The industrial revolution stands out as a key event not simply in British history, but in world history, ushering in as it did a new era of sustained economic prosperity. But what exactly was the 'industrial revolution'? And why did it occur in Britain when it did? Ever since the expression was coined in the nineteenth century, historians have been debating these questions, and there now exists a large and complex historiography concerned with English industrialisation. This short history of the British Industrial Revolution, aimed at undergraduates, sets out to answer these questions. It will synthesise the latest research on British industrialisation into an exciting and interesting account of the industrial revolution. Deploying clear argument, lively language, and a fresh set of organising themes, this short history revisits one of the most central events in British history in a novel and accessible way.
This is an ideal text for undergraduate students studying the Industrial Revolution or 19th Century Britain.
EMMA GRIFFIN is Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of East Anglia. She has previously taught at Cambridge and Sheffield and held visiting fellowships in New York and Paris. She is the author of England's Revelry: A History of Popular Sports and Pastimes, 1660-1800 (OUP 2005) and Blood Sport: A History of Hunting in Britain Since 1066 (Yale 2007) and has appeared on BBC radio and television.
Introduction.- Counting Growth: Measuring the Economy.- A Growing Population.- A Mobile Population.- Worlds of Work.- The 'Mechanical Age': Technology, Innovation and Industrialisation.- Coal: the Key to the British Industrial Revolution?.- Why was Britain first? The Global Context for Industrialisation.- Winners and Losers: Standards of Living in the Industrial Revolution.- Bibliography.- Index.