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C HAPTER 4 T HE I NDUSTRIAL R EVOLUTION AND I TS C ONSEQUENCES , 1750–1850 How and why the Industrial Revolution occurred first in Britain is the topic of this chapter, and a wholly new way of thinking about that problem is introduced. Previously, most explanations of the Industrial Revolution focused on attributes specific to Europeans in general or Britons in particular. Rather, this chapter shows that the most advanced societies across the Eurasian continent (using China and England as examples) were all running into similar ecological constraints of the biological old regime. At first only England, because of a combination of factors particular to that time and place, was able to escape from the constraints of the biological old regime by drawing upon colonial resources and applying steam power to industrial production and the tools of war. Britain then used those advantages against Asians, from India to Burma and China, tipping the global balance of power that hitherto had been in Asia’s favor. Key Terms/Vocabulary agricultural productivity Battle of Plassey Battle of Pondicherry calico colonial legislation Commissioner Lin competitive advantage deforestation demographic regime (or system) East India Company (EIC) factory four necessities of life free markets free trade Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689 Guangzhou system import substitution Industrial Revolution infanticide James Watt labor-saving device land-saving device Navigation Laws nawab opium Opium War paradox peculiar periphery population dynamics private trading companies protectionism rice paddies right of
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