Aren't some countries unfairly vilified for their slavery/colonial past?

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,982
Cornwall
I think you don't understand the topic. The cotton gin, spinning mule, etc., which were the type of machine that drove Britain's first period of the Industrial Revolution started in the 1760s relied on New World cotton because of its fine yet stronger fibbers and threads, being thus mechanisable unlike Old World cotton which broke easily. Without New World cotton, mechanisation and industrial production wouldn't have progressed nearly as much and without the rapidity that it did too.
Yet good old Wiki tells us:

"In 1791, U.S. cotton production was small, at only 900 thousand kilograms (2000 thousand pounds). "



I never said that whales are only from the New World. Obviously Europeans knew whales before Columbus. I'm saying that whale oil, which alongside coal was the earliest source of energy and competed with it since it was used to power a variety of things like lamps, was derived mainly from New World whales. And it was an Arctic phenomenon from the New World, not Europe, unless you're going to tell me the British and the US got their whales fat from Norway and Russia. And yes it predates rubber and petroleum. How is that relevant to my argument when I'm pointing out that it is what allowed the industrialisation of Britain? Indeed, being earlier further helps my point because it's further proof that even the earliest stage of the Industrial Revolution depended on colonial plunder. You're not understanding what is being discussed.
No it wasn't. Whales were hunted to extinction in the Bay of Biscay, for example, even before Columbus sailed.
 
Feb 2017
526
Latin America
Yet good old Wiki tells us:

"In 1791, U.S. cotton production was small, at only 900 thousand kilograms (2000 thousand pounds). "

Even if true, that doesn't change that the British used New World cotton, that is, they grew the New World variant of cotton that has stronger threads and could be mechanised, unlike Old World variants which had weaker threads and broke when inserted in machines, thus being far less productive.


No it wasn't. Whales were hunted to extinction in the Bay of Biscay, for example, even before Columbus sailed.
We're talking about the use of whale oil during the Industrial Revolution. If whales were extincted in parts of Europe even before Columbus, that only further strengthens my point that whale oil as a source of energy and as a lubricant for machines starting in the late 18th century was derived mainly from hunting New World whales.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,090
Historically all kinds of resources were exploited. None of what was to be had in the New World however was so crucial that lack of access to it would have averted or made the industrial revolution impossible. Useful, but not necessary.
 
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Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,133
Navan, Ireland
-Points out how without New World rubber we wouldn't have cars, planes, telegrams, telephones and even basic electric cables

-Points out how the Industrial Revolution emerged from the mechanisation of the textile industry only made possible by the superior quality of New World cotton

-Points out how it was New World sources of origin like petroleum and whale oil which were the main sources of energy

-Points out how New World guano kept agricultural productivity high

-Points out the use of Asian gutta percha which improved electrical insulation and made global telecommunications possible

-Points out the use of African palm oil, without which machinery couldn't be lubricated and thus keep on going

-Says I haven't refuted anything



No.


No you are not refuting anything—you are quoting the use of random resources in use across centuries and claiming they were vital.



And as pointed out many of your assertion are dubious to say the least.







How doesn't it illustrate it. Are you going to be so dense that devastating wars like the Thirty Years' War, in which Britain barely participated, didn't squander the funds of even states like the Swedish? The same with the War of the Spanish Succession, which basically destroyed Spain's economy and also left France exhausted. Britain certainly was at war, but not to the same extent. It only suffered one successful invasion, and even then because it was basically an invited invasion and which was barely anything comparable in destructiveness to, for instance, the Swedish invasion of Russia which devastated Russia's economy and ironically ended up demolishing Sweden's economic activity as well. If anything, the invited Dutch invasion of England to oust Charles and the subsequent war against Louis XIV left Holland's economy depleted. Britain simply didn't bear the brunt of continental wars thanks to its insularity. That helped it avoid continental wars and, when it participated in them, it avoided having to spend nearly as much in them. In the Seven Years' War, the British were not bogged down by having to defend their borders like the French had to against the Prussians, while also fighting the British in Canada and India. They only had to focus spending on their navy and could disregard spending on their army.


