Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Causes of the Industrial Revolution

Based on this review, Joel Mokyr's The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1850 might be of interest. From the review:
But while Mokyr does not claim to have discovered the one true cause of the Industrial Revolution, there is a grand central message that unifies his book. It is that the industrial revolution owes a great deal to the Enlightenment. “What is new here,” he writes, “is not an argument that the Enlightenment changed history, for better and/or worse, but that its economic effects on the wealth-creating capabilities of the affected societies have been overlooked.” Mokyr has long emphasized the economic value of new ideas and he thus emphasizes that “Britain’s intellectual sphere had turned into a competitive market for ideas, in which logic and evidence were becoming more important and ‘authority’ as such was on the defensive.”


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