Largely as the result of the Industrial Revolution the technical eco nomic

Largely as the result of the industrial revolution

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Largely as the result of the Industrial Revolution, the technical, eco- nomic, political, and social bases of life have become transformed vir- tually everywhere in the last 200 years. The point applies not only to strictly industrial societies, but also to traditional agrarian societies, remaining groups of pastoral nomads, and surviving hunter-gatherers— CHAPTER 14 Timber, Coal, Cloth, and Steam
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all humanity has been affected by the coming of industrial civilization. Industrialization unleashed processes of fundamental social change as well as technological innovation and economic growth. People mi- grated from the countryside to cities, expanding urban populations of low-paid factory workers; factory labor increased and class conflict intensified; new coercive institutions such as public schools and well- regulated prisons came into being as agents of social control; the fam- ily ceased to be a center of production, and a new division of labor took hold—typically men secured employment in factories while women were mainly restricted to domestic duties. A further demographic up- heaval accompanied industrialization as mass migration saw millions of Europeans head westward across the Atlantic and eastward into the expanding Russian empire. The process surged and became a global tidal wave that continues to transform every corner of the world, often with unsettling results. Ecological Stimulus, Technological Response The history of industry in Europe since the rise of European civiliza- tion in the tenth century is the history of long-term economic devel- opment and technological innovation against a background of envi- ronmental constraints and pressures. Indeed, the industrialization of Europe generally marched in step with a growth of population that produced a constant threat of scarcity. From a low of 2 million in the middle of the fifteenth century, after a hundred years of repeated rav- ages of the Black Death, the population of England and Wales rose to about 5 . 5 million by the end of the seventeenth century and, with increasing rapidity, to 9 million by the end of the eighteenth. (This increase resulted from a lowering of mortality rates, probably through improved hygiene, and from changing agricultural practices.) As the population quintupled during a span of 350 years, pressure on re- sources increased and in some cases became severe. Perhaps the most serious shortage that developed was in land itself. In England, in many ways a typical agrarian society, land was put to many uses—as cropland, as pasture for cattle, horses, and sheep, as for- est for timber, and, increasingly, for expanding towns and cities as the burgeoning population sought nonagricultural means of subsistence in urban centers. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries English towns, trade, and industry had been growing, but by the mid– seventeenth century growth began to be checked as critical bottlenecks formed. Because economic life is a process of interlocked activities, a shortage or restriction in one area can disrupt the entire system. Dur-
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