Econ Paper 2 - Economic History of Western Europe

Econ Paper 2 - Economic History of Western Europe - Flora...

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Flora Vo Econ 231 14 November 2006 The Relationship between Britain’s Relative Decline in the Nineteenth Century and Education Britain’s Industrial Revolution occurred from 1780 to 1830, but a more dramatic industrial progress took place from 1850 to 1870. Britain possessed many industrial resources, and what she did not have, she could import from her many markets and colonies. The island nation had the surplus population for factory work, the phosphoric rich coal for high quality steel, and the capital for investment. Despite her resources and her head start, she started to decline in the late nineteenth century. Many factors, especially education, influenced the decline of Great Britain as an industrial leader. The differences between Great Britain and Germany in elementary education, higher education, and social views of education can help explain Britain’s relative decline in the late Nineteenth Century. In Britain, about fifty percent of children received basic education around 1860, but students were absent more than present in these schools (Landes 341). The attendance level started to rise in the 1870s, but the curriculum concentrated on training the masses for menial factory jobs, not for jobs requiring skill. Attendance in primary education was obligatory in 1880, decades after the accepted time period of the Industrial Revolution. In contrast, the German education system became a model for all of Europe. The percentage of students attending school in the year 1860 was 97.5% in Prussia (Landes 342).
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Econ Paper 2 - Economic History of Western Europe - Flora...

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