Poverty, Progress, and Population

Poverty, Progress, and Population

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E. A. Wrigley
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 1/22/2004
EAN 9780521822787, ISBN10: 0521822785

Hardcover, 478 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 3 cm
Language: English

By the early nineteenth century England was very different economically from its continental neighbours. It was wealthier, growing more rapidly, more heavily urbanised, and far less dependent upon agriculture. A generation ago it was normal to attribute these differences to the 'industrial revolution' and to suppose that this was mainly the product of recent change, but no longer. Current estimates suggest only slow growth during the period from 1760–1840. This implies that the economy was much larger and more advanced by 1760 than had previously been supposed and suggests that growth in the preceding century or two must have been decisive in bringing about the 'divergence' of England. Sir E. A. Wrigley, the leading historian of industrial Britain, here examines the issues which arise in this connection from three viewpoints: economic growth; the transformation of the urban-rural balance; and demographic change in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

1. In search of the industrial revolution
Part I. The Wellsprings of Growth
2. The divergence of England
the growth of the English economy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
3. Reflections on the history of energy supply, living standards and economic growth
4. Two kinds of capitalism, two kinds of growth
5. Men on the land and men in the countryside
employment in agriculture in early nineteenth-century England
6. Corn and crisis
Malthus on the high price of provisions
7. Why poverty was inevitable in traditional societies
8. Malthus on the prospects for the labouring poor
9. The occupational structure of England in the nineteenth century
Part II. Town and Country
10. City and country in the past
a sharp divide or a continuum?
11. 'The great commerce of every civilised society'
urban growth in early modern Europe
12. Country and town
the primary, secondary and tertiary peopling of England in the early modern period
13. Brake or accelerator? Urban growth and population growth before the industrial revolution
Part III. The Numbers Game
14. How reliable is our knowledge of the demographic characteristics of the English population in the early modern period?
15. Explaining the rise in marital fertility in the 'long' eighteenth century
16. No death without birth
the implications of English mortality in the early modern period
17. Demographic retrospective