This chapter examines the emergence of a liberal and imperialist international economy in the 19th century and its destruction in the early 20th century. The first part of the chapter investigates the origins of the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the factors that facilitated it. The second section focuses on the international system that was created as a result of the advantages the revolution gave to Great Britain and other Western powers (Pax Britannica). The third section examines one of the consequences of the increased power flowing from the Industrial Revolution - the era of renewed imperialism. The fourth section examines the breakdown of the liberal system during the First World War and the futile attempt to re-establish it during the 1930s. There are several points we can take from this historical overview of the 19th and early 20th century. First, both wealth and power flowed to the elites of states who were able to harness innovation in production technologies. The Industrial Revolution increased British power and wealth to such an extent that some scholars describe the mid-1800s as a period of British hegemony or Pax Britannica.
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- Industry, Empire and War: 1800–1945
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 4