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Case 2: Causes of the industrial revolution /2547

Read the article below and complete the questions on the worksheet

Primary reading

Jonsson, A (2012), The industrial revolution in the Anthropocene, The Journal of Modern History, 84 pp679-696

Discussion questions

  1. Outline Mokyr’s case as to why the industrial revolution took place where and when it did.
    [see section II]
  2. What common aspects link the critical responses to Mokyr’s view by Berg, O’Brien and Parthasarathi?
    [see section IV]
  3. How does Allen’s case as to why the industrial revolution took place contradict Mokyr’s perspective? To what extent is Allen’s position supported by Wrigley?
    [see section V, VI]
  4. How does Wrigley’s concept of ‘ghost acres’ relate to the idea of the Anthropocene and current concerns with climate change?
    [see section VI, VII]

Background reading

Allen, RC (2009), The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective, Cambridge: CUP

Allen, RC (2014), Technology, in Floud, R, Humphries, J and Johnson, J (eds), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain vol 1 1700-1870, Cambridge: CUP (pp292-320)

Crafts, N (2010), Explaining the first industrial revolution: Two views, Department of Economics, University of Warwick, CAGE Online Working Paper Series, No. 10, July

Mokyr, J (2009), The Enlightened Economy, London: Penguin books

Mokyr, J (2014), An Age of Progress, in Floud, R, Humphries, J and Johnson, J (eds), The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain vol 1 1700-1870, Cambridge: CUP (pp264-291)

Reflective question [for your w25 Reflective journals]

Wrigley’s work “acknowledges the importance of institutional factors as well as “scientific advances” yet rejects the notion there can be a “single, ‘true’ account of the industrial revolution.”” (Jonsson, 2012:692)

What conclusions can one draw regarding the causes of the industrial revolution?