic, looser attitudes toward property and poverty within a traditional agricultural and artisan society allowed women greater employment opportunities and status in society. The modernization of agriculture introduced new values of specialization and more clearly defined property rights, which increasingly consigned women to seasonal and unskilled. This was especially so in cereal producing regions and in the dairy industry, which women had once dominated. Spinning, which had once been primarily the work of women and had boosted their status as economically productive, was largely taken over by men with the industrialization of the textile industry. Even those, mostly unmarried women, who found work in the growing textile industry were derided by the Victorians as the “factory girl” and characterized as spending their money frivolously and were suspected of having loose morals. Women were excluded from the labor unions that began to develop in the 1830s. During the 1840s legislation was enacted forbidding women to work in certain industries iand thus institutionalized their inequality. Valenze also chronicles the decline of cottage industries in which women had previously played major roles and the rise of what would later be called sweated labor, which was supplementary to factory production. One of the major contributions of this study is that it integrates the study of ideology with a discussion of the actual work performed by women during the period. As women were increasingly relegated to handwork, marginal and seasonal modes of production, political economists and middle class attitudes increasingly found women to be naturally less productive than men. According to Valenze, traditional wage differentials between male and female labor became more generalized in the industrial economy. Her chapter on the role of the new political economy, especially the ideas of Malthus, is an interesting discussion of the development of harsher attitudes toward the poor and its increasing association with what she calls the “feminization of the female worker.” At the same time the development of a middle class ideology of domesticity created a domestic identity for women that focused on the family and the raising of children. While these ideals were largely irrelevant to the reality of working-class women’s lives, they helped associate women who worked for wages with poverty. Valenze goes on to show that middle class philanthropy encouraged the need to reform working-class women but found the best solution for their problems as employment in the rapid growth of domestic service, the largest employer of women in Victorian Britain. Valenze concludes: “the spell cast by domestic service over the fate of working-class women would not be broken until society addressed the larger question of their rightful place within the life of the first industrial nation.” This is a beautifully written book based upon a wide variety of sources and is an excellent introduction to the important topic of the place of women workers in England’s industrial revolution and its long-term consequences for gender roles in modern industrial society. Vries, J. de, The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Pp. xii, 327. 12 figs. De Vries, one of the most prominent economic historians of early modern Europe, introduced the concept of an ‘industrious revolution’ as a fundamental cause of the industrial revolution in a much noticed journal article in 1994. This book expands and generalizes the concept and broadens its applicability to our understanding of modern economic growth from the early 17th century to the present. The concept, and even the phrase, has been well received and widely discussed by historians. He argues that “the industrious revolution…unfolded gradually after 1650 linked an intensification of market labor by the household to new consumer aspirations—what contemporaries called an ‘awakening of the appetites of the mind.’ Many of these new aspirations reflected individual appetites, and, over time, the multiple voices within the household put pressure on its integrity, but under the conditions of the times the execution of new patterns of consumer demand required household strategies.” For de Vries, one of the key foundations of economic growth in North-Western Europe was its peculiar (in world-wide terms) marriage pattern of relatively late marriages and households consisting of independent nuclear families. These households responded both to market conditions and consumer aspirations. During the early modern period, households combined purchased goods with household labor to produce commodities for final consumption using available technologies. De Vries argues that consumption itself is dynamic. It reflects both the changing desires of the households and the changing opportunities available in the marketplace and often involves the pursuit of clusters of commodities which constitute “lifestyles.” He argues that from the mid-17th century both consumer demand and the supply of labor grew by the reallocation of the productive resources of households, resulting in a rise of household production sold to others and of consumption purchased from others. This economic growth produced market integration, such as agricultural specialization, proto-industrial production, increased wage labor, more commercial participation in a growing market economy, but especially a greater supply of labor. During the period leading up to the industrial revolution, de Vries argued, “household members worked harder