ECOS3024 Topic 2.docx - Topic 2 The First Industrial...

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Topic 2: The First Industrial Revolution The ‘Commercial Revolution’ Characteristics of the First Industrial Revolution in Britain - First industrial revolution occurred in Britain, in late 18C, emergence of capitalism - Characterised by growth in manufacturing, cotton and iron production, innovation with productivity growth and growth in capital per person - Transformation in agri, mining, transport and communications, banking, expansion of foreign trade - Upturn of pop growth, migration of labour from country to urban cities, capitalist class emerges, commodity-labour market, political power shifts from land-owners to merchant/capitalist class British IR 1780-1850? - On average trend growth is persisted in range of 1.5% to 2% o 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace, London - Sharp increase in growth of GB foreign trade in last quarter of 18C - Large scale manufacturing using mechanised techniques became popular after 1820s, industrialisation process began prior to 1780 - Rostow’s conception of self-sustaining growth o Can be argued that wasn’t reached until 1870s, where SofL of mass pop had improved to generate perpetual consumption for self-sustaining demand growth Stats - 1780 growth rate starts accelerating, larger accelerations after 1850 - The Commercial Revolution - Origins of GB industrialisation lie with commercial revolution of 18C o Emerged from empire economy developed with mercantilist policy - By 1750, GB was dominant mercantile economy, powerful navy, largest merchant fleet o London financial capital - GB acquired colonial possessions to import raw materials, and luxury goods, export manufactured products o In 18C valuable possessions: N American, Indian and Windies colonies, enabled expanding trade in re-exports Atlantic Trade and Re-exports - Atlantic Trade was important bc GB could widen range of products could export to EU to obtain needed imports for productive use o Timber, pitch and hemp for shipping and bar iron for the metal trade - Plantations in Windies supplied income-elastic products: o Sugar tobacco, indigo cotton dyewoods, re-export - East Indies re-export
o Tea coffee silks and spices - 50 years until 1750, re-export trade increased by 90%, expanded by twice that in second half of 18C - GB developed network of trade based on colonial empire Network of Trade and Slaves - Network was triangular between GB, W Africa and Windies o Weapons hardware spirits woollens from GB and calicoes from India shipped to W Africa in exchange for slaves, ivory and gold o Slaves shipped to Windies to work the plantations in exchange for tropical products of sugar, dyestuffs, mahogany, logwood, tobacco and raw cotton o Gold and ivory shipping to east for teas, silks, calicoes, coffee and spices which constituted re-exports to Europe so Britain could acquire Baltic timber, hemp, pitch and tar, Swedish and Russian iron and grain N American and Growth in the Atlantic Trade - In 2/2 of 28C N America assumed greater importance in Atlantic Trade, for acquiring re-exports and raw materials: cotton o Also a market for exports -

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