+612 9045 4394
Energy and the English Industrial Revolution - E. A. Wrigley

Energy and the English Industrial Revolution


Published: 19th August 2010
RRP $41.95
This title is not in stock at the Booktopia Warehouse and needs to be ordered from our supplier.
Click here to read more about delivery expectations.

The industrial revolution transformed the productive power of societies. It did so by vastly increasing the individual productivity, thus delivering whole populations from poverty. In this new account by one of the world's acknowledged authorities the central issue is not simply how the revolution began but still more why it did not quickly end. The answer lay in the use of a new source of energy. Pre-industrial societies had access only to very limited energy supplies. As long as mechanical energy came principally from human or animal muscle and heat energy from wood, the maximum attainable level of productivity was bound to be low. Exploitation of a new source of energy in the form of coal provided an escape route from the constraints of an organic economy but also brought novel dangers. Since this happened first in England, its experience has a special fascination, though other countries rapidly followed suit.

'This book has changed the way I see the world. Smart, engaging and beautifully written, Wrigley's study of the Industrial Revolution casts a fascinating light on current energy questions. If you want to understand how our dependency on fossil fuels began and what we might do to escape it, you must read this book.' George Monbiot
'Here, Tony Wrigley develops the central themes that have characterized his distinctive contribution to the economic transformation of England. There is no better account of the role that the energy revolution played in the escape from the constraints of the Malthusian pre-industrial economy.' Nicholas Crafts, University of Warwick
'Tony Wrigley is one of the true Grand Men of the economic history profession. In this book he analyzes in depth the role of energy supplies in the emergence of modern economic growth and thus strikes a fascinating and most timely link between economic history and contemporary issues of energy and environment. Energy economics are of central importance to any study of economic change, especially when supported by the breadth of the learning underlying this book.' Joel Mokyr, Northwestern University
'Whether wind or solar power can ever provide the energy needed in an increasingly energy-conscious and insecure world is debatable but this excellent book provides a historical perspective that is either ignored or given little credence in contemporary debates of considerable subtlety and relevance. This is a book not to be ignored.' The Historical Association (history.org.uk)
'... an accessible and comprehensive guide to his interpretation of the industrial revolution. It offers at once a clear and compelling argument for the centrality of energy in the historical rise of industrial societies and an opportunity to meditate on the future sustainability of an economic order founded on fossil fuels.' Jan de Vries, Economic History Review
'... an often brilliant and always perceptive presentation of some of the key conclusions from every decade of his half-century of academic research to date.' Michael Anderson, Population Studies

List of figuresp. x
List of tablesp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Opening Pandora's jarp. 1
Overview of the nature and structure of the bookp. 2
A sketch of the argumentp. 7
The limits to growth in organic economiesp. 9
The views of the classical economistsp. 10
The energy constraintp. 13
Production and reproductionp. 17
Conclusionp. 21
The transition from an organic to an energy-rich economyp. 26
Agricultural growth, industrial growth, and transport improvementsp. 28
Manpower productivity in agriculturep. 33
The energy revolutionp. 36
Conclusionp. 47
Favourable developmentsp. 53
Agricultural change and urbanisationp. 55
Urban growthp. 58
The consumer revolutionp. 68
The agricultural systemp. 73
The rise in agricultural outputp. 78
The London effectp. 88
Conclusionp. 90
Energy and transportp. 91
The history of energy consumptionp. 91
Coal production and transport provisionp. 101
Other improvements in transport facilitiesp. 108
Conclusionp. 110
Occupational structure, aggregate income, and migrationp. 113
Occupational structure and migrationp. 113
Occupational change and aggregate incomep. 127
Aggregate income trends and migrationp. 135
Conclusionp. 138
Production and reproductionp. 140
The components of population changep. 144
England in a wider setting: the concomitants of faster population growthp. 152
Regional diversityp. 163
Conclusionp. 172
Retrospect of Part II as a wholep. 175
What set England apart from her neighboursp. 179
The timing and nature of change in the industrial revolutionp. 181
Preliminary considerationsp. 181
Relative growth ratesp. 187
The escape from the constraints of an organic economyp. 193
The changing character of the growth surgep. 196
Why the growth surge continuedp. 198
A summary of the character and timing of the changes which took placep. 205
Modernisation and the industrial revolutionp. 211
Introductory commentp. 211
England and the Netherlandsp. 216
The relationship between industrialisation and modernisationp. 225
National entities and lopsided growthp. 228
Conclusionp. 232
Retrospectivep. 237
The industrial revolution and energyp. 239
The energy revolutionp. 239
Pandora's jar againp. 245
Appendixp. 251
Bibliographyp. 258
Indexp. 268
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521131858
ISBN-10: 0521131855
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 19th August 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.47
Edition Number: 1