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British industrialization was concentrated in those areas which had experienced prior proto-industrialisation. Therefore proto-industry was necessary for factory industry---discuss.

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Introduction

British industrialization was concentrated in those areas which had experienced prior proto-industrialisation. Therefore proto-industry was necessary for factory industry---discuss. One model, proposed by Mendels, was that proto-industry was responsible for the rapid expansion in population, in what he called demo-economic systems. This was mainly on the basis that rural peasants required a labour force to produce output, and by increasing fertility, they were able to breed one. Despite this, Medick suggested that the reason for increased fertility was earlier marriage, as the previous relationship between agriculturally inherited land and marriage, had been removed by the growth of industries. Levine cited that this population growth was vital, as it created an industrial proletariat, which led to further expansion in rural domestic industries. It was a self-sustaining proto-industrial spiral, that generated the labour, capital, entrepreneurship, commercial agriculture and supra-regional markets required for factory industrialisation. Ogilvie and Coleman reject this, claiming that there was no evidence that it was proto-industrialization which led to the development of commercial agriculture, rather than agricultural surpluses which led to the growth of both proto-industries and towns and cities. ...read more.

Middle

Proto-industrialisation was taken as rural peasants turning to industrial production, such as textiles, straw-plaiting; glass making and creating domestic and international markets where this produce was sold. This is clearly an early capitalist development, with the emergence of industrial production and the commercialisation of trade. Medick theorized an outline of the stages for proto-industrialization to develop into industrialisation, with the first stage, Kaufsystem, referring to the rural-peasants' maintenance of control over the production and selling of their output. Entrepreneurs recognised the attractiveness of rural workers, and rural production, as it was uninhibited by; urban guilds and company restrictions which was the way many towns were, whilst many worker's wages could be lower as some still partly had a subsistence base in agriculture. This led to Verlagsystem, a heightened merchant capital investment, which lead to the peasants' loss of control and autonomy over production. Merchant capitalists would supply factor inputs, and workers would process them in return for wage, with the merchant capitalists extracting the profits. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also limited evidence of the transition from Kaufsystem to Verlagsystem, as many small rural peasants, continued to produce on a small scale. Furthermore, Ogilvie and Cerman declare that at no time did a major landless proletarianized workforce dependent on industrial capital arises. Clarkson and Snell also claimed that commercial agriculture developed in many cases earlier than proto-industry, and not always in neighbouring regions. In many proto-industry regions these mechanisms even moved back to agriculture. Evidence would appear to suggest that proto-industry was not a key aspect of the industrial revolution, but rather reflected the changes in economics and society at the time, namely, growing populations, emerging industries, entrepreneurial activities and the commercialisation of trade. It appears that by no means should proto-industrialisation be isolated as a key in factor in the development of the industrial revolution, in the way that Mendels had outlined, but it should be considered and discussed as one of the many economic changes taking place, that was eventually to lead to the industrial revolution. ...read more.

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