and longer in order to consume more and consume different and new products.” An important part of the argument is that it was especially women and children who played a greater role in market production and consumption. De Vries does not claim that the “industrious revolution” is the ultimate cause of the first industrial revolution, but he suggests that the concept, which he acknowledges was first used by Akira Hayami to describe Japan’s labor intensive path to industrialization, seeks to provide a fuller account of the context in which the new technologies and organizational changes that characterize the industrial revolution should be seen. According to Vries, “the industrious revolution that began in the late seventeenth century…formed the context in which the Industrial Revolution unfolded rather than being itself a creation of that sequence of events.” The essential argument in de Vries’ framework is that the industrious revolution was not a response to economic factors, such as changes in prices and incomes, or the scientific revolution but an autonomous rise in the “goods aspirations” of households, which produced an enlarged supply of labor. De Vries admits that “the record of real wages…does not on the face of it, offer much scope for innovative consumer behavior or an expansive material culture.” However, he notes that that the North-Western European marriage patterns of independent nuclear family households encouraged not just an increase in male head of household labor but also the increased participation of women and children in market labor. De Vries’ argument that the industrious revolution should be seen as a major factor in explaining the first industrial revolution has produced a good deal of discussion and will no doubt be tested empirically, assuming the data is available. See, for example, the important work of Jan Luiten van Zanden (below). Wrightson, Keith, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000. Pp. ii, 372. This is a very readable and beautifully written survey of British social and economic history between c. 1450 and 1750. Although the book relies upon a good deal of quantitative data, especially the research of demographic historians, the volume emphasizes the lives of people from all social groups and how they were effected by the gradual development of a market economy in Britain. Wrightson is quite skeptical of the use of neo-classical economic theory as useful tools for explaining early modern European economic history. His opening chapter provides a useful discussion of the historiography of British economic history, which reminds us of the pioneering interpretations of the Scottish Enlightenment’s economic writers and of the late nineteenth century work of the English historical economists as well as more recent work in economic history. Wrightson’s approach to economic history does not use social science jargon or complex theoretical models. Instead, he offers us an appealing model for a revitalized humanistic and readable social and economic history. He also eschews the old overarching explanations of social history, which placed early modern Britain’s social history within a Marx inspired framework of a transition from feudalism to capitalism. In harmony with the many specialized and local studies of the last generation of social historians, who recognized that the old order and its values persisted for a long time, Wrightson tells the story of a slow and complex evolution of society over three centuries, which prepared the way, but did not guarantee that Britain would subsequently experience the first industrial revolution. He argues that an integrated national economy was created during this long period in which market forces “became not just a means of exchanging goods, but a mechanism for sustaining and maintaining an entire society.” This society was closely linked to the emerging world-economy and saw the extension and ‘ideological sanctification’ of private property rights, a vast expansion in the market for labor power as a “commodity to be bought and sold,” and a redistribution of power in the hands of those who were able to profit from the increase of productive power. All this involved modest but long-term increases in output and per capita income and consumption, especially for the ‘middling sort,’ but also a diminished wellbeing for those left behind by economic growth. Instead of most economic histories of the period, which proceed by treating each of the chief economic sectors--such as agriculture, trade, industry, labor—separately, Wrightson organized his book chronologically around major changes in social organization and the economy. He divides up his story into three main periods. In the first part, Households in a landscape, c. 1450-1550, he explains the structure of society and economic life of a largely traditional society. He emphasizes the limited role of the market during this period for the vast majority of people. Most spent their lives within a local neighborhood. For them “Countries” meant not a nation but a local county. Only the elite operated in a larger context. Nonetheless, even in this traditional society, he stresses the interdependencies of people in their communities. In part two, which concentrates on the sixteenth century, he explains the major changes brought by economic and social change. The principal agents of change, according to Wrightson, were the growth of population and the rise of prices during the period. These forces resulted in greater competition within society and brought