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Technology, Modernisation & Industrialisation

Technology, Modernisation & Industrialisation

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Technology, Modernisation & Industrialisation

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  1. Technology, Modernisation & Industrialisation • Industrialisation: the Rise of Modern Industry • The Industrial Revolution: its several facets • Central Role of Technological Advance • Energy and Raw Materials for Industrialisation • Industrial change: • Steam power • Iron and steel • Textiles • Contributions from other industries • Why was the Industrial Revolution British?

  2. Industrial Revolution: the rise of modern industry • “The Industrial Revolution” – a sequence of events starting in 18C marked by the expansion of industries organised along capitalist lines • Precisely where did it occur and when? • What distinguishes the industries that expanded? • What caused the IR? • What was so profound about the IR? • Is the I.R. a useful concept?

  3. Four views of the Industrial Revolution Mokyr identified 4 `schools’ of, or approaches to the I.R.: • The Social Change School • The Industrial Organisation School • The Macroeconomic School • The Technological School

  4. Technical change in the Industrial Revolution • Distinguish between invention and innovation • Allen’s argument (2009, ch 6): • Relative input prices determined the new technologies • Landes `three principles’ (Unbound Prometheus, p. 41): • `substitution of machines ... for human skill and effort’ • `substitution of inanimate for animate sources of power’ • `use of new and far more abundant raw materials’

  5. Sequence of events in Britain: a sketch Sequence of events in Britain (Allen’s synthesis): • Demographic catastrophe (Black Death) from 1348/50 • Commercial expansion to Asia and the Americas, from early 17th century • Cultural developments favour invention and innovation • Institutional change supports enterprise & wealth accumulation

  6. Mineral Sources of Energy & Raw Materials • Wrigley’s thesis: Advanced Organic replaced by Mineral Based Economy • Advanced organic economy: plant sources of energy & raw materials • Mineral based energy economy: coal for energy, iron & coal as raw materials • But Wrigley’s account is not the whole story

  7. The Role of Science • Allen emphasises two applications • Steam power → Steam engine • Clockwork →Gears (and engineering) • Basic scientific advance was mostly continental • But British technology benefited, albeit indirectly

  8. Steam power • Steam engines: external combustion engines • Major invention: Newcomen’s `beam engine’, c1712 • Minor (and not so minor) inventions, include:improved fuel efficiency; high pressure engine • Railways: expansion after c1830 (Liverpool-Manchester line) • Later developments: compound engine, steam turbine

  9. Iron and steel • Smelting: blast furnace production of pig iron from iron ore • Refining: reduce carbon content of pig iron– `Forge’ pig iron into wrought (malleable) iron • Steel: “a superior variety of iron”, has more carbon than wrought iron

  10. Textiles (1) • Four processes: preparation, spinning, weaving, finishing • Traditional sectors (in late 18C): wool, linen, silk • New sector: cotton, small scale; rapid growth from 1760s • Kay’s flying shuttle (1733): raised weavers’ productivity • Spinning inventions were major labour-saving innovations • Weaving: hand-loom dominated until 1830s/40s

  11. Textiles (2) • Cotton industry: • “the wonder industry of the Industrial Revolution” (Allen) • Traditional textiles: innovations adopted but more slowly • Cloth processing: expansion of the garment trades

  12. Contributions from other industries (briefly) • Machine tools: advances in accuracy of manufacture • Mining, especially coal became a major employer • Chemicals (mainly used in textiles industries) • Gas lighting: initially in Germany & France, then further developed in Britain • Ceramics & glass: Britain followed continental innovations

  13. Why was the Industrial Revolution British? • Mokyr (2009): economic impact of Enlightenment ideas • Allen (2009): “growth of the urban, commercial economy drove the economy forward in the centuries before the I.R.” (p.106) • Clark (2007): “reproductive advantage of the rich”, “… economic success has a very important genetic component”, a Darwinian survival mechanism