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The Broad Outlines of British Economic Development in the Industrial Revolution Period, 1750-1850 These would appear

to be the main facts to be taken into account as scholars presently see them 1. The growth of real per capita income was modest until the 1830s. Over the first part of the 18th century, 1700-1760, income grew at roughly 0.5% per annum. Growth stalled for a couple of decades and then resumed 1780-1830 at about that same 0.5% per annum rate. This was definite economic improvement but it was hardly “revolutionary”. Modern growth at more than 1.0% per annum came to Britain, as it did to many other European countries, in the 1830s and later. There may well have been a revolution in industrial technology and organization in the years after 1780 but it did not at that time underpin high rates of income growth.

2. The growth of British population accelerated over the 18th century. Despite some emigration, the population of England was 75% larger in 1801 than it had been in 1701, and by 1831 was 2 ½ times as large. Most of the population growth came after 1740 (see Daunton, Figure 15.2). Britain’s expanding economy was able to accommodate, or to absorb, a large increase in population and not only sustain its level of income but to make some income gains as well. To use the phrase coined by Keynes, it had “chained the Malthusian devil.”

3. The industrial sector of the economy expanded rapidly throughout the 18th century, and especially rapidly after 1780. What distinguished Britain from other economies is that, by the end of the 18th century it had become much more industrial. Before 1780 it was rural and traditional industry, mostly handicraft industry, that was growing. After 1780 it came increasingly to be factory industry.

4. Britain became a notably coal-using economy. Production of coal increased five-fold over the course of the 18th century, and by 1830 it had doubled again. To a far greater extent than any other economy, Britain had come to depend upon coal for fuel.

5. Britain became a major exporter of manufactured goods and to dominate world trade. There is now considerable agreement that. Changes in those two industries can account for almost all of the observed gain in total factor productivity. the classic period of the Industrial Revolution. en route to becoming the “workshop of the world”. They tripled again between 1800 and 1830. . which is of course why real per capita income did not grow more rapidly. Over the course of the course of the 18th century British exports increased 8-fold. A more careful examination of available statistical data leads to the conclusion that industrial growth and reorganization did not initially generate large gains in productivity as once believed. There was a huge move toward international specialization. in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. productivity gains were quite modest. 7. 6. A point over which there is much more controversy is that such productivity gains as were achieved were largely concentrated in the two industries most associated with technological transformation — textiles and iron. External trade expanded greatly.