important changes in property ownership, domestic and international commerce, taxation for waging war, and urbanization. In Part three, Living with the market, c. 1660-1750, he chronicles the growing role of the market in society and discusses the changing lives of the landed interest--nobleman, gentlemen, and yeoman; the ‘middle sort of people, whose lives revolved around capital credit, trade, commerce, and new patterns of consumption; and the laboring people. In his treatment of the latter, he discusses both those who became more independent during the period and those who became more dependent. Throughout the book, he emphasizes the complexity of society and rejects simple categorizations. This can especially be seen in his excellent chapters on the ‘middling sort,’ and in his treatment of the common people. He constantly reminds us of the different social and economic lives experienced by, for example, a Scottish crofter, a London tradesman, or an East Anglian weaver. Unlike many other surveys that claim to discuss all of Britain and then focus almost entirely on England, Wrightson provides an extensive treatment of Scotland’s social and economic history. The book includes an excellent list of suggestions for further reading, arranged by topic and with many brief but useful annotations. One shortcoming of the book that it does not include footnotes to his many interesting quotations from a wide variety of interesting sources. Wrigley, E. A. Continuity, Chance and Change: The Character of the Industrial Revolution in England, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Pp. 146. Wrigley is the most important British historical demographer. This book began as interpretive lectures at Cambridge University and was developed further into an excellent introduction to the chief causes of the industrial revolution in Britain. His explanation of the origin of the industrial revolution is on the supply rather than the demand side. In his demographic research (see below), he emphasized the role of population growth in the origin of the industrial revolution but here he stresses the role of natural resources, especially coal. His explanation splits the origin of the industrial revolution into two periods. The first, which Wrigley sees as a long period of preparation from Elizabethan times to the early 19th century, saw the development of an “advanced organic economy,” in which power was primarily based upon human, animal and water resources. While there was long-term economic growth in the organic phase, based on specialization and the division of labor as explained by Adam Smith, it was restrained by limits on land and organic resources. The second, and more spectacular, phase, which began during the second quarter of the 19th century, was based upon the ample and conveniently situated supplies of coal in England and Scotland. Its exploitation saw the development of increasingly more efficient steam engines, the making of iron using coal, and the application of steam engines to provide power for railways, ships and factories, According to Wrigley, while the copper, iron, and tin industries were developed earlier using charcoal for fuel, the increased cost of wood grown on a limited supply of land set limits on the increased production of metals essential for economic growth. Wrigley argues that organic resources were also less efficient in producing energy than the mineral resource of coal. In an interesting discussion of the Dutch economy, which experienced long-term economic growth in the 17th century and developed an impressive manufacturing capacity, he asked why it was unable to breakthrough to an industrial revolution until much later than Britain. His answer is its reliance upon peat and wind for power. One might ask why the Dutch did not import coal from the coal-fields in England’s Northeast across the North Sea, or why the English could not have imported charcoal from the abundant forests in North America. Wrigley also notes that it was during the early 19th century that discoveries in inorganic chemistry allowed the development of new and productive manufacturing processes in a variety of industries using industrial chemistry. Wrigley’s analysis has essentially divided the industrial revolution into two distinctive phases: long “advanced organic economy” and the rapid development of a mineral based economy during the 19th century. This division of the industrial revolution into two stages, and thus its extension over a long period of time, fits in with much of modern scholarship. His demographic research (see below) was fundamental to the idea of the development of an advanced organic economy during the early modern period. This short book serves to remind us of the importance of mineral resources in Britain’s industrial revolution. Moreover, the convenient location of Britain’s coal resources made it easier than its rivals to build a modern industrial economy. A good example of this is Lancanshire’s world-leading textile industry, which was built on top of the county’s coal-field. Wrigley’s argument implies that technological innovation was once again central to the industrial revolution in Britain but he does not develop this connection explicitly in this book. In a broader 2010 study, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution, Wrigley further developed his ideas about the importance of Britain’s mineral resources to the development of an industrial revolution for which the way had been prepared by a long period of slow but cumulative economic