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C O U R S E 
A History of the World since 1300
Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Industrial Revolution and the Transition of Non-Renewable Energy
Notes taken on February 28, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
Adam Smith called those worlds that Europe was occupying "wastelands"
their potential was latent
to turn them into productive assets it would take:
the transformation of wastelands into fertile, arable lands
a kind of ecological windfall
in the same way silver had been a windfall in an earlier cycle of European expansion
created radically new opportunities to
improve diet
shape everyday life in Europe
the backdrop to the industrial revolution
industrial revolution
was neither particularly industrial or revolutionary except at the end of the process
had much to do with agriculture
was nothing that happened in a given year as the word revolution often refers to in the 19th and 20th centuries
not just in manufacturing
taking place in all sectors of the European and neo-European economies
energy harvesting
in a sense began with the windmill around the year 1200
culminated with James Watt's steam engine in the 1770s
energy from wind to coal
the cumulative switch from the humble windmill
the switch from renewable to non-renewable energy sources was a powerful one
a movement away from the reliance of plants and animals for an energy source
ultimately animals relied on plants for an energy source to keep themselves going
mining stores of energy in minerals
two breakthroughs
previously all outputs are drawn from the system that require equivalent inputs
horses require energy that they consume by eating in the field
there was a fundamental limitation to the amount of energy you could get from the environment
you had to put plants back into the ground for the horses to eat to get energy again
the inorganic world would free humans from the necessity of this basic balance
taking coal from the ground was a way of breaking the natural balance that had to be observed
improvements in production methods in this new inorganic world
speeds could be controlled once you harnessed energy
variables were easier to manipulate
result was a massive upturn in productivity growth rates
clearest in the production of cotton textiles
1770-1790 output increased ten-fold while the price decreased by 90%
one of the hallmarks of this age is that machines could be produced which could augment the productivity of a single man, in a factory
combine this new use of energy with this new technology intensifying the internal division of labor
the industrial revolution could be called a "productivity revolution"
coal and eventually oil had to be gotten from far away
you now have a whole sector of the economy devoted to finding energy
the basic goods that went into producing new products often came from the colonies, e.g. cotton from the American South, Brazil or Egypt
out of Europe would emerge, as a result of this revolution, inexpensive cotton goods
these could be exported
Europe used to rely on exporting precious medals to Asia in return for prized commodities, but now they could export inexpensively produced products
had to find markets to sell cotton textiles
began to compete with local producers of textiles
an early example of globalization
countries and regions in Europe began to specialize in the product of manufactured goods, and the colonies specialized in basic goods