The Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution: A Comparison of England and France

By Rick Szostak | Go to book overview

Notes

CHAPTER ONE
I
Most students of the Industrial Revolution would agree that we have yet to isolate a causal factor which meets three criteria: England was clearly superior to her major Continental rival France in terms of this factor; there is some change in the factor itself in the immediate pre-industrial era which could explain the timing of the Industrial Revolution; and there are strong causal links connecting this factor to the phenomena that character- ize the Industrial Revolution. This book will show that the transport sys- tem meets these three criteria admirably and should thus play a major role in explanation of the Industrial Revolution.
2
The word "factory" tends to bring forth the idea of a works using much powered machinery. One of my main contentions is that the earliest facto- ries used the same technology as that previously used in people's homes. Throughout, I will use the word workshop, which more closely describes the true character of these early centralized work places.
3
Kemp (1971, 37) spoke of these state-sponsored factories: "They were examples of a general practice in the absolutist states of the time and were in no real sense precursors of modern capitalist industry." This was recog- nized at the time. "The experience of centuries, and of all countries has proved that national or royal enterprises ... have never had the success of private enterprise. One could state in principle that the love of private property, the desire to augment this a little, the fear of losing it are the only forces which stimulate vigilance and assure success" (Rapport, an III, FI2 1454).
4
Mumford (1934) claims that the shift from the eotechnic phase of technol- ogy based on water and wood to the paleotechnic phase of coal and iron occurred around 1750 (see Clow 1952, xiv).

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