History Essay on the Comparison of two Journal Articles

Essay by mouldy1College, UndergraduateA, December 2008

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The following is an evaluation and comparison of two secondary source journal articles. The articles are ‘Interpretations of the Industrial Revolution in Britain: A Methodological Inquiry’ by R. M. Hartwell and ‘The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution’, By Jan De Vries.

HartwellEconomic historian R.M. Hartwell wrote this journal article in 1959, it was published in the Journal of Economical History. R. M. Hartwell is one of the most popular historians to write about the Industrial Revolution. The decade in which this article is written shows the view of historians at the time, and this is reflected in Hartwell article. As the title of this article suggest Hartwell sets out to give the reader the interpretations of the Industrial Revolution from all angles. He does this successfully and chooses to use a large number of sources, such as other Historians or Social Commentators, both from the time and a later period.

Although the use of so many names throughout the article makes it hard to keep up with and is somewhat off putting. Although this does gives a balance to the article and allows the readers to come to their own conclusions. The question being asked throughout this article as, did the Industrial Revolution really improve the standard of living? Hartwell does suggest that the Industrial Revolution was a time of change, and it is this change that is open to peoples own interpretation, this view is supported by many historians who believe that; “ the Industrial Revolution, as we shall see, was not a uniform wave of change…it came in a great variety of places…” It is an easy to read article, and Hartwell separates it into three sections. In section one he firstly starts by acknowledging both sides of the ongoing historical debate between historians on...