The World in the 1780s
* According to Hobsbawm, the population of Europe was mostly agrarian, and not very free in 1780; capitalism was only beginning to take hold in Britain.
* Politically, most countries were ruled by monarchs, but revolutions were about to begin.
The Industrial Revolution
* The Industrial Revolution happened because conditions were right in Britain, where modest improvements were made in the weaving industry.
* As technology progressed, the profit motive urged investors and merchants to mechanize production.
The French Revolution
* The warfare that took place as a result of the French Revolution established a peace and stability throughout Europe.
* In the aftermath of the war, industries such as iron, which grew during the war, were in a position to expand even further.
* The Napoleon Wars abolished feudalism in France, and established a hierarchical bureaucracy that allowed a middle class to find employment in the state.
* Financiers and...
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