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What kickstarted the Industrial Revolution?

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Hobgoblin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hobgoblin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2013 at 03:28
As mentioned briefly above the agricultural revolution played a major role in that it displaced a poor rural population and created a poor urban one which was ready to be exploited in factories. However this phenomenon was not a revolution as the processes of urbanisation and agricultural development had been underway from the late Anglo-Saxon and Mid Anglo-Saxon periods respectively. 

This also holds true for inventions in other areas such as metal production and Clockwork, a prerequisite for complex engines. see the ancient Greek aeolipile engine mentioned above or the Antikythera Mechanism a clockwork  Ancient Greek devise. The ideas have been around for ages and have been rediscovered and developed throughout history. In regards to Britain along with Urbanisation and agricultural intensification came a number of energy saving devices such as wind and water power mills for grinding and hammering and blowing bellows, better ploughs and more efficient furnaces, smithies and looms these were also improved throughout the middle ages. So it was not the inventiveness of the renaissance that created the agricultural or industrial revolution. 

Post black death the rate of urbanisation increased due the shift towards a wool based economy. This would not have been possible unless a substantial proportion of the population did not have to farm in order to feed itself. This was possible to large scale international trade in food and other bulk commodities yet again this process started during the late Anglo-Saxon period as western and northern Europe was beginning to settled down and create kingdoms, which were connected via sea first by the Norse raiders and traders and then more generally by merchants with improved ships. So the international maritime nature of the British economy can also be brought back in time. 

These continual improvements in technology and reorganisation or society to exploit resources more intensively and extensively allowed for expansions of political territories in Britain's case to America, Africa and India, Asia and Australia where slaves were imported and exploited and colonies set up to produce goods which were transported to Britain where the poorest wage slaves were exploited to turn some of these goods into commodities for others profit. 

None these traits were new but technology, financial institutions, the populations wealth distribution and location in Britain all came together to form an "industrial revolution." It was not a revolution just another stage in a continual process cultural development since a ape started to walk upright and none of these traits were specifically British either genetically or culturally. 


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