World Economic History
World Economic History ECN 110B
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madie Schinner on Tuesday September 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ECN 110B at University of California - Davis taught by Gregory Clark in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 51 views. For similar materials see /class/191874/ecn-110b-university-of-california-davis in Economcs at University of California - Davis.
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Date Created: 09/08/15
ECN 110B Spring 2004 World Economic History Gregory Clark 2 The British Industrial Revolution 17601860 In the eighty years or so after 1780 the population of Britain nearly tripled the towns of Liverpool and Manchester became gigantic cities the average income of the population more than doubled the share of farming fell from just under half to just under onefifth of the nations output and the making of textiles and iron moved into the steamdriven factories So strange were these events that before they happened they were not anticipated and while they were happening they were not comprehended 1 quotThe whole of nature is unceasingly studied requested worked upon fecundated husbanded Marquis de Biencourt writing of England in 1784 Introduction By 1850 at the apogee of its power Britain had 18 of world population The area of the British Isles is only about 016 of the world land mass Yet Britain then produced twothirds of world output of coal and one half of world production of cotton textiles and iron Output per worker was higher in Britain than in any other country It had enormous colonial possessions including much of India and Pakistan Canada Australia New Zealand and Ireland Its navy was the largest in the world and British defense doctrine called for it to be bigger than the next two largest navies combined In 1842 it had humiliated the ancient Chinese empire and forced it to cede Hong Kong and to allow the British to ship opium into China In 1860 the British and French captured Beijing and forced even more humiliating terms on the empire2 Britain was so con dent of its manufacturing prowess that it pursued an armed policy of forcing free trade on other countries con dent that its manufactures would sweep away protected infant industries in other countries Thus Britain used a show of force in Persia in 1841 to force it to concede most 1 D N McCloskey quotThe Industrial Revolution in Britain 17801860 A Survey in Roderick Floud and Donald McCloskey The Economic History of Britain since 1700 2 It is claimed that by 1855 Chinese tariff policy was rmly under British control the only restraint on the British being the fear of toppling the current regime by pushing them too far