Life Outside Britain Ethan Copeland, Emma Stiefel, Charis Williams


Despite having a relatively advanced economy, when the first industrial revolution came along, Netherland couldn’t keep up. As a result of the fourth Anglo-Dutch war in 1780 and several advancements from the Golden Age, Netherland was late in joining with the technological developments going on around them. However, Netherland did eventually join the industrialization at around 1860.


During the 1700s France was the dominant power in Europe and seemed to be the most likely country to become industrialized first, but Britain greatly outpaced it for several reasons.

The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars were part of the reason France had such a hard time industrializing, and it cut itself off from Britain when that country was taking its first steps towards industrialization. Revolutionary political advances and the Napoleonic Code also made life better for peasants in France, so they were less likely than British farmers to leave the countryside for the cities. France’s population also grew much less than Britain’s and other European Countries’, so there was less pressure on farmers and other producers to develop more efficient ways of carrying out their jobs and less unemployed people willing to work in factories.

Eventually, however, France realized that Britain was out competing them and began to industrialize. Its industrial capabilities would greatly improve but remain under Britain’s.


Germany was also late to industrialize but more successful than France. The French occupation and the implementation of the Napoleonic Code and helped modernize the German economy: guilds declined, tariffs and taxes between German states decreased, and France’s unified legal system helped encourage investment.

The German government also encouraged industrialization. Prussia invested in infrastructure and led the creation of the Zollverein customs union, which abolished tariffs among member states and facilitated trade. Germany had particularly well developed railway, coal, and steel industries and would pioneer the electrical and chemical industries later on.

German industrialization was most dramatic, however, during the second industrial revolution in the mid-to-late 1800s, during which the German economy greatly improved. It would overtake France and, in 1870, when the German states were unified into the modern nation, industry skyrocketed.


The Industrial Revolution hit Russia later than most other European countries. Along with a lack of resources, up until about the 1860s, government in Russia had not been interested much in urbanization. However, several reforms, social and otherwise, by Czar Alexander II in the 1860s and 1870s were meant to spur the Russian economy in order to transform the nation. However, while they were successful reforms, they failed to drastically influence the economy In the late 1870s, several projects were initiated, particularly to build railways. Together, these reforms and projects along with the emergence of Sergei White, led to the start of the industrialization of Russia.


Spain's industrial revolution began in the mid-19th century with the first railways being built in 1848. By the 1860’s railways covered Spain and relieved the isolation of the Spanish interior. While the steel and mining industries boomed, Spain remained mainly focused on an agricultural economy. The industrialization was based in the Catalonia and Basque regions of the country.


Italy was a leader in the ancient world yet lacked in the modern world. Italy’s Industrial revolution began mid-19th century They lacked natural resources such as coal and unproductive land. They were however able to industrialize. Italy owned 80 percent of the shipbuilding industry and 40 percent of the railway stock holdings. Italy also was a major hive for the textile industry centered in Milan.


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