Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution

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

Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution
    Book Description:

    Szostak develops a model that establishes causal links between transportation and industrialization and shows how improvements in transportation could have a beneficial effect on an economy such as that of eighteenth-century England. This model shows the Industrial Revolution to involve four primary phenomena: increased regional specialization, the emergence of new industries, an expanding scale of production, and an accelerated rate of technological innovation.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6293-6
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-48)

    My contention in this work is that a modern system of transportation was necessary for the Industrial Revolution to occur in England. While transport is discussed in many works on the Industrial Revolution, none have provided a comprehensive discussion of the various effects of England’s superior transport system on the process of industrialization; nor, especially, have they described the links between transport improvement and technological innovation. Thus, transport has not been given the prominent position it deserves in the literature on the Industrial Revolution.¹ In this introductory chapter, I first define what is meant by the terms Industrial Revolution, necessary,...

  6. CHAPTER TWO English and French Transport Compared
    (pp. 49-90)

    The main purpose of this chapter is to show that England in the late eighteenth century possessed a far better transport system than France. Since France is considered to have been England’s closest rival at the time, the implication is that England had the best transport system in Europe, and thus the world. As I will be comparing both road and water transport facilities, I shall first establish that before the coming of the railway, road and water transport systems served different purposes and were both needed by industrialists. A brief survey of the rest of the world will show...

  7. CHAPTER THREE The English Iron Industry
    (pp. 91-138)

    Iron, as a producer goods industry, needs special treatment; proper coverage requires that one looks at the uses to which iron was put. This is especially important because the output of the eighteenth-century iron industry went for quite different uses than those associated with the modern iron industry. This chapter will begin with a brief overview of the iron industry and those trades closely allied with it. A pictorial description of the iron and allied trades is provided on the following page. To avoid clutter, the various other raw materials required for these processes of production are listed at the...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR The French Iron Industry
    (pp. 139-163)

    Historians in general, and economic historians no less, tend to pay more attention to history’s success stories than to her failures. In part, this is because it is generally easier to answer the question, “Why?” than the question, “Why not?” The French iron industry during the eighteenth century was relatively stagnant compared to that of England. My task, then, is to show that the poor quality of the French transport system prevented the French iron industry from developing as the English industry did. I argue that if France, like England, had possessed an early modern transport system, her iron industry...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE The English Textiles Industry
    (pp. 164-200)

    As with the iron industry, academic research on textiles has tended to concentrate on one or two stages of production - notably spinning and weaving - while other necessary stages on the path from raw material to finished good have been largely ignored. Technological and organizational change, however, occurred throughout the textile industry. The other stages of production did not simply react so as to rectify bottlenecks created by improvements in spinning and weaving: the timing of many improvements does not accord with a challenge and response framework.¹ Instead, a picture is created of pressures for change throughout the textile...

  10. CHAPTER SIX The French Textiles Industry
    (pp. 201-222)

    The relative importance of the four textile industries was different in France than in England. Silk was more important in France though its output was still much smaller than the output of the more common wool and linen. Cotton was much less important in France in the late eighteenth century than in England, but this difference is due to the incredible growth of the English cotton industry during the eighteenth century. It was seen in the last chapter that technological and organizational innovation occurred in wool and linen as well, though much more gradually than in cotton. The fact that...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Pottery
    (pp. 223-231)

    As Berg points out (1985, 40), almost all works on the Industrial Revolution concentrate on the textile and iron industries. The lack of research on other industries means that general works tend to deal only with those two, and into this trap I, like Berg, have fallen so far in this work. There is a special reason to be concerned that major parts of eighteenth-century industry have been ignored. Berg notes that less dramatic but still impressive increases in productivity occurred in a wide variety of sectors and she quotes McCloskey approvingly: “ordinary inventiveness was widespread in the British economy...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT Conclusion
    (pp. 232-238)

    A close look at the eighteenth-century English and French economies does show that improved transport had an important impact on the process of industrialization in many ways. The appearance in England of the four phenomena which characterize the Industrial Revolution -regional specialization, increasing scale of production, the emergence of new industries, and a dramatic increase in the rate of technological innovation - can be explained in terms of the improvements in England’s transport network during the eighteenth century. The non-occurrence of the same phenomena in France can be seen as a natural result of the fact that her transport system...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 239-308)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-328)
  15. Index
    (pp. 329-331)