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Climate and the Industrial Revolution
Posted: 15 November 2011 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I confess that I haven’t read the book on the genetic effects on the IR, and BTW which one are are you refering to? But first of all, you have to examine the motivation behind the IR in Britain. Competition with the Madras cloth market spurred the need to increase the textile output and the “cottage system” system wasn’t producing enough cloth fast enough to compete with India. So, machines were invented to do the job, ex. the water frame. So the primary motivation for the beginning of the factory system was profit. Yes, the overall health of the common people was better that in previous centuries due largely to better diet as a result of the Agricultural Revolution, but poverty was increasing due to the Enclosure act of 1735 eliminating all land held in common by the yoemen and allowing large landowners to increase their holdings and their profits. Displaced Brits choked the cities looking for work, hence a population surplus of workers ready for the newly opened factories. Steam replaced water power with Watt’s improvements on the engine and the rest is history. I guess you could say that the the Brits were lucky to have all of the resources in place at the right time. It increased the output of goods that allowed the Brits to dominate the World’s economy. Well, that and their superior ship building facilities and a navy to protect their merchantmen. And that’s why in 1898 the “sun never set on the British flag!”

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Posted: 15 November 2011 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Chris Crawford - 15 November 2011 10:01 AM

As it happens, I have the book right here. Yes, he argues that the genetic change began much earlier, but how could a slow-moving cause yield a fast-moving effect? Yes, it’s possible that there was some sort of trigger, tipping point, or critical mass at work, but that’s starting to pile on the assumptions about the process. Furthermore, he needs to demonstrate that such genetic changes were not taking place elsewhere. He’s got great data for England, but the data for other European countries is too sparse to yield an answer. Genetic factors might—MIGHT—have played a role, but I don’t think he’s got much support for the claim that they played a primary or even important role.

But they were taking place in other European countries. I would have to go back to the book to see what were the reasons were why (according to Clark) it first happened in England and not, say, in Sweden.

And going back to Occam’s Razor, I think it’s much more probable that people became more productive due to the genetic reasons than some cultural phenomenon. Why did the Industrial Revolution result in such a rapid economic growth in England and not in India? Why was it a complete disaster in Africa? What were the cultural factors responsible for higher production in India than in Africa?

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Posted: 15 November 2011 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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thevillageathiest - 15 November 2011 11:22 AM

I confess that I haven’t read the book on the genetic effects on the IR, and BTW which one are are you refering to?

Neither of the three books explains the “genetics of IR.” Diamond’s book is important to understand why it could have only happened (based on geography and history) in Europe, Cochran and Harpending explain how geography and history can impact the genome (and, most importantly, how fast this happens), and Clark simply gathered as much data as possible to show that IR happened because people changed. Clark originally thought people only changed “culturally,” but realized after some time that this explanation wasn’t sufficient. He said he was going to elaborate on his findings in his next book, but Clark is an economist and not a biologist or a psychologist, so I am not sure what to expect from him.

[ Edited: 15 November 2011 12:11 PM by George ]
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Posted: 15 November 2011 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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And going back to Occam’s Razor, I think it’s much more probable that people became more productive due to the genetic reasons than some cultural phenomenon. Why did the Industrial Revolution result in such a rapid economic growth in England and not in India? Why was it a complete disaster in Africa? What were the cultural factors responsible for higher production in India than in Africa?

Can’t speak to the suppositions in the book; haven’t read it yet. Just downloaded it in my Kindle. For the rest, read my post. It was a complete disaster in Africa because 1. the population was not concentrated then, except in areas controlled by the European Nations who established them as colonies, 2. they had NO way to get raw materials to any factories (ie roads, canals) and 3. no money to fund manufacturing. In India, the population was much greater and hand labor made goods could be produced in quanity.

Here’s a few sources to start:
Berg, Maxine. “The Age of Manufactures, innovation and Work in Britain”
Cipolla, Carlo. ” The INdustrial Revolution 1700-1914”
Ferguson, Niall. “The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World”
Hobsbawm, Eric. “The Age of Revolution 1789-1848”
Kemp, Tom.“Industrialization in 19th Century Europe”

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Posted: 15 November 2011 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Chris Crawford - 15 November 2011 10:01 AM

Yes, he argues that the genetic change began much earlier, but how could a slow-moving cause yield a fast-moving effect?

I really don’t think you read the book. Clark never mentions genetics in his book except for one sentence towards the end where he merely wonders (kind of like Darwin in his “Origins” when he mentions humans) if genetics has anything to do with all of this. Read the book, Chris.  angry

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Posted: 15 November 2011 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Okay, Jack, I’ll rephrase the questions: why did people working on the same weaving machines, under the same management, produce more threads during one-day shift in England than in India, and more threads in India than in Africa?

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Posted: 15 November 2011 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I really don’t think you read the book.

