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The Industrial Revolution:
"Myths and Realities."

In 1769, a mathematical-instrument maker by the name of James Watt filed a patent for an engine which called for strange things such as condensers and steam jackets. Within a few years, his company, the Soho Engineering Works was manufacturing pump machines run by steam. Thus it is, that the year 1769 may well be used as a mark for the beginning of a period in English history when there was a transition for society from that of agricultural to industrial. This new industrial base was to broaden and strengthen in the ensuing one hundred years.1 This is the year which we may further mark as the beginning point of a period during which great social and economic changes were to take place. The simple explanation is that this transition came about as a result of improved machinery and large-scale production methods; but, as we will see, the story is more complex than that. The Industrial Revolution2 brought about labour saving machines and factory systems; as much as these machines and these systems brought about the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution3 was the integration of a number of factors which acted on one another in a cybernetic fashion. The impulse of the Industrial Revolution, its force, its impetus, acted on the minds of all thinking men of the late 18th and early 19th century. Discoveries fed more discoveries. Ancient class structures broke down. Human labour began to be replaced with human thought. Men, who knew nothing but back breaking labour, mostly in agriculture, increasingly turned their minds to invent devices and contrivances which would give them more for less labour.

There is a great myth about the Industrial Revolution, perpetuated by writers such as Dickens, viz., that it caused unspeakable misery to the people at large. On the contrary, I do not think any student of history can come to any other conclusion than that the average happiness, to take England as an example, in the early nineteenth century was considerably higher than it had been a hundred years earlier. The writers pointed to the Industrial Revolution in its infancy as one which did not assist the labouring poor, indeed, it was asserted it did them harm. To be found in Malthus' Essay on Population (1798), is this:

The increasing wealth of the nation [in an obvious reference to Adam Smith's work] has little or no tendency to better the conditions of the labouring poor. They have not, I believe, a greater command of the necessaries and conveniences of life, and a much greater proportion of them than at the period of the Revolution [1688] is employed in manufactures and crowded together in close and unwholesome rooms."4
Certain it is, that little improvement was to be seen in the first years of the Industrial Revolution. It should not have been expected that the benefits of technological developments were to be immediately felt in any far reaching fashion. It is true that a generation beyond that of James Watt was to pass before life was to improve for the poor classes. This was due to the intervening years, long years of war.5 The social reformers of the 19th century, however, were convinced that only the top end of the middle class were lifted up by the Industrial Revolution. One of these was John Stuart Mill, who in 1848 wrote:
"Hitherto it is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being. They have enabled a greater proportion to live the same life of drudgery and imprisonment and an increased number of manufacturers and others to make fortunes. They have increased the comforts of the middle classes. But they have not yet begun to effect those great changes in human destiny, which it is in their nature and in their futurity to accomplish."6
The writers that have spread the great myth about the Industrial Revolution seem to ignore the advances that were plainly brought about by it. The products of these "vile factories" were, such things as: affordable soap, underwear and cast iron sewer pipe.7 Hand and hand with the Industrial Revolution was an expansion of retailing. "By 1785 the number of shopkeepers had increased ... tea, coffee, loafe sugar, spices printed cottons, calicoes, lawns, fine linens, silks, velvets, silk waistcoat pieces, silk coats, hats, bonnets, shawls, laced caps, and a variety of other things" were to be seen in great numbers on the shelves of the shops and found their way in to the most ordinary of homes.8 To supply the retail demand, as Professor Ashton points out, "subsidiary employments came into being." Further, the diet of the average person changed, now on the family table, instead of bowls of meal supplemented with potatoes, there could be found: fresh meat, bacon, wheat bread, butter, tea, etc. This all came about because of the emergence of an independent, self-respecting class of wage earners. The "Gin Age" had come to an end.9

The truth is that the Industrial Revolution showed up the horrendous condition which had existed before it came along; it not only shone the light but it came up with the remedies.

