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8. Factories and Machinery

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the problem of how the 'real' subsumption of labour to capital was achieved. Here, the author reviews the progress of other early industrial capitalists, he seeks to explicate the specific and important role played by machine technology in the Industrial Revolution, bearing in mind that the example of Wedgwood demonstrates how it was possible to transform an entire branch of industry without the aid of any significant advances in mechanical technology. In both the pottery works of Wedgwood and the factories of Arkwright, the labour process was no longer controlled by the workers themselves but was strictly dictated by the capitalist owner responding to market compulsions. One often speaks of 'the market' or 'markets' as a universal constant, but with the development of land and labour markets in England under agrarian capitalism, the very nature of markets is transformed.

Keywords:agrarian capitalism; Arkwright; England; Factories; Industrial Revolution; machine technology; Wedgwood



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