First published in 1979, The Transformation of England discusses the creation in late eighteenth century England of the industrial system and thereby the present world. Professor Mathias poses questions about the nature of industrialization, social change and historical explanation, issues that are his principal scholarly concern.
This series of essays is divided into two groups. The first group of essays focuses upon general themes such as the 'uniqueness' in Europe of the industrial revolution, capital formation, taxation, the growth of skills, science and technical change, leisure and wages, and diagnoses of poverty. In the second section, Professor Mathias focuses on the social structure in the eighteenth century, considering the industrialization of brewing, coinage, agriculture and the drink industries, advances in public health and the armed forces, British and American public finance in the War of Independence, Dr Johnson and the business world.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Themes 1. British industrialization: unique or not? 2. Skills and the diffusion of innovations from Britain in the eighteenth century 3. Who unbound Prometheus? Science and technical change, 1600-1800 4. Science and technology during the Industrial Revolution: some general problems 5. Capital, credit and enterprise in the Industrial Revolution 6. Taxation and industrialization in Britain, 1700-1870 7. Adam’s burden: historical diagnoses of poverty 8. Leisure and wages in theory and practice Part 2: Topics 9. The social structure in the eighteenth century: a calculation by Joseph Massie 10. The people’s money in the eighteenth century: the Royal Mint, trade tokens and the economy
'It is a marked feature of Professor Mathias' contributions to economic history that even when he is operating on a narrow front, he is able to tease out its more general implications.' - The Economist
'This is a collection which all students of the eighteenth century and admirers of the historian's craft will relish.' - Economic Journal