CRF Blog

Density and the Industrial Revolution

by Bill Hayes

In Population density fostered literacy, the Industrial Revolution, the blog Per Square Mile has a nice short piece on the causes of the Industrial Revolution.

Without the Industrial Revolution, there would be no modern agriculture, no modern medicine, no climate change, no population boom. A rapid-fire series of inventions reshaped one economy after another, eventually affecting the lives of every person on the planet. But exactly how it all began is still the subject of intense debate among scholars. Three economists, Raouf Boucekkine, Dominique Peeters, and David de la Croix, think population density had something to do with it.

 Their argument is relatively simple: The Industrial Revolution was fostered by a surge in literacy rates. Improvements in reading and writing were nurtured by the spread of schools. And the founding of schools was aided by rising population density. [more]