Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Porque é que a Revolução Industrial ocorreu em Inglaterra?

The Crucial Century, por Anton Howes:

If a peaceful extraterrestrial visited the world in 1550, I often wonder where it would see as being the most likely site of the Industrial Revolution – an acceleration in the pace of innovation, resulting in sustained and continuous economic growth. So many theories about why it happened in Britain seem to have a sense of inevitability about them, but our extraterrestrial visitor would have found very few signs that it would soon occur there. There were many better candidates, on a multitude of metrics. (...)

So Britain’s precocity would have seemed unlikely in 1550. But the exercise potentially also gives us a few clues as to what was important for growth. Indeed, 1550-1650 increasingly appears, to me, to be the crucial century. It was by 1650, for example, that a critical mass of influential inventors and scientists in England were already plotting the creation of what would become the Royal Society – one of the most important institutions in Europe for the promotion of useful technical and scientific knowledge. And it was by 1650 that London had become one of Europe’s largest cities, a major trading centre, and a hub of innovation. More on that another time.

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