Practice: Quiz: Acceleration.
Next lesson. Current timeTotal duration And also made this studio possible. And made the warehouse containing the studio possible. A warehouse, by the way, that houses stuff for warehouses. Although it occurred around the same time as the French, American, Latin American, and Haitian Revolutions - between, say, and - the industrial revolution was really the most revolutionary of the bunch. Past John: No way, dude. All those other revolutions resulted in, like, new borders and flags and stuff. But in all that time, nothing much changed about the way we disposed of waste or located drinking water or acquired clothing.
Most people lived on or very close to the land that provided their food. Except for a few exceptions, life expectancy never rose above 35 or below Education was a privilege, not a right. In all those millennia, we never developed a weapon that could kill more than a couple dozen people at once, or a way to travel faster than horseback. For 15, years, most humans never owned or used a single item made outside of their communities.
You have electricity? Industrial Revolution. Blueberries in February? You live somewhere other than a farm?
You drive a car? You get twelve years of free, formal education? Your bed, your antibiotics, your toilet, your contraception, your tap water, your every waking and sleeping second: Industrial Revolution. Stan, are these real, by the way? So what happened? Although this will soon get more complicated, for our purposes today, industrialization is NOT capitalism - although, as we will see next week, it is connected to modern capitalism. And, the industrial revolution began around and it occurred across most of the earth, but it started in Europe, especially Britain.
What happened? The innovations of the Industrial Revolution were intimately interconnected. It contains two bar graphs of per capita incomes, one for and the other for not The horizontal axis is GDP per capita, in thousands of dollars. The vertical axis is population. The entire world income distribution has shifted to the right, without much change in the degree of income inequality, since At the end of the period, as at the beginning, the degree of inequality is enormous.
This degree of inequality between the richest and poorest societies is without precedent in human history, as is the growth in population and living standards in the postwar period. A great deal of recent empirical work focuses on the question of whether per capita incomes are converging to a common growing level, or possibly diverging. From Figure 1 it is evident that this is a fairly subtle question. In any case, it seems obvious that we are not going to learn much about the economic future of the world by simple statistical extrapolation of events from to , however it is carried out.
Extrapolating the 2 percent population growth rate backward from , one would conclude that Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden in about the year Extrapolating the 2. Such exercises make it clear that the years since are part of a period of transition, but from what to what? Let us turn to history for half the answer to this question. The striking thing about postwar economic growth is how recent such growth is. I have said that total world production has been growing at over 4 percent since Compare this to annual growth rates of 2.
Moreover, it is fairly clear that up to or maybe , no society had experienced sustained growth in per capita income. Eighteenth century population growth also averaged one-third of 1 percent, the same as production growth. But how do we know this? But there are many other sources of information. In the front hall of my apartment in Chicago there is a painting of an agricultural scene, a gift from a Korean student of mine. In the painting, a farmer is plowing his field behind an ox.
Fruit trees are flowering, and mountains rise in the background.
The scene is peaceful, inspiring nostalgia for the old days though I do not know when the painting was done or what time period it depicts. There is also much information for an economist in this picture. It is not difficult to estimate the income of this farmer, for we know about how much land one farmer and his ox can care for, about how much can be grown on this land, how much fruit the little orchard will yield and how much the production would be worth in U.
Traditional agricultural societies are very like one another, all over the world, and the standard of living they yield is not hard to estimate reliably. Other, more systematic, information is also available. For poor societies—all societies before about —we can reliably estimate income per capita using the idea that average living standards of most historical societies must have been very near the estimated per capita production figures of the poorest contemporary societies. Incomes in, say, ancient China cannot have been much lower than incomes in China and still sustained stable or growing populations.
And if incomes in any part of the world in any time period had been much larger than the levels of the poor countries of today—a factor of two, say—we would have heard about it. If such enormous percentage differences had ever existed, they would have made some kind of appearance in the available accounts of the historically curious, from Herodotus to Marco Polo to Adam Smith.
To say that traditional agricultural societies did not undergo growth in the living standards of masses of people is not to say that such societies were stagnant or uninteresting. Any schoolchild can list economically important advances in technology that occurred well before the industrial revolution, and our increasing mastery of our environment is reflected in accelerating population growth over the centuries.
Between year 0 and year , world population grew from around million to perhaps million an increase of a factor of four in 1, years. In the assumed absence of growth in income per person, this means a factor of four increase in total production as well, which obviously could not have taken place without important technological changes. But in contrast to a modern society, a traditional agricultural society responds to technological change by increasing population, not living standards.
How then did these traditional societies support the vast accomplishments of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, of China and India? The answer lies in the role and wealth of landowners, who receive about 30 percent to 40 percent of agricultural income. In the hands of a small elite, this kind of money can support a fairly lavish lifestyle or build impressive temples or subsidize many artists and intellectuals.
As we know from many historical examples, traditional agricultural society can support an impressive civilization. What it cannot do is generate improvement in the living standards of masses of people. The Korean farmer plowing his field in the painting in my hallway could be in any century in the last 1, years.