Why does this ‘prove’ all other empires ‘squandered’ their resources? It shows that Empires and countries were often at war it does not explain why Industrialisation started in Britain, war can act as a stimulant. But your logic is also suspect because the countries you mention did industrialise, even small countries like Belgium









If it doesn't, then that only ends up proving my point, because it needs resources from elsewhere. And where were the British deriving their resources during the 19th century? Obviously their colonies. And yes it does. You don't even try to refute the fact that rubber and gutta percha were needed for further technological improvement. The idea that the British could have just developed that technology is a complete supposition, that even if true doesn't change the fact that Britain only managed to further improve technologically and keep its industrialisation ongoing because of rubber and gutta percha.


No it shows that you really don’t understand what happened, countries started to become Global economies and the process continues to claim that Britain or any countyr became ‘self-sufficient in the 20th century is simply farcical.







Mother of Christ you're like a telephone machine repeating the same things. Read my posts again: .


Really? while you of course……..



I already stated that precisely because industrialisation didn't happen overnight that industrialisation was caused by colonialism. I'm again of the opinion that, if we go by a more ample definition of industrialisation, Western Europe at least started industrialising well in the 16th century with Spain. Fact is, however, that most scholars don't consider Britain an industrial economy in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Wooden galleons are not industrial. Neither are muskets and cannons, the latter being a medieval weapon. .


Well no you constantly changed regarding Industrialisation claiming it sarted at the end of the Seven Years war then claiming it started with imperial Spain.



The fact is Industrialisation was a gradually process that stated for multiple reasons over a long period of time—gradually becoming more rapid, it continues today.



‘Wooden galleons’ ‘muskets and cannon’ not Industrial!!!!!! What do you think they were using during the 18th century and well into the 19th? Medieval !?



A ship of the Line in the Mid to late 18th century was the most complex machine ever devised up to that point and support of such a fleet was one of the first industrial enterprises and one of the causes of the Industrial Revolution.



No Britain wasn’t an industrial economy in the 17th and 18th centuries but she was starting to be.





I'm also sure you've changed goalpost because have seemingly been saying that it was the Industrial Revolution specifically, not "industrialisation" or "the first stages of industrialisation", that allowed the British to colonise others. .




Sorry not sure what you are saying here—the Industrial Revolution is Industrialisation and in my opinion the reason Britain – and the other European powers – could get such large global Empires was because they industrialised.



This is what I'm talking about you repeating the same things. I've already said that I've never argued about the Agricultural Revolution being based on New World crops. Not only do you keep repeating this strawman, but you keep doing so after this has been done. What I've been saying is that New World crops allowed Britain's population to break its historical Malthusian ceiling, allowing it to have the population quantity necessary for industrialisation. They didn't even need any revolution in agricultural production for that to happen and I never said they brought any such thing. In South and East Asia, the mere introduction of New World crops made the population skyrocket to the point they're the most populated regions on Earth, without any technological improvement in agricultural production. And yes, coal and iron being used for centuries before is relevant because one has to ask why others didn't come and use them to industrialise if they're central. No one is denying that coal and iron were central resources. The point, however, is that they never on their own would have allowed the breakthrough to industrialise. Britain needed colonial plunder, including new resources unavailable before without colonialism, for that to happen.




And I could say that this paragraph neatly illustrates your confused thinking and contradictory logic.





You accept that the Agricultural Revolution wasn’t crop based (but then later in the paragraph claim it was) but then claim it was New World Crops that allowed the increase in food production –that is the Agricultural revolution—to support Industrialisation.



You say Iron and Coal were not central and they say they were---- no one resource was ‘vital’ but coal might have been--- numerous resources were required. The Industrial revolution was not based on some ‘magic bullet’ that arrived and caused it but rather a huge range of factors inter relating.



The Agricultural revolution was based on structural change not based on new crops, if the potato had not been there then other food stuffs would have been grown.





……………………………………….







No one is saying potato was even the main crop. The point is that potato allowed the increase in Britain's population, much like how it and other New World crops combined with Old World crops allowed the massive population jump in South and East Asia. This is stated above by a scholarly source.


