Britains Industrialization and Chinas Stagnation Essay

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As our textbook demonstrates, there were a range of factors that “loaded the dice of fate” in the favor of Britain to ensure that the industrial revolution occurred around 1800 in their nation. One of these factors were raw materials crucial for industrialization to occur. As our textbook illuminates, Britain had large quantities of coal and iron to use and invest in this revolution, and to ensure its success.[footnoteRef:1] There was also the advantage of accessibility of New World lands as means of financial investment and also to offer raw materials, should the movement of industrialization warrant it.[footnoteRef:2] However, perhaps the more compelling reason was social and environmental. Great Britain fostered an environment that was experimental and that frankly encouraged experimentation. For a great mind, this is a crucial. Even the most brilliant minds need the opportunity to try and fail repeatedly in order to create a more brilliant invention. For real change to occur, there needs to be an environment that sees the importance and the value of such a process. Britain fostered an environment that encouraged such experimentation and actively valued it through investment. The textbook points to the precious relationship between the inventor and the financier as one of the pivotal aspects of the industrial revolution, a relationship that was nurtured in Britain.

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[footnoteRef:3] One particular such relationship that helped to fuel Britain’s industrial progress and development was the one between James Watt and Matthew Boulton: Boulton was the one who made a laboratory available to Watt so he could spend time tinkering with the machinery, refining it, and ultimately helping to develop a device that revolutionized transportation and manufacturing, creating a process by which industrial processes could make items faster and at a lower price with machines, rather than by hand.[footnoteRef:4] This was such a valuable change that even Leeds Cloth Merchants defended the use of machines in the manufacturing of clothes, even if it meant a transitional scarcity of jobs for men for a certain time: [1: Rober Tignor et al., Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World from the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present. The Mongol Empire to the Present. Volume Two. (New York: WW Norton, 2014), 575-576.] [2: Ibid.] [3: Ibid.] [4: Ibid.]

From these Premises, we the undersigned Merchants, think it a Duty we owe to ourselves, to the Town of Leeds, and to the Nation at large, to declare that we will….....

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Harrison, John Fletcher Clews, ed. Society and Politics in England, 1780-1960: A Selection of Readings and Comments Edited. Harper and Row, 1965.

Tignor, Robert, Jeremy Adelman, Peter Brown, Benjamin Elman, Stephen Kotkin, Gyan Prakash, Brent Shaw et al. World Together, Worlds Apart: Fourth International Student Edition. Vol. 2. WW Norton & Company, 2014.

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