progress within an organic economy, Wrigley, E. A. and R. S. Schofield, The Population History of England, 1541-1871: A Reconstruction, London: Edward Arnold, 1981. Pp. xv, 779. This study, along with a subsequent companion volume, English Population History from Family Reconstruction, 1580-1837 (1997), produced by the authors and other collaborators at Cambridge University, produced a revolution in English demographic history. These studies are based upon samples from the millions of entries in surviving English parish registers of births, marriages, deaths and burials. Using sophisticated statistical techniques, the data was aggregated and analyzed to discover trends in the size of the population, trends in the rates of population growth and decline, and such important demographic variables as the age of marriage, age-specific mortality and fertility rates, gross reproduction and others. Before the publication of the this volume, the common assumption had been that preindustrial England balanced its population by way of nearly universal and early marriage with high mortality through periodic Malthusian crisis, in which a growing population encountered diminishing economic returns due to limited natural resources, especially land. Instead, their empirical evidence shows that an “accommodation between population and resources was secured not by sudden, sharp mortality spasms, but by wide quiet fluctuations in fertility.” These broad changes in fertility were a consequence of changes in the age of marriage and of the proportion of the population that married. Thus, in Malthusian terms, a preventive check on excessive population growth in relation to the resources available was predominant. The work of Wrigley, Schofield and his collaborators underpins the argument for long-term economic growth in early modern England, which provided a hospitable context for the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Critics have warned that the argument might be circular. If population growth determined the rise of real wages, and then the growth of real wages determined nuptiality, which in turn determined fertility and population growth. Some have complained that Wrigley and Schofield’s demography used a Malthusian model of male wages as the key determinant of the age of marriage, while others see structural changes in the economy as crucial in altering family incomes and acting as the primary influence upon changes in the marriage age. More recently, the very impressive research of Wrigley and his colleagues has led to the articulation of alternative models that focus on the demand side and the changing consumer aspirations of households. Despite some criticism, these substantial volumes contain the statistics, tables, methodological discussions and the conclusions derived from these. Their work is essential to a an understanding of English demographic history for the period. A good introduction and summary of Wrigley’s work can be found in a much less technical volume, a collection of his essays published as Poverty, Progress and Population (2004). Here he discusses the wider issue of the relationship of England’s demographic pattern to the origin of the industrial revolution. For Wrigley, England’s agricultural productivity and the fastest rate of population growth in Europe during the 18th century also allowed the growth of urbanization and the increased specialization of labor. As he explains: “It is mistaken to suppose that it was the industrial revolution which set England apart for a time from the continent of Europe. Almost the reverse was the case. Once the industrial revolution had started to transform English society and economy, the days of its distinctiveness were numbered and its economic dominance was doomed…But for about two centuries before this transition took place, England had been growing steadily apart from the continent, acquiring in the process increased political and economic power.” England’s demographic pattern was thus essential to its economic growth during the early modern period but other factors, including its coal resources, were essential to its industrial revolution. Zanden, Jan Luiten van, The Long Road to the Industrial Revolution: The European Economy in a Global Perspective, 1000-1800, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009. P. xiii, 341. 12 tls. 40 figs. 1 map. For many years economic historians have been debating what has been called the ‘Great Divergence,’ or when and how Western European economic growth increased relative to that of advanced economic regions in China and Japan. Their focus was originally on the period of the industrial revolution in Europe. More recently, evidence has mounted that the divergence of economic growth between Europe and Asia occurred during the early modern period, well before the industrial revolution of the late 18th century. This important study, based upon many quantitative indices of economic growth from to 10th to the 19th centuries, van Zanden, who has been a major contributor to this debate, has shifted the focus on the beginning of European economic growth to the medieval period. He argues that the first industrial revolution should be seen as a “long runway” of preparation before the industrial revolution could “take off” during the late 18th century. Van Zanden argues that for most of Europe the medieval period was more dynamic than the period from 1500 to 1800. The growth of the European economy from 900 to 1300 took place on a pan-European scale and consisted of strong population