Yes you are! And it didn’t



You claim your to cite a scholarly source—but its just a posted a line--- who is it? Where is it from.









Only you can come with such a botched interpretation. It clearly says: "Technology, arguably the greatest aspect of the Industrial Revolution, can be simplified into a few different innovations and inventors, most inspired by one product. The first product to undergo the "revolution" from the cottage industry to the mechanized age was cotton."



So no, it wasn't just "one machine among many", it was the product that "most inspired" the Industrial Revolution. I even highlighted it for you.


Sorry you are not reading your own source it points out that ‘simplified’ is just picking out one of many.





Again, coal and iron never on their own would have allowed the breakthrough to industrialise. You are not addressing this fact. And it's not an organic process in the sense that Britain on its own would have never industrialised. It needed to conquer colonies and exploit its resources to do so. Had Britain not obtained a colonial empire, it would be have stayed more or less on the level of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. .


Well the technology to allow large scale mining was pretty important and iron/steel underlined the whole period, that Britain was in a position to go global is not denied but you seriously under estimate othe industries









I'm confused. Was Britain already industrialised before the Industrial Revolution? …………………………

…………………………………Are wooden galleons industrialised technology? .
That you are confused is obvious, of course Britain wasn’t ‘industrialised’ before the Industrial revolution but you seem to be under the naïve notion that you can pick a date on before that there was no industry and after that we are in the 20th century industrialised world, it was a process that happened gradually over centuries, gradually speeding up.









No, they were also brought to Britain itself for British factories, machines and products. The British energy industry was pretty much based almost entirely on North American resources. They kept industrialisation and technological improvement ongoing (we can add kerosene, first invented in and then extracted from en masse in Canada).


Well of course resources were brought to Britain that’s called Globalisation and Industrialisation.



And sorry British Energy resource were dominated by coal well into the 20th century—again you illustrate that you don’t know what you are talking about



No because the technological improvement necessary to mechanise the inferior cotton of the Old World wouldn't have occurred. ……………


That is just a guess and since you admit that other cottons were used later that would imply you are wrong.







I don't think you know what an "opinion" is. If an "opinion" is based on facts, it ceases to be a mere "opinion". If it's a fact, it's not even an opinion.


So you do think your opinion is fact.



I'm well aware that my thesis is very controversial because capitalists want to protect capitalism as much as possible and do so by differentiating it from colonialism (of course, we have people like Niall Ferguson outright defending and justifying colonialism rather than merely trying to distance it from capitalism), and that as any other thesis it can be wrong, yet you bring very few actual arguments against it. You even strawman what I say. You ignore outright facts said by academics and state that they're "opinions" as if that wasn't enough…………………………..


Hang on throughout this ‘exchange’ you have at the very least implied that you ‘thesis’ is established ‘fact’ and now admit that it is not so?

And sorry you have brought few facts and most of your assertions are patently wrong. You pick random resources and claim that they started or totally dominated Britain's economy completely ignoring inconvenient facts such as the substantial coal reserves etc

Its nothing to do with capitalism but rather a more nationalistic desire to talk up your own chosen side.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,812
Europix
Sorry not sure what you are saying here—the Industrial Revolution is Industrialisation and in my opinion the reason Britain – and the other European powers – could get such large global Empires was because they industrialised.
Maybe I can help (You, him ?!?)

The convention is "industrialization".

"Industrial revolution" is referring to explicitly/exclusively the industrialization of BE. Well, it ought to.

The reason is that industrialisation of BE was extremely rapid, changed abruptly the entire social canevas as political one. It also influenced profoundly the rest of the world. So "revolution" seems appropriate, as it's an extremely rapid and profound change of the society.

Unlike BE, all other industrialized countries got to that through a much more gradual advance, a "smaller pace".
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,133
Navan, Ireland
Maybe I can help (You, him ?!?)

The convention is "industrialization".

"Industrial revolution" is referring to explicitly/exclusively the industrialization of BE. Well, it ought to.

