Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

The Fabric of Society and How It Creates Wealth

Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

The Fabric of Society and How It Creates Wealth

Article excerpt

The Fabric of Society and How It Creates Wealth

Charles F. Foster and Eric L. Jones

Arley Hall Press, 2013,

This book is concerned with one of the major problems in economic history - why the industrial revolution took place in Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and enabled the United Kingdom to become, for several decades, the richest and most powerful nation in the world. The study is principally the work of Charles Foster and is the last of several essays he has written on this question.

Foster begins by emphasizing that the industrial revolution did not occur evenly over the whole of Britain but was principally centered in the northwest of England. He argues that this is attributable to the presence of three conditions. First, there was a wide distribution of wealth, the effect of which was that a small but sufficient amount of capital was possessed by many families. This increased the probability that the capital required for industrial innovation would be available to the relatively small number of individuals who had the necessary ability and motivation to be successful innovators. To exemplify this thesis, Foster then undertakes a detailed research into the archives of Arley Hall, an estate in Cheshire, and documents that a wide distribution of capital was present. …

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