Posteado por: distefanoster | agosto 22, 2008

¿Fue revolucionaria la “revolución industrial”?

“How revolutionary was the Industrial Revolution? Compared to political revolutions, like the American and French revolutions that were contemporaneous with it, it was rather drawn-out, its dates usually set between 1760 and 1830 following Ashton (1948). To be sure, it was punctuated by some periods of feverish activity such as the year 1769, the annus mirabilis as Donald Cardwell (1972) called it, in which both James Watt’s separate condenser and Richard Arkwright’s water frame were patented. But, on the whole, economic changes, even economic revolutions, do not have their Bastille Days or their Lenins. Economic change is rarely dramatic, sudden, or heroic. Consequently, some scholars have found the revolutionary aspects difficult to stomach. John Clapham and Herbert Heaton, the doyens of economic history in the 1930s and 1940s, shunned the term Industrial Revolution altogether. In contrast, historians in the 1960s wrote of “Great Discontinuities” (Hartwell, 1971b) and ‘take-offs’ (Rostow, 1960). Yet gradualism remained strong. Hughes (1970, p. 45) said it well when he wrote that anything that lasts so long is hard to think of as abrupt and added that ‘we cannot think of the events of the past seventy years as sudden. Seventy British years [in the period 1760-1830] passed no more rapidly.'”

 

 

J. Mokyr, “Editor’s Introduction: The New Economic History and the Industrial Revolution” in J. Mokyr ed., The British Industrial Revolution: an Economic Perspective, Boulder: Westview Press, 2nd ed., 1999, p. 2.

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