chapter  5
21 Pages

Industrialization in Europe, part 2

In the previous chapter we discussed the industrial revolution in Britain, France and Belgium, which, according to the orthodox interpretation, took off quite early – although of course the notion of a French industrial revolution has been questioned, due to the fact that the introduction of factory production and the decline of the agricultural sector was a slow and uneven process which eventuated in an industrial society that seems quite unfamiliar in relation to the standardized British case. In this chapter we will discuss the industrial breakthrough from the point of view of a number of countries which have been described as latecomers: Germany, Austria, Italy and Sweden. Also, with regard to these countries, we will find particular features that do not seem to fit in with the British blueprint. Moreover, in these countries we will also find how the development of industry was intertwined with political and social conditions. We will see how public governance and the state helped to shape the particular paths to an industrial economy and society. Last, in these cases, too, we will be able to detect how political and military motives influenced the way such intervention was carried out by the governing bodies of the state.