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In which John Green wraps up revolutions month with what is arguably the most revolutionary of modern revolutions, the Industrial Revolution. While very few leaders were beheaded in the course of this one, it changed the lives of more people more dramatically than any of the political revolutions we’ve discussed. So, why did the Industrial Revolution happen around 1750 in the United Kingdom? Coal. Easily accessible coal, it turns out. All this, plus you’ll finally learn the difference between James Watt and Thomas Newcomen, and will never again be caught telling people that your blender has a 900 Newcomen motor.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. vast majority of technological improvements are gradual, produced by marginal improvements in already existing ideas and technologies. none come from thin area and nothing. but eventually, over time, it all comes together into significant breakthroughs. industrial revolution was simply a result of this, though greatly accelerated due to various circumstances, mainly due to European mentality and spirit.

  2. You're trying too hard to be PC. just say it – white people, in European environment and circumstances, proved to be exceptionally creative, inventive and entrepreneurial. Is it that hard to say the obvious?

  3. .True or False: In 15,000 years, dramatic changes were largely absent with how humans disposed of waste, located drinking water, or acquired clothing. Most people lived on or ver close to the land that procided their food and did not own a single item made outside their community.

  4. Uh… Okay. The Industrial Revolution to me is just like a story I know
    called "The Puppy Who Lost His Way." The world was changing, and the
    puppy was getting… bigger. So, you see, the puppy was like industry. In that, they were both lost
    in the woods. And nobody, especially the little boy – "society" – knew
    where to find 'em. Except that the puppy was a dog. But the industry, my
    friends, that was a revolution.

  5. Little objective history, much conjecture based on personal opinion which is decidedly anti-European (not for the first time). Disappointing episode. I don't have problems with anti-Eurocentrism, Slavery/Imperialism/Colonialism, as long as it's objective.
    Basically long story short, Industrial Revolution happened in Europe due to luck and circumstance, nothing to be proud of! Coulda, shoulda, woulda happen in India and China.

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