View Full Version : The Industrial Revolution

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 10:36
Heres a none political yet slightly contraversial thread to get yer teeth into,
One is of the firm opinion that had not old Henry and his carrot topped Daughter kicked the Church of Rome out of this green and pleasent land the Industrial Revolution would not have happened here.
Arguments against this opinion please.

28th Jul 2006, 10:44
Not going to argue against this. Given the Catholic record of denying the bleeding obvious ("no, no, Galileo, put down that textbook" etc) I would imagine that as soon as the likes of Trevithick mentioned power, the pointy-hatted peabrains would have added "and the glory"....

Also, a spirit of invention and entrepreneurship is lacking in most countries where the bods that control the status quo are most likely to suffer from the changes... can you imagine the Pope saying "ah, we accept that most of our stuff is a tad wrong, so please help yourself to the contents of the safe"?

28th Jul 2006, 10:48
So why didnīt happen in the Netherlands and Germany first? :hmm:

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 11:00
Well from what we learned of Cromwells Puritans others can be equally fanatical, remember long after the left footers had been stripped of power religious police once patrolled the streets of Edinburgh on a sunday and one could be flogged for failing to attending church,or indeed hanged in public as one young student was.
One also admits that the abundance of coal and iron ore also played its part.
Dunno if there is much in that way in Holland but Germany was rich in same had indeed made a startand caught up pretty swiftly as we know to our cost

28th Jul 2006, 12:23
Alas Mr Draper had the catholics been there it would still have happened.

They only stuck their sticky noses in science stuff that they saw as having no money making power and which brought their bizarre view of the world into question. :ugh:

The invention of the steam engine could immediately be identified as something which was going to make a fortune and it didn't mention the moon, sun, stars or tides. The catlicks would have been fine with it.

28th Jul 2006, 12:44
England had a stable government, effective central bank and good credit market, this may have helped. Otherwise it's, like always, a combination of forces (tranportation, communication, technology) which happens to be in line at that particular time that created the best conditions and people who happen to be there to grab the opportunity. I believe it all started with the textile industry which tradionally had been concentrated in England.

So why didn´t happen in the Netherlands and Germany first? Industrial Revolution could'nt have started without the Agriculture Revolution which already started around 1650 in Holland which ideas have been copied by England.

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 12:45
Yeh but they would probably have insisted that a priest walk in front of all steam engines instead of a bloke with a flag.
More likely Geordie Stephenson and thingy Trevethic would have finished up on a pile of firewood.
All religion is anti progess,they prefer their flock to remain in ignorance hungry shoeless and have their arses hanging out of their kecks.

28th Jul 2006, 12:51
The first country to go through the Industrial Revolution was Great Britain and was followed a good few years later by European countries such as France and Germany.

The reason for this? Coal.

Great Britain was (and still is) blessed with an abundance of coal. I know that the European countries also have coal but unfortunately they also have an abundance of sulphur. The gizmo to remove the sulphur from the coal thus making it usable had not yet been invented. No sulphur in our coal so it was usable!

This meant that we won the race to industrialisation, Empire grew bigger, Britannia rules the waves! Hurrah!

(As an aside, did we have industrialisation as a result of the raw materials from the colonies or did we get the colonies as a means of developing a market for the products of industrialisation? Discuss!)


28th Jul 2006, 12:54
No mention yet of Calvin? Can that be because the collective approval extends to him? Or is it just that Religious Studies 101 has not reached him yet?

Consider the intensity of monastic and other study and debate over fifteen hundred years on theology, logic, accounting, shipbuilding, navigation, astronomy, clockbuilding, optics, lenses, and commerce, the scientific research into crop genetics and improvement, animal husbandry, power development (windmills, watermills, etc), medicine, education, universities, hospitals that made the monasteries an immensely wealthy prime economic target (the wool trade alone) for Henry VIII and his daughter and contrast them with progress in similar fields under Islam, Buddhism, and whatever else you can think of, then and now.

Who was ahead?

And Oh Yes! Yes! Yes! I have heard of the Inquisition and the Crusades, and No! No! No! I am not and never have been a Roman Catholic.

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 13:31
Hmmm, those Quakers seemed to get their heads round industrialisation pretty quickly,lot of them were movers and shakers in the new industries,more in the exploiting sense than the getting ones hands mucky and inventing stuff though.

28th Jul 2006, 13:48
Hmmm, them Amish is proddies. Seems to disprove the theory a bit....

28th Jul 2006, 14:01
Does some of it also stem from the fact that the Germans and Hollanders, among their European counterparts, are perhaps more socialized (in the social sense):} and thus less willing (or were) to use others for their own ends? Industrialization cannot happen without a dramatic shift in the heirarchy of power from providing collectively as a mass to providing for the masses to reap a profit, thus creating distinct social classes and a seperation in society. The CoE would have seen that the seeds for this were already in place, as well as having sown various other seeds of discontent which perhaps provoked certain upward-motivated individuals to find ways to usurp the established power of the church.

As already mentioned, and is the driving force in world power shifts yet today, a readily available source of energy certainly contributed.

28th Jul 2006, 14:09
I'm no expert in this topic, but I'm thinking that not only was a reliable source of energy required to advance the industrial revolution, but also a reliable source of financial capital.

