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Exceptionalism and Industrialisation

by Leandro Prados de la Escosura

This 2004 book explores the question of British exceptionalism in the period from the Glorious Revolution to the Congress of Vienna. Leading historians examine why Great Britain emerged from years of sustained competition with its European rivals in a discernible position of hegemony in the domains of naval power, empire, global commerce, agricultural efficiency, industrial production, fiscal capacity and advanced technology. They deal with Britain's unique path to industrial revolution and distinguish four themes on the interactions between its emergence as a great power and as the first industrial nation. First, they highlight growth and industrial change, the interconnections between agriculture, foreign trade and industrialisation. Second, they examine technological change and, especially, Britain's unusual inventiveness. Third, they study her institutions and their role in facilitating economic growth. Fourth and finally, they explore British military and naval supremacy, showing how this was achieved and how it contributed to Britain's economic supremacy.

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