"Historians have done their obvious duty in describing the miserable social conditions of which they found ample evidence. They have, however, proved exceptionally incautious in their interpretation of the facts. First, they seem to have taken for granted that a sharp increase in the extent of social awareness of and indignation about misery is a true index of increased misery; they seem to have given little thought to the possibility that such an increase might also be a function of new facilities of expression (due partly to a concentration of workers, partly to greater freedom of speech), of a growing philanthropic sensitivity (as evidenced by the fight of penal reforms), and of a new sense of the human power to change things, mooted by the Industrial Revolution itself. Second, they do not seem to have distinguished sufficiently between the sufferings attendant upon any great migration (and there was a migration to the towns) and those inflicted by the factory system. Third, they do not seem to have attached enough importance to the Demographic Revolution. Had they used the comparative method, they might have found that a massive influx into towns, with the resultant squalor and pauperism, occurred as well in countries untouched by the Industrial Revolution, where they produced waves of beggars instead of underpaid workers."10
The impulse and the impetus of the Industrial Revolution, as it was for civilization itself, was, trade. Traffic in goods is the oldest and most widespread of all social institutions. We see where it was trade that brought on the Egyptian civilization, the Phoenician, the Greek, the Roman, the Spanish, the Dutch, and the English; each of these civilizations, in their own time, dominated world trade. England's time was to truly arrive during the 18th century especially with the conclusion of the Seven Years War, 1756-63, a war during which England's rivals had been decisively beaten. She emerged with complete dominion over the seas, a dominion which enabled her merchant ships under the union jack to sail far and wide, little molested. Thus began a period during which England experienced a great trade expansion. Increasing trade put an increasing demand on the inventive English to come up with better ways to produce English goods, faster and cheaper.

Thus it was in the pursuit of trade, each producer, each trader making the best deal he could make, that the English, during the later part of the 18th century, were to meet the demand for English goods. Thus it was that with trade expansion came invention. The great inventors of the Industrial Revolution broke virgin ground. There were no books or precedents to look to. The rich or the well connected had no particular advantage. There existed in England during these times a Free Trade in Ability, it was, indeed, more important than, Free Trade in Commodities. "In early industrial Britain, qualifications, degrees, certificates, professional rules and trade conventions were swept aside by masters and men who were anxious to get on. ... The universities, as opposed to the grammar schools and Dissenting Academies, had little to do with it, and the government, nothing at all."11 Men sprang from nowhere to take the lead.

"George Stephenson [the inventor of the steam locomotive] began as a cowherd; Telford, a shepherd's son, as a stonemason. Alexander Naysmith started as an apprentice coach painter. ... Joseph Bramah, the machine-tool inventor, creator of the first patent lock, the hydraulic press, the beer pump, the modern fire engine, the fountain pen, and the first modern water closet, started as a carpenter's apprentice and got his essential learning, and experience from the local blackmith's forge. Henry Maudsley, perhaps the ablest of all machine-tool inventors, who created the first industrial assembly line for Brunel's block-making factory in Portsmouth, began work at 12 as a powder-monkey in a cartridge works and graduated in the smithy [sic]. Joseph Clement learned nothing at school except to read and write and began helping his father, a humble handloom weaver; he too was a forge graduate. So was the great engine designer and manufacturer Matthew Murray of Leeds, who shared with James Fox of Derby the honor of inventing the first planing machines (1814). Fox began as a kitchen boy and butler. The Welshman Richard Roberts, another brilliant inventor of machine tools and power looms, including the Self-Acting Mule - described by Smiles as "one of the most elaborate and beautiful pieces of machinery ever contrived" - was a shoemaker's son, had literally no education, and began work as quarry laborer. William Fairbairn, who designed and built the second generation of machinery for the textile industry in the 1820's, was the son of a Kelso gardener, who left school at age 10 to work as a farm laborer. John Kennedy, Fairbairn's partner in this second Industrial Revolution and the first great builder of iron ships, was another poor Scot, who received no schooling except in summer and, like Bramah, started as a carpenter's boy. It was the same story with clever immigrants. Frederick Koenig, who built the first steam presses in London, was the son of a Saxon peasant and began as a printer's devil. Charles Bianconi, who created the first successful passenger transport system, in the remote west of Ireland of all places, was a packman from Lake Como.
Such clever and enterprising men came to the British Isles because of the opportunities provided by its great wealth and, still more, by its free economic climate. The English universities might be comatose and the government indifferent to industry, but the law left the entrepreneur and the self-advancing artisan free to pursue their genius. Moreover, it was the only country with an effective patent system."12
No one invention came suddenly into bloom; all was trial and error. For an advance in one field required the paralleled advance in another. The whole process that brought on the great inventions of the Industrial Revolution was evolutionary with all the necessary factors being integrated. It happened without any central direction; it happened by each man pursuing his own particular interests; it happened because men were motivated by profit. It could not have happened through some mortal and designing mind; it could not have happened with altruistic motives singularly in mind; it could not have happened if men, each on account of their own unique contribution, did not see the likelihood of some personal advantage or benefit for their actions.

