Article

The End of the Economic Old Order: the Great Transition, 1750–1860

James M. Brophy

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237395.013.0008

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 The End of the Economic Old Order: the Great Transition, 1750–1860

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This article focuses on economic history, the old order in German society, and the Great Economic Transition. The industrial ‘take-off’ of the 1840s and 1850s introduced a scale of production that forever changed the material conditions of Germany. The belching smokestacks of factories and locomotives might have tokened swift change, but the foundations for industrial capitalism were long in preparation. This article focuses on this long-term transition toward Germany's modern economy, examining how agriculture and market economies shaped the socioeconomic formations of proto-industrialization, urbanization, and industrialization. No one factor or sector suffices as an interpretive key to explain Germany's transformation. An analysis of the agrarian society, followed by urbanization and industrialization of the German society winds up this article.

Keywords: economic history; great society; Great Economic Transition; industrial capitalism; modern economy; urbanization

Article.  12219 words. 

Subjects: History

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