Converse's Reviews > Industry and Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution

Industry and Empire by Eric Hobsbawm
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

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bookshelves: abandoned, economics, history, non-fiction

This is one book on my "abandoned" shelf that I will pick up again when I have the time. Hobsbawm, a British Marxist historian, views the British industrial revolution as unique, if only because there were no competing industrialized economies. He argues though that in retrospect the British economy had some advantages for industrialization, such as a cash economy in England if not in all parts of Wales or Scotland, it would still not be obvious to a visitor in 1740 that a qualitative change in how people made a living. He argues that the British empire was both the crucial market for the early textile industrialists and that this vast market was the instigation for industrialization. British manufactuers had a near monopoly on sales to countries outside of Europe, due to its large empire and its naval superiority. In general, its in the discussion of the role of empire that Hobsbawm's Marxism comes out. I got to page 117.
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