Research: Industrial (R)Evolution

Has the importance of the Industrial Revolution been overstated? In a word, yes. But that’s not because industrialization wasn’t a transformative force in world history. Rather, it’s because industrialization is better thought of as an evolution rather than a revolution. Unlike the political revolutions that accompanied the Industrial Revolution temporally—namely the American, Haitian, and French—industrialization didn’t take place as a discrete set of events linked in time and space, nor was it an intentional process.  The development of efficient steam and coal power, machine-assisted labor, mass consumer markets, and other traditional hallmarks of the Industrial Revolution was indeed a significant break with the past. But this fact often leads us to forget how much the technological and societal changes that took place in Western Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were mirrored in other times and places. …

weiter bei AEON und „Has the importance of the Industrial Revolution been overstated?“

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