An industrial revolution is the process of economic change by which a country is shifted on to a path of sustained growth in productivity and living standards. It represents the origins of modern industry in today's developed countries and it is what today's developing countries are now trying to promote or to bring to a successful conclusion. The book identifies the strategic changes in economic organisation, industrial structure and technological progress associated with the industrial revolution which took place in Britain over the century 1750-1850 and which marked a watershed in world economic development - the beginnings of modern economic growth for today's developed countries and an example of spontaneous industrialisation for today's third world countries. The book assesses both starting point and achievement, analyses the substance of economic transformation and evaluates the role of government policy and institutional change in retarding or accelerating economic development.
The second edition updates and expands the first by taking into account (and giving bibliographical references for) major new knowledge and ideas appearing within the past 15 years on the industrial revolution. This work has proved a successful textbook for sixth form students as well as undergraduate students in faculties of economics, history, geography or social science generally. It is, however, sufficiently nontechnical to be intelligible to a general reader interested in putting problems of economic development into historical perspective.
The modern world began with the industrial revolution and the industrial revolution began in Britain. Over the course of a century after about 1750 the whole basis of the economy was transformed. Manufacturing replaced agriculture as the principal source of wealth and employer of labour: the primary sector gave place to the secondary and the tertiary. At the same time, by 1850 more than half of the British population lived in a town for the first time in our history: the class structure and the social life which we still recognize came into being. In Deane's concise and authoritative account of this most decisive of moments in our history we have a work which remains as accessible to the general reader and as essential for students as it was when it first appeared in 1965. (Kirkus UK)