Cover image for The industrial revolution in world history
The industrial revolution in world history
Stearns, Peter N.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo : Westview Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xi, 260 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Reading Level:
1340 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD2321 .S74 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The industrial revolution is generally recognized as a major development in world history. Even so, the study of it is routinely handled as simply part of Western European history or as part of individual national histories.Peter Stearns offers a genuinely world-historical approach, looking at the international factors that touched off the industrial revolution and at its global spread and impact. In this revised second edition, Stearns begins with an examination of industrialization in the West, but he also treats later cases in other societies--including Japan and the United States, as well as newly revised sections on Russia, Asia, and Latin America--providing the comparative analysis usually lacking in single-nation treatments. Although Stearns defines the essence of industrialization in terms of technology and economic organization, he pays substantial attention to larger social results, especially changes in the experience of work and shifts in family functions and gender roles. The Industrial Revolution in World History seeks to build on recent scholarly advances to include a more fully international and human perspective in our understanding of the industrial revolution. The second edition features fully revised sections on postindustrialization, causation, and non-Western societies, further strengthening Stearns' discussion of complex industrial and international trends. This book will be particularly useful for students of world history and economics as well as for those seeking to know more about the global implications of what is arguably the defining socioeconomic event of modern times.

Author Notes

Peter N. Stearns is provost and professor of history at George Mason University. He is the editor of the Journal of Social History and the author of many books, including World Civilizations: The Global Experience and World History in Brief: Major Patterns of Change and Continuity .

Table of Contents

Introduction Defining the Industrial Revolutionp. 1
Part 1 The First Phase, 1760-1880: The West Leads the Wayp. 15
1 Britain's Revolution: New Processes and Economic Transformationp. 17
2 New Causes: Why did the Industrial Revolution Happen, and Why Did It Happen in Eighteenth-Century Britain?p. 33
3 The Industrial Revolution In Western Societyp. 43
4 The Social Impact of the Industrial Revolutionp. 57
5 The Industrial Revolution Outside the Westp. 73
Part 2 The Second Phase, 1880-1950: The New International Castp. 87
6 The Industrial Revolution Changes Stripesp. 89
7 The Industrial Revolution in Russiap. 99
8 The Industrial Revolution in Japanp. 115
9 New Developments In Western Societies: Redefinitions of the Industrial Economyp. 133
10 The Industrial Revolution in International Contextp. 149
Part 3 The Third Phase, 1950s-1990s: The Industrialization of the Worldp. 167
11 The Industrial Revolution In the Past Half Centuryp. 169
12 A New Range of Initiatives: Industrial Revolutions and Rapid Evolutionp. 177
13 The New Spectrum in the Less Industrial World: Evolution and Exploitationp. 195
14 A Postindustrial Revolution?p. 207
15 International Industry and the Complexities of Industrial Trendsp. 223
16 Conclusionp. 235
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 241
Indexp. 251