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Introduction The Long Road To The Industrial Revolution

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which studies the 'deep', or ultimate causes of the Industrial Revolution, and aims to show that the late medieval and early modern period was 'a long runway' to the 'take off' of the Industrial Revolution. The book addresses three different debates about the origins of the industrial breakthrough of the late eighteenth century: the debate on the 'Great Divergence', on the role played by human capital formation in preparing this 'revolution' (a debate inspired by endogenous growth theory), and on the role of institutions in economic development. The term 'dual revolution' has been introduced by Hobsbawm (1962) to denote the combination of political revolution (the French Revolution of 1789) and the economic revolution of industrialization that took place across the Channel - the dual 'grand fi nale' that concluded the long-term processes of institutional and economic change of the 1000-1800 period.

Keywords: economic growth; human capital formation; industrial revolution; late eighteenth century



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