To demonstrate this evolutionary and integrated process that we have come to label the Industrial Revolution, I shall quote the Canadian political economist, Stephen Leacock:

"The invention of improved spinning machinery of Richard Arkwright and others (1769) removed the industry from the home and put it into factories. Better spinning meant a demand for quicker weaving and brought the power loom (1786), one of the first things 'invented to order.' All this meant a need for more power and brought on the use of steam, a thing that had wheezed its way down centuries of queer and useless experiments. It was now set to pump mines, then made to turn wheels of machinery, and then (later) to get up on its own platform, turn its own wheels and run away as a steamboat, like the Claremont on the Hudson in 1807, or faster still as a locomotive, such as Stephenson's famous Rocket at Liverpool, 1830. All this needed iron, more than could be smelted in wood fires; hence arose the new giant industries of coal and iron, the grimy twins that held up England for half a century."13
Thus, this progress, as demonstrated, known as the Industrial Revolution took hold in England. It was due, throughout, to the introduction of new or improved machinery and large-scale production methods. It meant that people were called upon to shift away from the mean and servile tasks of the preindustrial farm to the mean and servile tasks of the factory or workshop. No matter the age, distasteful work, is, distasteful work. The principal difference between the two ages, that before and that of the Industrial Age, is this: in their every day life, the people ate better, were clothed better, and generally led healthier and more productive lives.