End of discussion.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Just to throw in another view on the beginnings of IR:

He noted the post-Reformation shift of Europe’s economic centre away from Catholic countries such as France, Spain and Italy, and toward Protestant countries such as the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Germany. Weber also noted that societies having more Protestants were those with a more highly developed capitalist economy. Similarly, in societies with different religions, most successful business leaders were Protestant.[64] Weber thus argued that Roman Catholicism impeded the development of the capitalist economy in the West, as did other religions such as Confucianism and Buddhism elsewhere in the world.
<snip>
Christian religious devotion had historically been accompanied by rejection of mundane affairs, including economic pursuit. Weber showed that certain types of Protestantism – notably Calvinism – were supportive of rational pursuit of economic gain and worldly activities dedicated to it, seeing them as endowed with moral and spiritual significance. Weber argued that there were many reasons to look for the origins of modern capitalism in the religious ideas of the Reformation.[67] In particular, the Protestant ethic (or more specifically, Calvinist ethic) motivated the believers to work hard, be successful in business and reinvest their profits in further development rather than frivolous pleasures.

About Max Weber in Wikipedia.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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That must be one of the best examples of confusing correlation with causation I have ever seen.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Okay, Jack, I’ll rephrase the questions: why did people working on the same weaving machines, under the same management, produce more threads during one-day shift in England than in India, and more threads in India than in Africa?

Ok, I’m assuming by that you mean the same BRITS working on the same weaving MACHINES (machines being the operative word here), although each factory was managed in a similar manner, each was under the mgt. of the factory owner, so output would have been relative to the number of hours worked by the laborers. Each day was usually 10-12 hours long, 6 days a week. SOOOO, British laborers could out produce the HAND LABOR of millions of Indians, and there being far more hand laborers in India than in Africa they would produce far more cloth. those in Africa BTW were unwilling subjects of the colonial powers who were used to exploit the natural resources there (ie gold, diamonds, furniture wood) for quick profit. So why weave anyway? I will concede on the climate issue in one instance though. No factories in the tropic zone. Why? It lacked all of the elements for an ID. I know that this is a general statement but I don’t want to sound too pedantic. I know, to freekin late!

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Posted: 16 November 2011 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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No, I mean an English vs. an Indian vs. an African, working the same number of hours, on identical machines, all under similar management.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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and spiritual significance. Weber argued that there were many reasons to look for the origins of modern capitalism in the religious ideas of the Reformation.[67] In particular, the Protestant ethic (or more specifically, Calvinist ethic) motivated the believers to work hard, be successful in business and reinvest their profits in further development rather than frivolous pleasures


As a counterpoint, and I don’t entirely disagree with Weber here except that he had a religious agenda to prove in this instance, what do we do about those Jews? During the Renaissance they amassed fortunes so great that they created the major banking institutions in Northern Europe (ex. the Rothchilds). They in turn used the money to invest in other businesses that have stood the test ot time for the last 4 hundred years. Also, the Catholic country of Spain was the richest empire in Europe by the late 16th Century. They were so wealthy that they inflated the price of gold. But they stimulated the economies of the Northern European countries ( and retarded their own) by buying what they needed.  In Weber;‘s own country, Southern Germany remained Catholic (and still is). No backward economic growth there, even today, Ex. the Audi factory in Rhineland-Pfalz. Calvinism itself began in Switzerland, a Catholic country. (Threw that in for the irony) cheese So even though those countries dominated by Protestants with their work ethic derived from the Puritan example in England, Netherlands etc. (rich blessed by god, poor, cursed by god) emphasized hard labor, other non-protestant religions also contributed to their country’s wealth. Even in America, Maryland, a prosperous colony was founded for those Brits of the catholic faith.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 November 2011 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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No, I mean an English vs. an Indian vs. an African, working the same number of hours, on identical machines, all under similar management

OOH! a “what if” scenerio. Ok. Well, I couldn’t answer that question without sounding racist, but given identical conditions in all three areas I assume that they would produce identical results. In this instance what could possibly be different? I guess that I’d better read the book you mentioned before I make any more general claims. It’s next on my reading list after Shook’s book.

cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 November 2011 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Cap’t Jack,

Richness and industrial revolution is not the same. The Chinese emperor was very rich too…

And no naughty remarks about the Swiss anymore!  vampire The last law discriminating catholics was abolished only in the 1970’s, if I remember correctly. And the Dutch and English are the better calvinists as the Swiss… Switzerland was more under the influence of Zwingli.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Richness and industrial revolution is not the same. The Chinese emperor was very rich too…

And no naughty remarks about the Swiss anymore!  The last law discriminating catholics was abolished only in the 1970’s, if I remember correctly. And the Dutch and English are the better calvinists as the Swiss… Switzerland was more under the influence of Zwingli.

Hey man, I like their chocolate and alpen horns. I even have albums (yes albums and not CDs, of Swiss music, heavenly!). And I agree about the richness comment, but if you read my post I mentioned inadverently that Spain’s industrial growth was retarded by the wealth produced in her gold and silver mines in Amer. Howsomever, the ID did produce more wealth in the long run, and that led to increased reliance on machines for long term profits.  This in turn led to improved economic conditions. OMG I’m a Hegelian! Also, the Chinese emperor relied heavily on civil servants to run the empire and funnel the wealth into the palace. Sooo, the emperor was rich but the country wasn’t! Only the emperor and his court. The rest were subsistance farmers ready to be drafted when needed. (ex. Shi huang Di).
Zwingli and Calvin shared similar beliefs but you’re absolutely correct there. Zwingli had the greater influence than Calvin. He was a Frenchman anyway. They threw him out because of his radical views. (Are we really predestined to go to hell? Save me a seat by the fire!)

Cap’t Jack

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