As opposed to, let's say, craft or unmechanized agriculture, industry demands that multiple workplaces be collected together into one place, a factory or some kind of plant. Each workplace has a capital cost (a standard metric in economics), and in order for the plant to remain in business the sum of revenue produced by the workplaces in it must exceed the ammortized cost of the plant over time.

Somehow, the capital required to build the plant has to be assembled, either through previous savings, outside investors who would share in any profits or through borrowing at a rate of intrest. I'd imagine that Britain's sophisticated banking system at the time of the industrial revolution had much to do with making it possible.

Holland at the time also had a sophisticated banking system and financial market (a lot of the methods developed back then in Holland are still in use today in various forms). This contributed in no small part to the emergence of a very wealthy merchant/trading class. Holland, though, had no reliable source of energy. What they did have was a tolerant society that welcomed philosophers, scientists, et al, who were unwelcome in their native countries.

28th Jul 2006, 14:40

Were all those great works you mention due to, or despite the strictures of Rome?
Could they be more specifically be attributed to Europeans rather than Roman Catholics? I'm thinking Copernicus et al again!

28th Jul 2006, 15:19
I do hope, cheerio, that we are not moving towards one of the standard dreary PPRuNe triumphs of lighting afresh on some inconsistency that everyone knew about five hundred years ago, and using that with the "Aha!" that marks religious controversy here.

We are talking of a continent that ran from Ireland to Asia Minor, with two great metropolitan centres at Rome and Constantinople, and a ferment of races, peoples, movements all around. Of course some were bright and some stupid, some enlightened and some hidebound. Nevertheless, with all its limitations, the spirit was one of inquiry and discussion. It is the same with the Jewish tradition of the Talmudhochum.

The spirit is summed up in Paul, First Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 9 and 10: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away".

Contrast that with the second verse of the Koran which asserts that it is: "The Scripture whereof there is no coubt".

Turning to ORAC, it may be even with the Amish that all is not what it seems at first, Ahhh, blush. We do not in Canada have Amish, but we do have closed societies of H********* and M*********. I learned recently from an incontrovertible but, such is the precision of which English is capable, not necessarily impeccable, authority of field rank in the Canadian Armed Forces
that military bases are from time to time approached by the Elders, and maybe even Youngers, of H******** or M******** colonies to contribute to the gene pool, no strings, as it were, attached.

I learned with pride that these good fellows, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men (there was no demand for the women) albeit but recently wearied by combat in Afghanistan, or peacekeeping in Cyprus or the Lebanon, will go the extra mile, assume the additional burden, of this selfless labour. I freely confess I was quite choked up.

28th Jul 2006, 15:36
Mr. D. I would recommend a book called 'Pavane', by Keith Richards., posits just such a situation.

OK, it's science-fantasy and a bit away with the fairies at times (literally) but it gives a logical framework of 'what could have'.

It's also a damn good book.

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 15:56
Think we have spoken of this before Mr M, one mentioned a book one had read many moons ago ,a future history where the premis was that the English fleet had been defeated by the Armada and consiqently England had been under the thrall of Catholic Spain for a few hundred years,think it was set in the ninteen sixties when the steam engine had just been invented,think that was the same book.

28th Jul 2006, 16:13
Mrs A.Chik, you probably refer to the first Multinational (VOC) and the first stock market (AMS) in the world. As for the energy sources, indeed it wasn't until late in the 19th century that the coal mines in Limburg were explored and from there it went downhill... :(

28th Jul 2006, 16:17
Had the steam engine been invented in the sixties instead of ... erm when it was ... then there are those who would be happy at the fact as they might therefore still be in service. Of couse, they would also attire themselves, not in pointy hats, but sombre anoraks.

28th Jul 2006, 16:17
You are indeed correct about the book Mr. D, just I do not remember the earlier conversation.

At all.

Now where did I leave those anti-senility pills?

28th Jul 2006, 18:06
Mr. D. I would recommend a book called 'Pavane', by Keith Richards Ahem, Keith Roberts, ISBN 85798 937 6

This aye night, this aye night,
This aye night and all,
Fire and fleet and candle-light,
and Christ receive thy saule.
The Lyke-Wake Dirge

:O :O :O

Not that it have it on my shelf and am presently rereading it......

tony draper
28th Jul 2006, 18:09
Talk the talk? but have you walked the walk Mr ORAC.

Lance Murdoch
28th Jul 2006, 18:18
No doubt a number of factors came into play to start the industrial revolution. One thing which is hugely important for any form of advancement is social/ human organisation. Maybe Britain had a lead in this because of its military prowess. Seamanship was probably the only technical job requiring discipline and organisation in the eighteenth century. Britain was the pre-eminent naval power in those days.
The idea that the industrial revolution didnt happen in Germany or Holland because they are more social seems to omit the fact that pre industrial societies were very hierachical with power resting solely on land ownership.
I think that Henry VIII did us all a favour by seceeding from the Catholic church, whether this act assisted in the industrial revolution or not is hard to say.
The British Empire (apart from most of the African bits) was acquired long before the industrial revolution. I think it quite possible that the acccumulation of capital brought about by this will have helped in the industrial revolution.
The abundance of coal was an important factor but equally as important was the ability to mine it (back to social organisation). In the eighteenth century Britain went through a major fuel shortage (i.e. all the forests were being chopped down). Without the invention of Newcomens steam pump it would have been impossible to stop mines from flooding and the industrial revolution would have stalled through lack of fuel.