Russell, Stuart (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This dissertation examines the link between agricultural growth and industrial development in Britain, using the Black Country as a case study. This involves looking at a how industry developed in the Black Country and considering what factors facilitated this development and how far agriculture was one of these.
This focuses on an investigation into the role of the knowledge economy, and the idea that as the importance of science became more recognised, people who understood how to apply science to agricultural, and later industrial, situations were able to influence the direction that these economies took. This investigates the actions of “revolutionary players” such as James Loch and James Keir, discovering how far they utilised the same knowledge economy that had been used to develop agriculture, as they drove industry forward.
Primary sources include the works of Robert Plot and James Keir who provide accounts of the Black Country during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Personal correspondence of some Black Country land agents which show exactly how these men were involved in industrial development and provide an insight into their role in the knowledge economy, are also used. A wealth of information has also been taken from nineteenth century printed sources on the coal and iron trades, which provide accounts of the Black Country economy at this time.
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