Why The Industrial Revolution Happened Here

Professor Jeremy Black examines one of the most extraordinary periods in British history: the Industrial Revolution. He explains the unique economic, social and political conditions that by the 19th century, led to Britain becoming the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. It was a time that transformed the way people think, work and play forever.

He traces the unprecedented explosion of new ideas and technological inventions that transformed Britain’s agricultural society into an increasingly industrial and urbanised one. Why the Industrial Revolution Happened Here explores two fascinating questions – why did the industrial revolution happen when it did, and why did it happen in Britain?

Professor Black discusses the reasons behind this transformation; from Britain’s coal reserves, which gave it a seemingly inexhaustible source of power, to the ascendency of political liberalism, with engineers and industrialists able to meet and share ideas and inventions. He explains the influence that geniuses like Josiah Wedgewood had on the consumer revolution and travels to Antigua to examine the impact Britain’s empire had on this extraordinary period of growth.

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  1. Very good documentary. Explains the roots of industrial revolution in XVIII century Britain. Of course it’s a british documentary so England is glorified(except the talk about slave trade) and France criticized.

  2. At least the narrator had the decency to acknowledge the appalling use of slaves and their miserable short lives which helped fuel England’s “great” industrial revolution.
    The existence of ensuing coal pollution, the gap between industrial workers and their rich overlords wasn’t discussed.
    Yes, it is amazing how roadways, canals and steam engines made all of this mass production possible.
    I can’t help but wonder, if women had been treated as equals back then; and studied engineering and joined think tanks; like they do now; what else could have been accomplished?

  3. thnaks admin nice post

  4. @ rowan: The docu also has a clear bias toward liberalism and its positive effects.

  5. The documentary has a clear bias toward the perceived virtue of industrialization, and fails to address its negative negative social and environmental effects. Its explanatory power is greatly weakened by its failure to address why industrialization happened in Europe rather then China which also had the perquisites for industrialization. The doco does provide some interesting facts.