13 April 2012. Book review- Before the Industrial Revolution: This paper is primarily based on contemplating the widely acclaimed book Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy, 1000-1700 in critical terms…
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The fact that the author of this book Carlo M. Cipolla happened to be an established economic historian himself so relating the events which happened prior to the Industrial Revolution in a very mesmerizing and engaging manner must have remained interesting to him as well as is obvious from this book. He was basically an Italian economic historian so he is quite distinguished among other historians of his time for the invaluable contributions made by him towards simplifying and unfolding facts about medieval and early modern times in addition to scrutinizing the socioeconomic world history. This book in particular lays stress on socioeconomic European history and what life was like to a common man before the revolution took its toll over the world. Obviously, the events narrated in the book stretch over a big period of 700 years which is why so much critical thought and consideration has been put in this piece of work over the last many years since it was first published. As an established leader in world economic history, Cipolla wrote this book about European society and economy with great originality of thought and solidity of approach because he has based his claims and arguments mentioned in this book on meticulous research and intellectual thought. Before the Industrial Revolution, life for an average man employed in some small company or a big organization in Europe was quite difficult because incomes were understandably meager and a lot of expenditures were required to be met as women were not seen in such a staggering number at workplaces like they are seen now due to which the family responsibility largely was to be addressed by the men. European society depended on agriculture to such a large extent that on many levels it was their only means of support and this largely agrarian and rural European society brilliantly and amazingly transformed into a highly progressive and urban industrial society but the transformation did not take place over night or in a span of some months, rather years went by before the European society began to be considered an epitome of industrialization and urbanism. Episodes of this transformation phase which involve the European society and people living in those orthodox and largely conservative times are discussed in this book with the help of very unique, commendable, and stimulating ideas. Obviously given the large span of seven hundred years, not virtually everything could be included and reflected upon in this book but among the many subjects touched by Cipolla, explaining the life of a common European person forms the most significant and memorable feature of this historical account. The balance of economic power in Europe changed immensely as a result of the Industrial Revolution which is the theme of this book and Cipolla presents myriad evidence based examples and logical arguments to defend and discuss this major theme. The author reflects how prior to the Industrial Revolution which took place between 18th and 19th centuries, the English people had realized their power to full effect and like every monumental success almost always has aggression at its root, the British people likewise became very aggressive and snobbish towards the rest of the global community and they did not even spare the Europeans in this regard. It is identified in the book how in those times, the Europeans relentlessly made through the dark age in spite of so little given in reward for the heaps of hard work they projected in
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