McCants, Anne. "Exotic Goods, Popular Consumption, and the Standard of Living: Thinking about Globalization in the Early Modern World." Journal of World History 18 (2007): 433-462.
Mokyr, Joel. "Useful Knowledge and Technology," and "An Enlightened Political Economy." The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain, 1700-1850. Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 40-78. ISBN: 9780300124552.
This week's readings offer us a chance to study the evolution of a classic historiographical question, the origins and characteristics of the Industrial Revolution in the West. The old view, current until the late twentieth century, held that modern industrialization happened first in Britain from ca. 1750 to ca. 1850, primarily due to rapid, substantial technological advances in the means of production. (Anne McCants and I will elaborate on this view when we meet in class.) In the last 15-20 years, however, almost all aspects of this story have been challenged. Our readings today are split among two significant branches of revisionism:
In what ways do McCants and van Zanden question the geography and chronology of the old story that situates the origins of the modern industrial world in Britain between 1750 and 1850?
In what ways do Mokyr and Allen rewrite the history of industrialization in Britain itself between 1750 and 1850?
For discussion in class (i.e., you don't need to write a response to this question for your forum posting): What does the new synthesis on the Industrial Revolution emerging out of this work look like? In what ways does this new synthesis resemble other recent trends in historiography we have discussed this term?
Berg, Maxine. "Product Innovation in Core Consumer Industries in Eighteenth-Century Britain." In Berg, Maxine, and Kristine Bruland. Technological Revolutions in Europe: Historical Perspectives. Edward Elgar, 1998. ISBN: 9781858986814.
Pamuk, Sevket. "The Black Death and the Origins of the Great Divergence across Europe." European Review of Economic History 11 (December 2007): 289-317.