The process of industrialization that began in England in the second half of the 18th century, was a scientific, technological, environmental, as well as social revolution. The entire history of Europe – along with the history of most parts of the modern world - cannot be understood without taking into account the huge consequences of the industrialization process.
From another point of view, historians in recent decades have pointed out that the European industrialization process was not as revolutionary as it was originally assumed to be. According to Franklin D. Mendels, the industrial revolution was preceded by a “proto-industrial” phase. Jan de Vries developed this reflection, proposing the concept of “industrious revolution” being a slow transformation in labor and family forms which prepared the floor for modern industry.
Starting with the historical experiences of industrialization in Britain, Switzerland and Italy, the course will raise questions about the different models of industrial development, the relationships between science, technology and industry on one hand and the social and environmental consequences of the industrialization process on the other hand.
Students will be encouraged to compare the European experiences with experiences and problems in other countries (if possible in their own countries of origin) and to think about present implications of different models of economic development.
The method of instruction will be input lectures, newspaper articles, in-class exercises, and (if possible) invited guest lectures, especially about Italian industrialization. During the first weeks, sessions will be supported by the assignment of seminal readings. Influential essays will be dissected with regard to central concepts of economic history, history of technology and of environmental problems. The students will be requested to develop a research project about industrialization (or economic history) in their own countries. During the second part of the course, we will structure discussion around students’ own results in their countries and about the different models of industrial development - all in connection to what they read as supportive material.
Students’ grades will be composed of three pillars:
1. Development of a research project (30%)
2. Class participation (20%)
3. Preparation and delivery of a 30-minute speech with power point and hand-out (50%)
Upon finishing this course students should be able to:
- be aware of different models of industrial or economic development
- identify problems and conflicts in development experiences
- think about the origins of today’s environmental problems
- become familiar with the social and cultural consequences of technological change
- become comfortable with their body and voice when presenting a paper
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T.S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830; with a new pref. and bibliogr. by Pat Hudson, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997.
Maxine Berg, The Age of Manufactures, 1700-1820, London: Fontana Paperbacks, 1985, 378 p.
Maxine Berg, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007.
Maxine Berg and Kristine Bruland (eds.), Technological Revolutions in Europe: Historical Perspectives, Cheltenham [etc.] : E. Elgar, cop. 1998.
Maxine Berg, Pat Hudson and Michael Sonenscher (eds.), Manufacture in Town and Country Before the Factory, Cambridge; London [etc.] : Cambridge U. P., 1986.
Richard Brown, Economic Revolutions in Britain, 1750-1850: Prometeus Unbound, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1992
François Crouzet, The first Industrialists: the Problem of Origins, Cambridge; London [etc.]: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985.
Martin J. Daunton, Progress and Poverty. An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700- 1850, Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1995.
Eric J. Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire: an Economic History of Britain since 1750, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969.
David S. Landes, The Unbound Prometheus. Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present, Oxford: Oxford U. P., 1969.
Pat Hudson, The Industrial Revolution, London; New York [etc.] : E. Arnold, 1992.
Pat Hudson, Regions and Industries: a Perspective on the Industrial Revolution in Britain, Cambridge; New York [etc.] : Cambridge U. P., 1989.
Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton: Princeton U. P., 2000.
R. Floud, P. Johnson (ed.), The Cambridge History of modern Britain. Vol. I: Industrialisation, 1700-1860, Cambridge: Cambridge U. P., 2004.
Joel Mokyr, The Enlightened Econom: an Economic History of Britain, 1700-1850, New Haven: Yale U. P., 2009.
Joel Mokyr (ed.), The British industrial revolution: an economic perspective, Boulder Colo.; San Francisco [etc.] : Westview Press, cop. 1993
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Douglas Farnie, David Jeremy (eds.), The fibre that changed the world: the cotton industry in international perspective, 1600-1990s, Oxford: Oxford U. P., 2004
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Jan De Vries, The Industrious Revolution. Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present. Cambridge, Cambridge U. P., 2008
Akira Hayami, Japan’s Industrious Revolution. Economic and Social Transformation in the Early Modern Period, 2015
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Franklin F. Mendels, « Proto-Industrialization: The First Phase of the Industrialization Process »,
The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 32, n° 1, 1972, pp. 241-261
Gay L. Gullickson, Spinners and weavers of Auffay, Rural industry and the sexual division of labor in a French village, 1750-1850, Cambridge: U. P., 1986, 256p.
Ulrich Pfister, A General Model of Proto-Industrial Growth, in : René Leboutte (éd.), Proto- Industrialisation, Recherches Rrécentes et Nouvelles Perspectives. Genève: librairie Droz S.A., 1996, p. 73-92.
Katrina Honeyman, Women, Gender, and Industrialisation in England, 1700–1990, (2000).
Peter Kirby, Child Labour in Britain, 1750-1870, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, 172p. J.-T. Ward, The Age of Change 1770-1870, London: A. and C. Black, 1975.
Richard Brown, Economic Revolutions in Britain, 1750-1850: Prometeus Unbound?, Cambridge: C.U.P. 1992.
Pat Hudson, The Genesis of Industrial Capital: a Study of the West Riding Wool Textile Industry: c. 1750 - 1850, Cambridge; New York : Cambridge U. P., 1986.
Peter Kriedte, Hans Medick, Jürgen Schlumbohm, Industrialization Before Industrialization: Rural Industry in the Genesis of Capitalism, Cambridge; London [etc.] : Cambridge U. P. ; Paris: Ed. de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 1981.
Franklin Mendels, Industrialization and Population Pressure in Eighteenth-Century Flanders, New York: Arno Press, 1981.
Last updated: May 11, 2023