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§ Start of The Seven Years War.
§ Jedidiah Strutt and his brother-in-law, William Woollatt, seek a patent for their Derby-rib stocking frame.
§ Wolfe takes Quebec.
§ George III becomes the king.
§ Rousseau brings out his masterpiece, Contrat social.
§ End of The Seven Years War and The Treaty Of Paris.
§ Cook sails with English scientists so that they might observe and study the transit of Venus across the sun (June 3rd, 1769) at Tahiti.
§ At around this time, Blackstone brings out his Commentaries on the Law of England.
§ A mathematical-instrument maker by the name of James Watt, in 1769, filed a patent for an engine which called for strange things such as condensers and steam jackets; soon, 1784, the Soho Engineering Works was manufacturing pump machines run by steam.
§ The members of the "Long Parliament" take their seats, it sat for 15 years, until 1785.
§ December: Boston Tea Party.
§ This is the year, 1776, that Gibbon gives forth with his first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Jeremy Bentham, Fragments on Government; and Thomas Paine, Common Sense.
§ March 17th, British evacuate Boston.
§ July 2nd, The Continental Congress carries a motion for the independence of the 13 states on the east coast of America. Two days later the Declaration of Independence is adopted.
§ The laws were to be changed in England so that Roman Catholics should have the same rights in England as everyone else. (This move was to bring on the Gordon Riots of 1780.)
§ In England, the first iron bridge was erected over the Severn.
§ October 19th, British troops under Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown.
§ The Paris Peace Treaty 1783.
§ Henry Cort, an iron master, invented the processes known as "puddling" and "rolling."
§ December 13th, penal laws against Roman Catholics repealed.
§ On October 20th, having sat for 15 years, the "Long Parliament" is dissolved.
§ The Big Bang of the Industrial Revolution occurs in England when, for the first time, steam engines are used to power spinning machinery.
§ The French court, the envy of and model for foreign courts, was, both literally and figuratively, - bankrupt; States General (like our parliament) is called into session, it had not assembled since 1610 (France, in the intervening years, was ruled by an absolute monarch).
§ The very first nation wide census was carried out in the U.S. The count was 3,170,000. Surprisingly only a small number was reported to be "foreign born": 350,000 white and 250,000 black had come to the colonies since 1700. Thus the impressive population growth of English America came about not so much to immigration as to the unusually high birth rate: they married early and the infant mortality rate was astonishingly low when compared to that, say, of England.
§ In January Louis XVI is beheaded.
§ The European liberalism of the 19th century, was first formally proclaimed in the French constitution of 1791; a theory of liberty, the "Golden Rule of Liberty":
Men are born free and equal in rights, ... Liberty, ... consists in being permitted to do anything which does not injure other people. ... The exercise of the natural rights of each man has not limits except those which guarantee to the other members of society the enjoyment of the same rights."(Articles 1 & 3 of The 1791 French Constitution.)
§ The trials of the "Reform-martyrs," Thomas Muir (1765-99) was one, who, with others, was transported to Botany Bay. These trials were part of the larger government effort to prosecute editors, nonconformists and radicals who were arguing for Parliamentary reform.
§ A simple device for separating cotton lint from seeds is patented by Eli Whitney.
§ The Speenhamland system, named after a village near Newbury, Berkshire, is established. It was a system of poor relief adopted by the magistrates there in 1795, and subsequently established throughout most of rural England.
§ Jenner perfects a system of vaccination.
§ A Bavarian by the name of Alois Senefelder, discovering that water and grease did not have an affinity for one another, determined to employ a different printing process by which art work could be relatively and inexpensively reproduced in quantity. Thus, the world was introduced to lithography.
§ By a parliamentary statute, the torture of suspects and criminals was abolished.
§ John Adams (1735-1826) replaces George Washington (1732-1799) as the President of the United States.
§ Malthus brings out his Essay on Population.
§ Wordsworth and Coleridge jointly publish The Lyrical Ballads; and thus begins, in literature, the English Romantic Movement.
§ Great Britain and Ireland come together under one legislative body.
§ Brunel, by 1803, has set up his production line for turning out rigging blocks.
§ The Louisiana Purchase.
§ Napoleon becomes emperor of France.
§ Trevithick adapts the Watt engine and attaches it to a vehicle, and the locomotive comes into being.
§ The "Third Coalition" against France is formed: Russia and Austria throw in with Britain.
§ October 21st: Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.
§ December: The Battle of Austerlitz takes place (Austerlitz is a place located in modern day Czechoslovakia). Napoleon decisively defeated the armies of Russia and Austria, each with its emperor at its head.
§ England abolishes the slave-trade (in 1833, slavery itself).
§ Robert Fulton's Clermont proves the practicality of steam power for river craft.
§ The lawful import of slaves ends in the United States.
§ Austen brings out Sense and Sensibility.
§ Lord Wellington is fighting in Spain.
§ Byron Donkin builds (tin plate having been previously invented) the first canning factory in England, his principle orders coming from the Royal Navy for canned soups and meats used in the war against America.
§ Napoleon's retreat from Moscow and struggles to retain a hold on central Europe.
§ In England 13 "Luddites" are hung at the York Assizes.
§ April: Paris is captured and Bonaparte abdicates.
