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Rethinking the Industrial Revolution: a debate at the British Academy

Recently, Joel Mokyr wrote the following, in a piece entitled "'The Holy Land of Industrialism': rethinking the Industrial Revolution"

"On the eve of the Industrial Revolution, Britain’s high-skilled workers were superior to those anywhere else, and this difference was a critical element in its technological performance during the Industrial Revolution. The institution that produced this superior competence was British apprenticeship, which was the chief source of technical human capital in this age."

Not everyone agreed...

In a reply entitled 'Slavery, Atlantic trade and skills: a response to Mokyr’s ‘Holy Land of Industrialism’', Maxine Berg and Pat Hudson wrote: 'We challenge the idea that Britain’s short-lived industrial primacy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries is explained by ‘comparative advantage’ in high-level artisan skills possessed by an elite workforce. Skills were vital to the industrial revolution but the timing of change and its regional concentration suggest that Britain’s rise to dominance in Atlantic trade was the major causal factor. Rapidly growing markets in Africa and the Americas, especially for textiles and metalwares, centred on Britain’s leading role in the slave trade and the extension of her plantation frontier in the Caribbean. Structural and industrial change, concentrated in the economic hinterlands of Atlantic ports, facilitated product and process revolutions. Diverse Atlantic demands and new Atlantic raw material supplies stimulated skill development and key innovations in light and heavy industry.'

For the whole debate, including other responses, please see the Journal of the British Academy, Volume 9.

Sat 13 Nov 2021, 19:32 | Tags: Publication

call for applications for the EUI-funded PhD programme

The call for applications for the EUI funded PhD programme is opening on 1 November 2021. The EUI Department of History and Civilisation offers exceptional opportunities to study global connections from early modern to modern European history, in the magical city and setting of Florence.

Sun 31 Oct 2021, 17:58 | Tags: Postgraduate, Fellowship

Invitation to a roundtable discussion from Roland Wenzlhuemer

Dear colleagues and friends,
on Wednesday, 3 November 2021, researchers from Edinburgh and Munich will come together in an online roundtable on 'Disconnection and (institutional) cooperation in Global History‘. The roundtable considers how the concept of ‚disconnect‘ could be useful for thinking about the research agenda of global history and its relationship to the present – and how to counter ‚disconnect‘ at an
institutional level.
Confirmed speakers are: Christina Brauner (Tübingen/Munich), Jeremy Dell, Meha Priyadarshini (both Edinburgh) and Roland Wenzlhuemer (Munich). The event will be chaired by Ismay Milford (Edinburgh).
The online event will be hosted on MS Teams. Please register, if you want to participate. More information on the ECGH programme and the registration links can be found on the Edinburgh ECGH website.
See you there!

Roland (Wenzlhuemer)

Thu 28 Oct 2021, 13:30

'Conscience and Victorian Empire' an online talk by Priya Satia (Stanford)

This Friday, come listen to a talk at Warwick by Priya Satia entitled "Conscience and Victorian Empire: How History Helped Make History in British India".
organised by the Critical South Asia Group at Warwick. All welcome!
brief comments by Aditya Sarkar, Pablo Mukherjee and Anne Gerritsen
Mon 18 Oct 2021, 07:51 | Tags: public lecture

Coventry as global

Join us for a conversation between Coventry activists, academics and representatives who will come together to reflect on the complex history of migration, governance and asylum in the city, and explore what the consequences have been for its many communities.

Confirmed panelists include: Cllr Kindy Sandhu (Earlsdon), Lorraine Mponela (Coventry Asylum & Refugee Action Group), Reem Doukmak (Coventry Refuge & Migrant Centre), Kailing Xie (Warwick Uni), Rosamaria Cisneros (Coventry Uni) and Bernie Flatley (Coventry Roma Community)

Part of the Resonate Festival.

Thu 10 Jun 2021, 18:18

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