By Richard Price
Richard rate deals an intensive new interpretation of recent British historical past. He argues that the interval 1680-1880 used to be a different period in British historical past, a dynamic interval of a lot switch yet which used to be eventually contained inside of in actual fact outlined obstacles. Professor rate hence identifies the 19th century because the finish of this era instead of the instant of modernity. Elegantly written and lucidly prepared, this research may be of price to all students and scholars with an curiosity during this attention-grabbing interval.
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This raises the whole question of Britain’s comparative international economic performance and the explanations for it. The various explanations for low growth rates in twentieth-century Britain are of variable quality. The argument about the destructive impact of the world wars has more to recommend it than the suggestion that Britain somehow ‘‘lost’’ the ‘‘industrial spirit’’ that had produced the innovations of the industrial revolution. As early as the 1840s Palmerston was being warned that the Germans were in front of Britain in design, metal working and chemicals.
A more continuous model of economic change suggests a view of ‘‘industrialization’’ that diminishes the importance of the factory, though it does not deny its growing presence throughout the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, the overall eVect of this approach to economic change is to downgrade the importance of a ‘‘modern’’ sector in favor of the ‘‘traditional’’ sector of the economy. ’’ It was a dynamic economic organism; innovation and realized that ‘‘no single British industry had passed through a complete technical revolution before 1830’’ (vol.
Yet there was a particular pattern of population growth that was peculiar to this period of Britain’s history. The demo Õ Duncan Blythell, The Sweated Trades: Outworking in Nineteenth-Century Britain (London, 1978), pp. 88–90; J. de L. , Gloucester, 1987), pp. 187–88. Œ Hugh Prince, ‘‘Victorian Rural Landscapes,’’ in G. E. ), The Victorian Countryside (London, 1981), vol. I, p. 18. œ Charles K. ), Essays on a Mature Economy: Britain After 1840 (Princeton, 1971), pp. 215–31; Clapham, Economic History of Modern Britain, vol.