Industrial Revolution in Britain Essay

Pages: 5 (1330 words)  ·  Style: Chicago  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Economics

Industrial Revolution in Britain

With all additional arguments that will be presented further below, the reason that modern economic growth emerged first in Britain and not somewhere else in Europe was that the economic, political, institutional, cultural and geographical conditions had only occurred in Britain at that moment of time. At the same time, through comparison with the other European countries of that time and with the United States, this paper will also aim to prove that the first modern economy could only develop in Britain out of all countries in existence at that point, because of cumulative conditions becoming true.

One of the most important condition that needed to be fulfilled for a modern economic growth was legislative and institutional and was in fact related to property rights. The property right is the fundamental element that needs to be in place in order for a functional modern economy to work. In many countries, property rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, in others the legislative framework simply re-emphasizes these rights. However, in all cases, the state defends property rights because this is what drives the individual entrepreneur towards following his objective of adding wealth and maximizing profits.

As Saumitra Jha points out, the debate between theoreticians has not been able to conclude whether property rights had been in place and had been supported by the central authority before the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution

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, however, one thing is certain: at the end of the 17th century, these rights were already tacitly recognized and thoroughly supported by the central government, despite the social and political turmoil that went on during this time. This created one of the first premises for the development of a functional modern capitalist economy, based on the market. In none of the countries was this already in place.

Essay on Industrial Revolution in Britain Assignment

From an institutional perspective, the birth of the modern economy happened in Britain also because the birth of the modern political system occurred there. By the beginning of the 17th century, the British had in place something that closely resembled the modern system: a checks and balances system founded on a functional Parliament that kept check on the executive power. Just as soon as the latter appeared to be pursuing more power, the system worked perfectly to reduce the threat of an absolutist monarchy. Nowhere in a Europe dominated by absolutist monarchies could this have happened.

The second important reason is the economic one, from different perspectives. On one hand, by the time the modern economy was developing in Britain, it was fully supported only by the mercantilist approach to economy, present in France, for example, but on a policy that focuses on encouraging the development of commercial relations with the territories Britain had colonized. Much less than the Spanish and Portuguese approach to Latin America, for example, where colonization was simply a mean to deplete the country's resources, colonization for Britain meant a much longer-term approach and perspective, with a focus on ensuring a solid economic development based on increasing commercial volumes.

At the same time, the central authority also encouraged the development of an exceptional strong trading and commercial system. Ever since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Britain had become a country that relied on its navy to protect its territory. This further developed in time, while additional policies and incentives facilitated the commercial development.

From an internal economic perspective, the raw materials and natural resources present in Britain facilitated the development of a modern economy in Britain. Initially, this development was based on the beginning of the industrial revolution (although one can obviously analyze the pre-modern economy as well, back to the 17th century in Britain) and for this, the necessary raw materials included coal and iron ore, both available in Britain, as well as other secondary elements, such as copper, tin or limestone. Anything that was not readily available could be either traded or simply imported from the colonies directly to supply the industry.

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Industrial Revolution in Britain.  (2009, October 19).  Retrieved August 3, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/industrial-revolution-britain/6581

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/industrial-revolution-britain/6581.