The Industrial Revolution: Britain and Europe

Joel Mokyr

in The Lever of Riches

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780195074772
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854981 | DOI:
The Industrial Revolution: Britain and Europe


This chapter examines why Britain managed, for about a century, to generate and diffuse superior production techniques at a faster rate than the Continent, and to serve as a model that all European nations wished to emulate; and how and why it eventually lost its leadership and technology. It observes that technological success depended on both the presence of positive elements and on the absence of negative ones. The chapter notes that the generation of technological ideas and the ability to implement them are among the positive factors that provide technological successes. It further observes that one crucial difference between Britain and the Continent that helped Britain to establish its head start was its endowment of skilled labor at the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

Keywords: Britain; Continent; European nations; technological ideas; skilled labor; Industrial Revolution

Chapter.  14204 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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