Rethinking the Industrial Revolution

Industrial revolutionFive Centuries of Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Capitalism in England

Michael Andrew Žmolek, University of Iowa

In Rethinking the Industrial Revolution: Five Centuries of Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Capitalism in England, Michael Andrew Žmolek offers the first in-depth study of the evolution of English manufacturing from the feudal and early modern periods within the context of the development of agrarian capitalism. With an emphasis on the relationship between Parliament and working Britons, this work challenges readers to ‘rethink’ the common perception of the role of the state in the first industrial revolution as essentially passive. The work chronicles how a long train of struggles led by artisans resisting efforts by employers to transform production along capitalist lines, prompted employers to appeal to the state to suppress this resistance by coercion.

PART I: ENGLAND TRANSFORMED: MANUFACTURING AND AGRARIAN CAPITALISM, 1348–1783

1. The Pre-History of Industry
2. Parliament and Revolution
3. Agrarian Capitalism: The Key to Britain’s Rise to Power
4. An Empire in Crisis
5. Harvesting the Agrarian Revolution

PART II: ‘SUCH MACHINES … AS CANNOT ERR’: CAPITAL AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE MAKING OF INDUSTRIAL ENGLAND, 1700–1800

6. Technology and History
7. The Social Origins of the Factory
8. Factories and Machinery
9. Capital and Industry

PART III: CUSTOM’S LAST STAND: THE RISE AND FALL OF ARTISAN-LED RESISTANCE TO CAPITALISM IN ENGLAND, 1783–1848

10. Custom and Law
11. Rebellion and Reaction
12. Class and the State
13. Reform and the Oligarchy
14. Chartists and Liberals

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