§ June 18th: The Battle of Waterloo.
§ In a further chapter in the history of the "Corn Laws" (they had been around in one form or another since the Middle Ages) the British parliament passed the Act of 1815 which imposed, - much to the satisfaction of British farmland owners - a ban on all corn imports, this with a view to getting the home prices up.
§ Construction begins on Erie Canal, designed to connect the Great Lakes and the Hudson River (and thus the Atlantic Ocean).
§ Due to the discoveries of Volta, there comes into being the Voltaic battery.
§ Robert Owen publishes A New View of Society or Essays on the Formation of the Human Character Preparatory to the Development of a Plan for Gradually Ameliorating the Condition of Mankind.
§ Civil wars [Simón Bolívar (1783-1830) and the Latin American revolution] sweep over the Spanish New World in waves from 1812 to the early 1820s; driven by both the political theories of Rousseau and the disruptions of civil order in Spain on account of Bonaparte and the resulting peninsular wars.
§ The war against the Radical Press in England heats up; Habeas Corpus Act is suspended for a whole year as a result of the Spa Fields Riot on December 16th.
§ Unrest in England, with the Northern and Midland radicals causing sporadic violence and attacks on mills.
§ Ricardo's, Principles of Political Economy & Taxation.
§ August 16th: Upon St. Peter's Fields at Manchester England, an angry crowd of 60,000 people is dispersed by sending in the cavalry; in the process people are killed. This event became known as, "Peterloo."
§ Keats writes Hyperion; Shelley, Promethus Unbound.
§ Arthur Thistlewood, one of the leaders of the Cato Street Conspiracy (to kill Castlereagh), on May 1st, is hung.
§ The Missouri Compromise: In 1820 the U.S. Congress passed an act which admitted the State of Maine as slave free state and Missouri as a slave state, thus keeping the number of the slave and anti-slave states equal. By the Missouri Compromise the federal territory above 36 degrees 30 minutes is free; below be slave territory.
§ A Factory Bill prohibiting children under the age of nine to work in cotton mills is passed in 1819; this is the first of a series of parliamentary bills which were to be passed over the next forty years in a process of law reform which was first prompted by the writings of the legal philosopher, Jeremy Bentham.
§ During February of 1820, England issues gold ingots ("Ricardos"), freely exchangeable with its paper money. By the following year (1821) England was fully on the gold exchange.
§ The trial of the Queen, the coronation, the death of Queen Caroline, the second expedition of Parry, and the insurrections in Greece, cover the columns of the periodicals.
§ Michael Faraday (1791-1867), from a poor family, discovers electromagnetic rotation.
§ In England, the Anti-slavery Society was formed.
§ Charles Macintosh develops a process of brushing rubber onto cloth to form an impervious layer. "A factory for mass production was opened in Manchester in 1824, and within a year the men-about-town were wearing Macintoshes in the London rain."
§ New industries were envisioned: railway, gas, steamship, iron, and coal; companies were being organized, most legitimate,- not all. London was now experiencing a bull market which ran from summer 1824 to autumn 1825. Speculators elbowed in with dreams for sale; a credit crunch and, in turn, an economic disaster followed.
§ In America, Alpheus Babcock cast the first one-piece iron piano frame.
§ Economic crash in England.
§ The first railway opens in the northern part of England, between Stockton and Darling; Stephenson's "Rocket," with a thirteen ton train, gets up a speed of 44 miles per hour.
§ The inventions of the "Drummond Light" and "Portland Cement," were, as events were to prove, to keep seaman safe. These inventions allowed for the strategic placement of lighthouses on dangerous seashores.
§ John Walker (1781-1859), a chemist, inventor, born Stockton-on-Tees, in 1827, invented the friction match; they were called "Congreves" (alluding to the Congreve rocket), later named Luicifers, and, eventually, matches.
§ March 27th: Darwin gives a short talk to the Plinian Society, and communicates two discoveries which he has made: First, "that the ova of the Flustra posses organs of motion; and the second, that the small black globular body hitherto mistaken for the young Fucus Lorius [a seaweed], is in reality the ovum of the pontobdella muricata [a leech that infests skates].
§ The first allied peace keeping mission, with Admiral Sir Edward Codrington in charge, sailed into Navarino Bay, Turkey, and, on the 20th of October 1827 the Battle of Navarino ensued, which, while lasting only four hours, took the lives of 8,000 Turks and Egyptians; the allies lost only 178 men; this was to be the last of the great sea battles between square sailed fighting ships.
§ In London a exhibition specifically devoted to machinery is held.
§ After a new style election campaign, General Jackson becomes the President of the United States; his clear popular mandate ends "the old indirect, oligarchical system forever."
§ The Emancipation Bill of 1829.
§ Sir Robert Peel's police make their appearance in London; before this time public tranquillity was maintained by the military forces. With "Peelers" there now existed "an efficient civilian force, of non-partisan character, and armed only with staves."
§ Two journalists, Wm. Cobbett (1763-1835) and Richard Carlile (1790-1843), are put on trial for articles in the Press. Cobbett at his trial in July was acquitted.
§ Samuel Morse, a Massachusetts portrait painter devises a workable code.
§ The introduction of publisher's cloth.
§ The opening of the first 13 miles of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad inaugurates railroad passenger travel in the United States.
§ The First Reform Bill.
§ In Britain, slavery is outlawed by Parliament. (In 1806 the slave-trade had been abolished.)
§ The young Queen Victoria takes the English throne.