The reason is that industrialisation of BE was extremely rapid, changed abruptly the entire social canevas as political one. It also influenced profoundly the rest of the world. So "revolution" seems appropriate, as it's an extremely rapid and profound change of the society.

Unlike BE, all other industrialized countries got to that through a much more gradual advance, a "smaller pace".
I agree that the term revolution is appropriate because it totally changed the world ---- some people simply fail to grasp the huge change that occurred in the world.

But when we say 'quick' it still took centuries and did not happen over night, now the change started to become more rapid as the revolution took hold and ,in my opinion is still occurring and is indeed more rapid than ever, change was initially very slow but gradually became more rapid.

Now the revolution occurred in the Britain first and for many reasons and was not down to one resource/machine/person or region.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,812
Europix
I agree that the term revolution is appropriate because it totally changed the world ---- some people simply fail to grasp the huge change that occurred in the world.

But when we say 'quick' it still took centuries and did not happen over night, now the change started to become more rapid as the revolution took hold and ,in my opinion is still occurring and is indeed more rapid than ever, change was initially very slow but gradually became more rapid.

Now the revolution occurred in the Britain first and for many reasons and was not down to one resource/machine/person or region.
I wouldn't say "centuries", especially when it comes to GB. I suppose it's question of interpretation.

In GB, it happened extremely quickly:

1769- Watt stem engine
1779 - Crompton mule-jenny
1825 - Stephenson - steam locomotive

Those are the three fundamental things that made the industrialization: the mechanical source of power, mechanical automatization and mechanical transportation.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,812
Europix
Now the revolution occurred in the Britain first and for many reasons and was not down to one resource/machine/person or region.
IMHO, it's logical and becomes self-evident if one looks at the premises needed: resources, geography and political context.

That is iron and coal (material and energy) relatively simple to extract, relatively close and relatively simple to transport and a relatively liberal society.

GB had all that. It's also what Belgium had (it's why it punched so much higher than it's weight), in a certain degree North of France, North-western Germany, in a lesser degree AHE (Silezia, Moravia, Bohemia, Transilvania), even lesser degree Tzarist Empire. Aso.

It's odd how often we forget to look at geographic maps when we discuss history ... (that's a general remark, it's not only about this thread, or this forum)
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,133
Navan, Ireland
I wouldn't say "centuries", especially when it comes to GB. I suppose it's question of interpretation.

In GB, it happened extremely quickly:

1769- Watt stem engine
1779 - Crompton mule-jenny
1825 - Stephenson - steam locomotive

Those are the three fundamental things that made the industrialization: the mechanical source of power, mechanical automatization and mechanical transportation.
But they can not create the demand, the society the desire for industrialisation these innovations are not created in a vacuum the changes and society happen gradually so the Tudors are in no way 'Industrial' far closer to the Middle Ages than the modern world but the changes have started they are not a Medieval society, the Stewarts aren't Industrial again closer to Medieval? but they are changing Merchant classes becoming more important, companies of merchant adventurers seeking out new markets.

The date often given for the Industrial Revolution is 1750 and it did really 'kick off' in the 18th century but the 'ground work' had to be done before.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,812
Europix
But they can not create the demand, the society the desire for industrialisation these innovations are not created in a vacuum the changes and society happen gradually so the Tudors are in no way 'Industrial' far closer to the Middle Ages than the modern world but the changes have started they are not a Medieval society, the Stewarts aren't Industrial again closer to Medieval? but they are changing Merchant classes becoming more important, companies of merchant adventurers seeking out new markets.

The date often given for the Industrial Revolution is 1750 and it did really 'kick off' in the 18th century but the 'ground work' had to be done before.
Of course, You are right.

As I said, it's a question of POV.

You are talking about premises (I mentioned premises too in the post that followed).

I see the three inventions that came one after the other extremely closely in time as fundamental triggering all the "potential energy" already accumulated into "kinetic energy". Therefore the "Revolution" term for the GB industrialization (BTW, if You look at the time frame, it is overlapping the French Revolution, and it isn't that much longer).