Nothing in the picture would need to be changed to register the passage of the centuries. If the living standard in traditional economies was low, it was at least fairly equally low across various societies. Even at the beginning of the age of European colonialism, the dominance of Europe was military, not economic. When the conquistadors of Spain took control of the societies of the Incas and the Aztecs, it was not a confrontation between a rich society and a poor one.
In the 16th century, living standards in Europe and the Americas were about the same. Indeed, Spanish observers of the time marveled at the variety and quality of goods that were offered for sale in the markets of Mexico.
Industrial Revolution Essay | Bartleby
Smith, Ricardo and their contemporaries argued about differences in living standards, and perhaps their discussions can be taken to refer to income differences as large as a factor of two. But nothing remotely like the income differences of our current world, differences on the order of a factor of 25, existed in or at any earlier time. Such inequality is a product of the industrial revolution. Traditional society was characterized by stable per capita income. Our own world is one of accelerating income growth. The course of the industrial revolution, our term for the transition from stable to accelerating growth, is illustrated in Figure 2, which plots total world population and production from the year up to the present.
I use a logarithmic scale rather than natural units, so that a constant rate of growth would imply a straight line. One can see from the figure that the growth rates of both population and production are increasing over time. The vertical scale is millions of persons for population and billions of U. The difference between the two curves is about constant up until , reflecting the assumption that production per person was roughly constant prior to that date.
Then in the 19th century, growth in both series accelerates dramatically, and production growth accelerates more. The growth and indeed the acceleration of both population and production continue to the present. Of course, the industrial revolution did not affect all parts of the world uniformly, nor is it doing so today. Figure 3, based on per capita income data estimated as I have discussed, is one way of illustrating the origins and the diffusion of the industrial revolution. To construct the figure, the countries or regions of the world were organized into five groups, ordered by their current per capita income levels.
Group I—basically, the English-speaking countries—are those in which per capita incomes first exhibited sustained growth. Group II is Japan, isolated only because I want to highlight its remarkable economic history. Group V contains the rest of Asia and Africa.
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The numbers at the right of Figure 3 indicate the populations, in millions of people, for the five groups of countries. Reading Figure 3 from left to right, we can see the emergence over the last two centuries of the inequality displayed in Figure 1. By there was something like a factor of two difference between the English-speaking countries and the poor countries of Africa and Asia. By , a difference of perhaps a factor of six had emerged.
At that time, the rest of Europe was still far behind England and America, and Japanese incomes were scarcely distinguishable from incomes in the rest of Asia. In the first half of the 20th century, the inequality present in was simply magnified. The English-speaking countries gained relative to northern Europe, which in turn gained on the rest of Europe and Asia. The entire colonial era was a period of stagnation in the living standards of masses of people.
European imperialism brought advances in technology to much of the colonized world, and these advances led to increases in production that could, as in British India, be impressive. Railroads and steamships burned vast quantities of coal, but they also hauled it to other consumers. Most major American industries—steel mills, textile factories, and so forth—thereafter began to use immense amounts of coal, either directly in steam engines and furnaces, or indirectly via electricity produced in coal-burning generating stations.
America's industrial ascendancy was an unmitigated disaster for the environment.
Industrial Revolution and the Standard of Living
In the countryside, coal-burning machines such as steam shovels, tractors, and dredges ripped into the earth, yielding short-term profits at the expense of soil erosion and other long-term problems. Cities and towns, meanwhile, were becoming notoriously polluted by fossil-fueled railroads, industries, and homes see Primary Source Cincinnati Account  and Primary Source Pittsburgh Painting .
Coal's impact was particularly dramatic in the industrial sector, but fossil fuels were also changing people's domestic lives in important ways. Start with the electric- or cable-powered streetcars that Americans increasingly used to travel between work, home, downtown shopping districts, and peripheral amusement grounds.
Then move to the houses and apartments in which Americans increasingly used coal for cooking and heating. Poorer folks were compelled to buy cheaper, dirtier coal, which they consumed directly, and wealthier folks increasingly enjoyed the benefits of coal-derived manufactured gas and electricity. Gas and electricity helped keep the homes of elite Americans clean, warm, and bright; at the same time, they fostered a dream of modern domesticity in which gas stoves, light bulbs, phonographs, telephones, radios, and other devices and appliances labored to cook, enlighten, entertain, and communicate.
Yet the pipes and wires responsible for transmitting gas and electricity led back to plants and stations that polluted industrial districts and adjoining working-class neighborhoods.
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In this and other ways, working-class Americans of all races suffered disproportionate burdens in the new mineral-intensive economy. Fossil-fueled machines operated by unskilled or semi-skilled newcomers displaced skilled workers in many industries with coal mining an ironic exception.
Working people exerted less control over production than ever before; American labor leaders increasingly decried the degradation of work as all sorts of time-honored trades and occupations became obsolete.
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The coal-powered economy brought to bear much more energy than existing technologies could easily control. Many jobs consequently became exceedingly hazardous. By the early 20th century, tens of thousands of workers were dying every year on the railroads, in factories, and especially in coal mines, including many boys and adolescents see Primary Source Jokerville Coal Mine Explosion  and Primary Source Breaker Boys at Work .