Category Archives: Industrial Revolution

The Calico Acts: Was British cotton made possible by infant industry protection from Indian competition?

Many “global historians” argue that the British cotton industry was the product of (unintentional) infant industry protection from Indian competition in the 18th century. The various Calico Acts created an import-substitution industry by banning Indian cloths and reserving the home market for British producers. This … Continue reading

Posted in cotton, import substitution industrialization, industrial policy, Industrial Revolution, Infant industry argument, protectionism, trade & development | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Napoleonic blockade & the infant industry argument: caveats, limitations, reservations

Some caveats and reservations about the Napoleonic blockade paper on the infant industry argument that’s making waves. My caveat: protection persisted for decades after the blockade and may have helped keep the French cotton industry backward relative to Britain.

Posted in cotton, France, import substitution industrialization, industrial policy, Industrial Revolution, Infant industry argument, protectionism, trade & development | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Tariff Protection of British cotton 1774-1820s

British Tariff Protection after 1774: Competition, Innovation, & Misallocation, plus a note on Weaving This is an addendum to a post about the Calico Acts, which had prohibited within Britain the consumption of cotton cloths both foreign and domestic. But even after … Continue reading

Posted in cotton, industrial policy, Industrial Revolution, Infant industry argument, international trade, protectionism, trade & development | 1 Comment

Random thoughts on critiques of Allen’s theory of the Industrial Revolution

{ This post is mostly stringing together my scattered tweets over the past couple of weeks. I’ve had numerous discussions on this subject with Vincent Geloso, Judy Stephenson, Ben Schneider, Benjamin Guilbert, Anton Howes, and Mark Koyama. But yesterday Geloso … Continue reading

Posted in Industrial Revolution, Robert Allen | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Inequality & the First Globalisation

A follow-up to my previous post, “Did inequality cause WW1? Contra Hobson-Lenin-Milanovic“, elaborating on the inequality=>capital exports link in Branko Milanovic’s overall inequality=>ww1 claim. In the earlier post, two commenters took issue with my treatment of the inequality=>capital exports linkage. Of course I did … Continue reading

Posted in Income distribution, Industrial Revolution, Inequality, the First Globalization, The First World War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

McCloskey: Cotton wasn’t crucial to the Industrial Revolution

I (mostly) copy-and-paste Deirdre McCloskey’s argument that cotton was not crucial to the Industrial Revolution in Britain. I also have a very brief rant about historians’ erasure of Robert Fogel from historiographic memory.

Posted in cotton, great divergence, historians of capitalism, Industrial Revolution, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Jo Guldi’s Curiouser & Curiouser Footnotes

In The History Manifesto, historians Jo Guldi, the Hans Rothfels Assistant Professor of History at Brown, and David Armitage, the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Harvard, repeatedly misunderstand or misrepresent the research they disparagingly cite in … Continue reading

Posted in Economic History, History Manifesto, Industrial Revolution, Inequality | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Was slavery necessary for the Industrial Revolution ?

Did western industrialisation require American slave cotton ? What coal and sugar might tell us. (Short answer: It’s reasonable and plausible to argue slavery accelerated the industrial revolution, but not enabled it. It’s profoundly unreasonable to say the IR could not have happened … Continue reading

Posted in cotton, global history, historians of capitalism, Industrial Revolution, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A horse ! A horse ! My serfdom for a horse !

Part 2, England, of my critique of Nick Szabo’s view of industrialisation. This is continued from Part 1, “Chinese workers were cheaper than English horses“.

Posted in Economic History, great divergence, Industrial Revolution | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment