The Market Revolution, Industrialization, and New Technologies

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Why was Europe industrialized faster than the other continents?

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European countries, particularly England, Germany and Belgium, had excellent natural resources--namely coal and other metals--needed to assure progress during the Industrial Revolution.  They had also experienced a second "agricultural revolution" which included improved farming methods and the enclosure movement which enlarged the size of farms and found many moving to cities to seek work.  Comparatively, these countries also had a skilled and educated population and the financial resources to invest in new business ventures.

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There could be a lot of right answers to this question, but in thinking about it, Europe was a continent that was almost constantly at war in one place or another.  Whether it was the tribes, peoples and nations within the continent or invasions from without, they were nearly always fighting someone somewhere.  Just like much of our technology today was first developed for war, and has been throughout our history in the US, so must it have been for Europe.

The Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Cold War all caused rapid advancements in technology in the US.  I can pretty easily argue that it had the same effect on Europe, and that it advanced more quickly than other continents because it was a more war torn continent.  Something to think about anyway.

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I bet that your text has some answer you are supposed to know.  I say this because here is a lot of debate on this question and I imagine your book says something specific that you are supposed to know.

The basic reason is that Europe was so much more technologically advanced at the time.  Because they were ahead, technologically speaking, they industrialized quickly and conquered everyone else.  But why were they ahead?  There are two major ideas about this:

  • One idea is that European culture was more suited to industrialization than that of other continents.  So European culture was just better, at least in terms of making industry likely.
  • The other is that Europe was geographically luckier and that a variety of conditions made it easier for Europeans to become civilized and develop technology.
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