growth and an increase in per capita real income. From c. 1500 to 1800 growth was restricted to the North Sea region—and especially in Flanders in the 16th century, the Netherlands during its Golden Age in the late 16th to mid 17th centuries, and Britain after the early 17th century. By contrast, per capita income in the rest of Western Europe stagnated and even declined between 1500 and 1800. The emergence of different growth paths in Western Europe has been labeled as the ‘Little Divergence.” Van Zanden not only set out to document the European divergences but to explain why it happened. An earlier generation of economic growth theorists tended to explain long-term economic growth in terms of the accumulation of capital and technological innovation (economists call this ‘exogenous’ growth, or having its origins externally). More recently, new economic growth theories have been developed, which focus on why, where and when human capital formation (investing in the skills of humans) and the accumulation of knowledge began to increase before the industrial revolution (these are called endogenous theories, or growth from within). One of the most important ways to explain early endogenous growth has been through the study of demographic patterns. It makes the assumption that parents had a choice of how many children they had and about how much capital they would invest in developing the skills of their children. Van Zanden argues that an important divergence in demographic patterns occurred in the North Sea region. This divergence has been linked to the European Marriage pattern, first developed after the arrival in the late 14th century of the plague, or Black Death, in Western Europe. This demographic pattern consisted of relatively late marriages, the setting up of separate households by the newly married, relatively less subordination for women within an overall patriarchal family, and a greater participation of women in the labor force. This approach links economic growth to the behavior of households in what de Vries (see above) called an ‘industrious revolution’ during the early modern period. The problem for historians is how to find evidence for this during the medieval period when both demographic and price statistics are not available. Van Zanden seeks to solve this problem by providing new sets of statistical data that show the development of European investment in human capital. In cooperation with a team of historians, he documents the development of a European ‘knowledge economy’ with statistics that show the growth of manuscript and book publishing during the medieval period from the Carolingian period to the Renaissance, well before the invention of the printing press. These indices of education and literacy begin to show a divergence between the North Sea region and the rest of Europe from c. 1400. The fact that wage levels in the North Sea region were also significantly higher in this region than in the rest of Europe from the 15th century provides further evidence of greater investment in human capital during this period in the this region. Van Zanden goes on to develop indices of relatively greater citizen participation in government in the North Sea area than in the rest of Europe. This greater participation in government can be seen in the successful revolt of the Netherlands, the creation of the Dutch Republic, the English Revolution, and the establishment of a balance of power between the Crown and Parliament in England after 1688. According to van Zanden, it was in these two countries that political and economic institutions were developed that produced greater economic efficiency, which allowed them to win the greatest economic benefits from the creation of a world-wide trade network and reap the economic dividends from the immense resources of the Western Hemisphere. Greater participation in government also allowed the Dutch Republic and Britain to collect more taxes from its citizens and to use this revenue to protect its terrirtory from absolutist states, such as Spain and France, and to wage war to expand its mercantilist economies. Combining these long-term developments with such other crucial factors, as Britain’s greater size, and its convenient coal resources allowed Britain to take the lead from the Dutch Republic and to achieve the first industrial revolution. Van Zanden also uses his statistical date to compare the North Sea region with advanced economic areas in Asia in order to provide a broad comparative explanation for the “Great Divergence.” His book is based upon his many articles in scholarly journals and the collaboration of other scholars. It constitutes an important statement in the debate about the long-term origin of the industrial revolution, which, van Zanden argues, was rooted in a ‘million mutinies’ of ordinary people. At the beginning of his book, van Zanden quotes Robert Lucas, an important economic growth theorist: “For income growth to occur in a society, a large fraction of people must experience changes in the possible lives they imagine for themselves and their children, and these new visions of a possible futures must have enough force to lead them to change the way they behave, the number of children they have, and the hopes they invest in these children: the way they allocate their time. In other words…economic development requires a million mutinies.” Van Zanden’s book includes over fifty statistical tables, graphs and figures and an extensive bibliography.

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