1 Toynbee used 1760 as the beginning date. Certainly by 1782 the Industrial Revolution was well underway, for, as of that date "almost every statistical series of production shows a sharp upward turn." (T. S. Ashton, An Economic History of England: The 18th Century (London: Methuen, 1969) p. 125.) G. M. Trevelyan was to caution that the "reader must bear in mind that no single decade can be named for any one of the processes that together made up the Industrial Revolution. Even the most cataclysmic of the changes was not an event but a process. Dr. Cunningham suggests that the Industrial Revolution begins about 1770, 'commencing with changes in the hardware trades.' The date will serve, if we remember that since 1720, if not before, there had been signs of the increase of capitalist industry and the decay of the apprentice system, that the improvement of roads had begun to be rapid about 1750, and that the movement for absorbing small farms into large farms was at least as old as that. Yet none of these movements were complete till well on in the nineteenth century." (British History in the Nineteenth Century (London: Longmans, Green; 1924) fn. 1, p. 2.) Trevelyan made reference to Cunningham's work, The Industrial Revolution, which Cunningham had adapted from his larger work, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, a standard work for many years. Cunningham was a Scottish economist and taught at Cambridge.

2 It was Arnold Toynbee who popularized the expression, "Industrial Revolution."

3 The Industrial Revolution was not peculiar to England; though, she led the way. This island nation of merchant/sailors were to trade their industrial production throughout the world in exchange for influence and prestige. The effects of the Industrial Revolution, however, were worldwide: France, after 1830; Germany, after 1850; and the U.S., after the Civil War, 1867. Europeans introduced the revolution to Asia at about the turn of the century, but only Japan eventually grew into an industrial giant; the others only at the end of the 20th century. The problem of the Industrial Revolution, environmental pollution, one which has grown throughout the 19th and the 20th centuries, and which was abated by better western practices, may take a very sad turn for the entire human race in the coming century.

4 Ch. 16.

5 It started in France where the absolute monarchy and its attending aristocratic order collapsed on account of the French Revolution; there then followed metamorphic leadership, the States General, the National Assembly, the Jacobins, the Revolutionary tribunal, the guillotine, Napoleon - in these years (between the execution of Louis XVI, 1793; and the Battle of Waterloo, 1815) blood, death and misery flowed over France, and over onto the neighboring countries. "The Industrial Revolution, the age of invention and machinery, had begun, in the technical sense, well back in the eighteenth century. But its results were little felt for most of mankind till the Great Peace of the nineteenth century. They were obscured and impeded by the almost unbroken wars of the sixty years from the outbreak of the Seven Years' War (1755) till Waterloo (1815). But the process of invention had begun, and invention in each industry called for similar progress and invention in others." [Stephen Leacock, Our Heritage of Liberty (London: Bodley Head, 1942), p. 44.]

6 Principles of Political Economy, Bk.4, Ch.6. Mill continues, and in advocating a government role, writes: "Only when, in addition to just institutions, the increase of mankind shall be under the deliberate guidance of judicious foresight, can the conquests made from the powers of nature by the intellect and energy of scientific discoverers, become the common property of the species, and the means of improving and elevating the universal lot." Mill, nonetheless, in one of his earlier passages (Bk.1, Ch.12.) makes it clear that "the progressive fall of the prices and values of almost every kind of manufactured goods during two centuries past; a fall accelerated by the mechanical inventions of the last seventy or eighty years, and susceptible of being prolonged and extended beyond any limit which it would be safe to specify." (Bk.1, Ch.12.)

7 It was the Industrial Revolution that brought about sewer systems and water treatment plants. General health was benefited by the Industrial Revolution; indeed, plagues (the "black death") that regularly swept countries from one end to another, came, only with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, to an end. "It [the Black Death, or the Great Plague] reached Weymouth in Dorsetshire in 1340. It raged for two years. One and a half million in a population of 4,000,000 died of it. It died down, but for three hundred years it never left England. It flared out again in the Great Plague of 1666. It was never killed till enlightened democracy took it by the throat with the sanitation and public health that was the nineteenth century's answer to the prayers of the fourteenth." (Leacock, op. cit., p. 26.) For more, see, M. C. Buer and his book, Health, Wealth and Population in the Industrial Revolution (London: Routledge, 1926).

8 Ashton, op. cit., p. 216.

9 "At the time of George III's accession [1760] there had been no canals; few hard roads; practically no cotton industry; no factory system; few capitalist manufacturers; little smelting of iron by coal; and though there had been much enclosure of land, there had not yet been a wholesale sweeping of small farms into big." (G. M. Trevelyan, British History in the Nineteenth Century, op. cit. p. 2.) There was then few canals or roads capable of bearing wheeled traffic. The only trading was inter-village trading. It took place only on a light scale. Of necessity each village produced, for the home and the farm, its own cloth, basketwork, implements, and furniture. Things moved along in a changeless fashion, generation after generation. People of the pre-Industrial Revolution days had a static view of things: agriculture, industry, politics and religion. Today our view is evolutionary.

10 Bertrand de Jouvenel in his essay contained in the book edited by Hayek, Capitalism and the Historians, pp. 98-9.

11 Johnson, Birth of the Modern (New York: HarperCollins, 1991) pp. 571-2.

12 Johnson, pp. 571-2. Incidently, the law protects inventors and authors by patents and copyright. A patent is a license to manufacture, sell, or deal in an article or commodity, to the exclusion of other persons; it is a grant from the government. Once a patent is secured, then the invention can only be employed by the patent holder or his assigns. Without such legal protection -- which was to first appear in England before the Industrial Revolution began -- anyone might steal the work of another; thus, dampening the enthusiasm of would be inventors.

13 Op. cit., p. 44.


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