Trade and Growth in the Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century in England is the central event of modern economic history. In spite of Ranke’s dictum that every moment is ‘equidistant from God’ much of the research on earlier periods has been devoted to seeking its origins and antecedents. The experience of the last two centuries can be interpreted as the diffusion of the mechanism of continuous technical progress from Britain, where in the evocative title of David Landes’s book Prometheus was first unbound, to Western Europe and the United States, then to Russia and Japan and in our own time, with varying degrees of success, to the developing countries. The sequence of Walt Rostow’s seminal works has reflected this very same movement, beginning with the British economy of the nineteenth century and moving outwards in space and time to encompass the contemporary world.
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