Feudalism

Feudalism was the economic and political system of Europe during the Middle Ages. One might be tempted to dismiss it as a primitive system, discarded when something better came along, but to do so would be to misunderstand human institutions…

The End of Feudalism

Custom played such a large role in governing feudal institutions that they were resistant to change. Feudalism could only be shaken by substantial changes to the external environment, and those changes finally came…

Economic Ideology and the Glorious Revolution

The Glorious Revolution changed the way that the English thought about their economy. The proponents of an economic ideology that justified the power of the landowners became less influential. The proponents of an ideology that emphasized the value of labour, and the role of manufacturing and trade in realizing this value, became more influential…

Britain in the Early Eighteenth Century

Who were the people that brought about the Industrial Revolution? Although they had much in common with the Dutch, they were different from other Europeans in a number of ways. They were also very different from the British of a century earlier…

Voltaire’s England

Voltaire was exiled to England from 1726 to 1729. His English letters reveal his admiration for England’s religious tolerance, the empiricism of its science, and the vitality of its commerce…

The Industrial Revolution

Britain experienced a period of rapid technological innovation during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The way in which work was done changed radically, and British goods rose to dominance in markets around the world…

Why Did the Industrial Revolution Happen in Britain in the Eighteenth Century?

The central feature of the Industrial Revolution was technological innovation on an unprecedented scale, so explaining the time and place of the innovation is tantamount to explaining the time and place of the Industrial Revolution. Why did this wave of innovation occur in Britain in the eighteenth century?