[ExI] Guns caused UK Industrial Revolution

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon May 7 13:59:45 UTC 2018

War and Great Britain’s gun industry played a more important role in
driving the 18th-century Industrial Revolution than scholars have
previously recognized, according to new research.



In her new book, Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial
Revolution (Penguin Random House, 2018), however, Priya Satia, a
professor of modern British history in the Stanford University School
of Humanities and Sciences, argues that industrialism really began
with Britain’s need for guns and other war supplies.

Satia found evidence that some 18th-century British officials were
aware that the domestic production of arms was driving industrialism
in Britain. Those officials actively discouraged the development of
gun industries in other countries, including those under British rule,
such as India. The British government preferred to supply firearms to
everyone who needed them, including their enemies.

“We need to stop thinking that Britain invented industrialism because
it had an especially laissez-faire government or because it had a
unique entrepreneurial genius or culture,” Satia says.

“Let’s acknowledge the fact that Britain was involved in a lot of
wars, and in order to pursue those wars the government needed arms.
And the British government clearly encouraged innovation within their
gun industry.”


Well, fancy that!  Chalk up one more for War driving innovation.


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