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The Industrial Revolution in Britain

Mingay, eds. Land, Labour, and Population in the Industrial Revolution (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967), 207.

3R. M. Hartwell, The Industrial Revolution and Economic Growth (London: Methuen & Co., 1971), 18586.

the driving engine of industrialization was demand generated by

an increasingly prosperous home market.4

If the entire world were today in a "developed" economic condition, the question of the forces that drove Britain's industrialization would be primarily of historical interest. It would be simply a matter of seeking to understand an important episode in the past. But, in fact, about three quarters of the world's people live in a state of persistant underdevelopment and consequent mass poverty. This makes the question of development economics one of the most pressing issues of the contemporary world. Thus we tend to look at the Industrial Revolution in Britain not only to understand the past, but to seek guidance for the present. Is the key to economic "takeoff" in an underdeveloped country to be found in exports, or in development of a domestic market? The familiar example of Japan and other East Asian newlyindustrialized economies seems outwardly to favor the export theory. One can drive down any American street and see Toyotas and Hyundais as physical testimony of the power of exports to fuel economic growth. But the real driving force of industrialization may be more complex, for these exports depend on alread


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