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and Slavery ). The British evidence does not support this idea (see
Though pro…ts from the slave trade were large, even if they had all
been invested it would still have only accounted for a small proportion
of British capital accumulation.
Also we know trade not necessarily good (Acemoglu, Johnson,
Robinson “Rise of Europe”).
However, it is interesting to think about British industrialization
without US cotton imports (about 75% of cotton imports).
Even if it had done one should recognize that the industrial revolution
is really a story about increasing total factor productivity which is
related to technological change.
James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis
October 14, 2009
11 / 19 Source: Morgan, Kenneth (2000) Slavery, Atlantic Trade and the British Economy,
1660-1800, Cambridge University Press. Coal Britain had coal in the right places? Most coal in London came from
Newcastle by ship. Amsterdam was closer to Newcastle and coal was
no more expensive (I promise data on this next class..).
Coal could be imported! James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis
October 14, 2009
12 / 19 Plantation Markets? Pomeranz also argues that the real bene…t from being involved in the
slave and colonial trade was that slave plantation societies created
great markets for industrial goods.
The British evidence does not support this idea either. In fact when
the industrial revolution started the big increase in cotton exports
(the leading sector) went to North America and the Latin America.
So actually having ‘
free’colonies and ex-colonies was much better for
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- Fall '09