The question being asked is decomposed into three parts. The first part of the questions focuses on the narratives of David S. Landes and Kenneth Pomeranz. The second component will look into how their narratives differ. Lastly, I will assess which narrative was convincing using the evidence I’ve collected. I would like to start off with briefly talking about the First Industrial Revolution. I believe the First Industrial Revolution was one of the biggest changes faced in Britain. You could argue it changed the global economy. “The essence of the Industrial Revolution is the substitution of competition for the medieval regulations which had previously controlled the production and distribution of wealth” (Toynbee, 1884, p.g 58).Toynbee is telling us is a step forward economically and socially. It’s a turning point in the sense that it changed the livelihood of the British citizens. Some of the factors influencing the First Industrial Revolution are the widespread of modern science to the process of production, along with “economic activity directed towards production for national and international markets”(Deane, 1979, p.g 1).The increase use of capital resources led to changes from primary production to producing more manufactured goods and services (Deane, 1979). This allowed more occurrences of enlargement and depersonalisation from the typical unit of production (Deane, 1979). Lastly, there has been a change in lifestyle and social class. An emergence of movement from rural to urban communities increased leading to new social and occupational classes (Deane, 1979). The Industrial Revolution saw the country becoming more corporate and turning away from the traditional family life. As Hobsbawm says “the Industrial Revolution is not merely an acceleration of economic growth, but an acceleration of growth because and through, economic and social transformation” (Hobsbawm and Wrigley, 1999, p.g 12).
I will now go into detail of Landes’s narrative. His opening sentence statement is “In the eighteenth century, a series of inventions transformed the British cotton manufacture and gave birth to a new mode of production”(Landes, 1998, p.g. 186). Landes brings out the point in the change of mode of production. He highlights the adoption of a factory system. Landes believes there are three principles and changes that led to this. Beginning with “the substitution of machines—rapid, regular, precise, tireless—for human skill and effort”(Landes, 1998, p.g. 186). This created synergy between human skill and machines. Workers would tend to supervise machines to ensure efficiency is at its best. This compliments Landes’s factory system production. Secondly, “the substitution of inanimate for animate sources of power, in particular, the invention of engines for converting heat into work, thereby opening an almost unlimited supply of energy” (Landes, 1998, p.g. 186). To some extent you could say the availability of power is one of the most crucial reasons why revolutions happen. China faced an industrial revolution due to their access to coal. Having a well power source will help with production increasing. It allows work to be more fluent. As Landes states ‘almost unlimited supply of energy’, this means Britain could face with the high demands and be more competitive. The last principle is “the use of new and far more abundant raw materials, in particular, the substitution of mineral, and eventually artificial, materials for vegetable or animal substances”(Landes, 1998, p.g. 186). This tells us there is now a change in the way resources are used. This change led to production being quicker. Quantity in production may have increased as well as quality. Landes states that “These substitutions made the Industrial Revolution” (Landes, 1998, p.g. 186). This led to rise in productivity which boosted income per capita in self sustaining way (Landes, 1998). This relates to the social class change due to increase in income along with the change from rural to urban communities. Other industries adopted these innovations, especially with cotton industries utilising it the most.