Energy and the English Industrial Revolution

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-27
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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The industrial revolution transformed the productive power of societies. It did so by vastly increasing the individual productivity, thus delivering whole populations from poverty. In this new account by one of the world's acknowledged authorities the central issue is not simply how the revolution began but still more why it did not quickly end. The answer lay in the use of a new source of energy. Pre-industrial societies had access only to very limited energy supplies. As long as mechanical energy came principally from human or animal muscle and heat energy from wood, the maximum attainable level of productivity was bound to be low. Exploitation of a new source of energy in the form of coal provided an escape route from the constraints of an organic economy but also brought novel dangers. Since this happened first in England, its experience has a special fascination, though other countries rapidly followed suit.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. x
List of tablesp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Opening Pandora's jarp. 1
Overview of the nature and structure of the bookp. 2
A sketch of the argumentp. 7
The limits to growth in organic economiesp. 9
The views of the classical economistsp. 10
The energy constraintp. 13
Production and reproductionp. 17
Conclusionp. 21
The transition from an organic to an energy-rich economyp. 26
Agricultural growth, industrial growth, and transport improvementsp. 28
Manpower productivity in agriculturep. 33
The energy revolutionp. 36
Conclusionp. 47
Favourable developmentsp. 53
Agricultural change and urbanisationp. 55
Urban growthp. 58
The consumer revolutionp. 68
The agricultural systemp. 73
The rise in agricultural outputp. 78
The London effectp. 88
Conclusionp. 90
Energy and transportp. 91
The history of energy consumptionp. 91
Coal production and transport provisionp. 101
Other improvements in transport facilitiesp. 108
Conclusionp. 110
Occupational structure, aggregate income, and migrationp. 113
Occupational structure and migrationp. 113
Occupational change and aggregate incomep. 127
Aggregate income trends and migrationp. 135
Conclusionp. 138
Production and reproductionp. 140
The components of population changep. 144
England in a wider setting: the concomitants of faster population growthp. 152
Regional diversityp. 163
Conclusionp. 172
Retrospect of Part II as a wholep. 175
What set England apart from her neighboursp. 179
The timing and nature of change in the industrial revolutionp. 181
Preliminary considerationsp. 181
Relative growth ratesp. 187
The escape from the constraints of an organic economyp. 193
The changing character of the growth surgep. 196
Why the growth surge continuedp. 198
A summary of the character and timing of the changes which took placep. 205
Modernisation and the industrial revolutionp. 211
Introductory commentp. 211
England and the Netherlandsp. 216
The relationship between industrialisation and modernisationp. 225
National entities and lopsided growthp. 228
Conclusionp. 232
Retrospectivep. 237
The industrial revolution and energyp. 239
The energy revolutionp. 239
Pandora's jar againp. 245
Appendixp. 251
Bibliographyp. 258
Indexp. 268
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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