Why The Industrial Revolution Happened Here

9:30pm Monday 14 January on BBC TWO

As part of BBC Two’s Genius of Invention season, historian Professor Jeremy Black examines one of the most extraordinary and revolutionary periods in British history, explaining the unique economic, social and political conditions that led to Britain becoming the richest, most powerful nation on earth in the 19th century.

It was a time that transformed the way people think, work and play forever.

Tracing the unprecedented explosion of new ideas and technological inventions that transformed Britain’s agricultural society into an increasingly industrial and urbanised one, Why The Industrial Revolution Happened Here explores two fascinating questions – why the industrial revolution happened when it did, and why it happened in Britain.

In this hour long programme, Professor Black discusses the reasons behind this transformation – from Britain’s coal reserves which gave a seemingly inexhaustible source of power to the ascendency of political liberalism, with engineers and industrialists able to meet and share ideas and inventions. He explains the impact that geniuses like Josiah Wedgwood had on the consumer revolution and travels to Antigua to examine the impact Britain’s empire had on the story.

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