26 Pages

The Historical Geography of Industrial Change

There are many other areas of debate where a geographical input has been minimal. Research on the causes of industrial change, the nature of capital formation and investment, the supply of raw materials, the development and impact of new technology, and the economic consequences of industrial change at the regional and national level has been scarcely tackled by geographers despite a wealth of research by economic historians and others (Crafts, 1977, 1983; Harley, 1982; McCloskey, 1981; Payne, 1974; Kenwood, 1978; Lee, 1981). Not surprisingly, historical geographies of the causes of industrial change are heavily dependent on the work of non-geographers (Pawson, 1978, 1979), and it is really only the early work of Wrigley (1962, 1972) which has made a major impact in this field. Likewise, debates over the effects of industrialisation on the standard of living in Britain seem to have passed geographers by, despite a continued airing by other scholars (Barnsby, 1971; Cage, 1983; Lindert and Williamson, 1983; Taylor, 1975, Neale, 1985). The reasons for these gaps in the geographical literature are not immediately obvious as they are all topics where a geographical focus on place and spatial analysis could be rewarding.