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Episodes

Chapter 33: Industry in the USA

At the start of the 19th Century, the U.S. economy was very similar to the cash-crop export economies of the soon-to-be-independent countries of Latin America. But a half century later, the U.S/ was the second largest economy in the world, with industrial productivity on par with – or even greater than – Great Britain. How did it happen?

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Dave Broker
Chapter 32: Industrialization and the Wider World

This week, we’re stepping away from Europe and the United States to look at the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the rest of the world. Among other places, we’ll be visiting Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, India, China, and Australia.

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Dave Broker
Bonus: Thomas Lichtenberger

For National Manufacturing Day, Dave interviews Festo Didactic CEO Thomas Lichtenberger to learn about manufacturing in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Festo Didactic is a global leader in technical education, equipment, and training. They work with colleges, universities, and trade apprenticeship programs to prepare the workforce for "Industry 4.0."

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Dave Broker
Chapter 31: Railway Fever Spreads

This week we discuss how railroads rapidly spread across Great Britain, the United States, and Continental Europe between 1830 and 1848. In particular, we’ll focus on the unique ways railroads developed in each country, the civil engineers who built them, and the economic and social impacts of Railway Mania.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 30: The Locomotive

By the 1820s, canal transport could no longer keep pace with the efficiencies of mass production in British factories. It would take a new machine – built by impressive (and often colorful) characters – to move freight and passengers on railways at previously unimaginable speeds.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 29: The Rothschilds

The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain made the surprising success story of the Rothchilds possible. And the Rothschilds, in turn, made the Industrial Revolution possible across the rest of Europe.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 28: Economic Ideas (Part 3: The Classics)

This week we discuss the so-called “Classical” school of economics, and the various ideas about capitalism, free trade, and labor during that period. In particular, we’ll be discussing the lives and works of Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, the guys who influenced them, and the guys they influenced in turn.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 27: Finance and Industrialization

Going back to the 1600s, the development of modern financial systems transformed life on planet earth. Debt markets and stock markets helped industrialization spread and remain ever-growing. They’ve also created a new phenomenon: The boom-and-bust cycle. And it seems that we, as a species, have decided that the key benefits of financial modernization – technological progress and mostly continuous economic growth – outweigh the anxieties and the risks of it.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 26: Ending the Slave Trade

The practice of slavery was as old as the written word. But in the age of Europe’s global empires, it took a racist and even more sinister turn. Then, in the years between 1807 and 1819, with the rise of liberalism and industrialization, western powers began to end the transatlantic slave trade as a first step to ending slavery. In this episode, we’ll discuss how it happened in France, Great Britain, and the United States.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 25: Man Takes Flight

As chemistry advanced in the 18th Century, it was applied to perhaps the all-time greatest dream of humankind: Learning how to fly. In this episode, we meet the men who made it possible as “Balloonmania” took off in France, and then across the industrializing world.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 24: The Luddites

As capitalists invested in machine technology, they put many of their traditional competitors out of business, forcing them into the factories as de-skilled workers. Then, between falling incomes and rising prices, those began to strike back. And the Luddites – a shadowy network of militant 20-somethings, led by a man who probably never existed – went to war with the machines and their owners. This is their story.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 23: The Albion Mills

One of the world’s first coal-powered factories was the Albion Mills, smack-dab in the heart of London. Built by Boulton & Watt, it put the competition out of business. Its eventual destruction was a source of inspiration, not only for a burgeoning labor movement, but for one of Britain’s most important poets – and England’s unofficial national anthem.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 22: Industry on the Post-Napoleonic Continent

First came the French, led by Napoleon, ending feudal economic traditions across Europe. Then came the British, bringing their knowledge of new, industrial production methods and business practices. And as a result, the first Industrial Revolution spread to pockets of France, the Low Countries, Germany, and Eastern Europe.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 21: The French Revolution and Empire

If you compare the histories of Great Britain and France in the 16th through 18th Centuries, you see how they led to very different transitions into modernity. For Britain it was the Industrial Revolution. For France it was the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. This is what Eric Hobsbawm called the “dual revolution.”

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Dave Broker
Chapter 21 Bonus: Gary Girod

Get caught up on French history before we get into the French Revolution and Napoleon next week! Dave has a stirring chat with Gary Girod, host of the French History Podcast. The food for thought in this bonus episode is excellent and abundant.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 20: America's First Great Debate

As the first President of the United States, George Washington appointed two cabinet secretaries who went to war with each other. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson fought on many fronts, but perhaps the most significant front was Hamilton’s economic agenda…

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Dave Broker
Chapter 19: The American Revolution

In this episode, we explore the underlying intellectual reasons for the American Revolution, and how that Revolution reshaped those ideas into a philosophy that would take over the world as industrialization spread.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 18: Men of Faith (Part 2: Religious Upheaval)

In the late 18th Century, increasing religious freedom led to violent rioting in London and Birmingham. The Quakers, meanwhile, kicked a gun manufacturer out of their denomination. And without knowing it, Enlightenment thinkers started to develop a brand-new religion – a religion that most of the world believes in today.

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Dave Broker
Chapter 17: Men of Faith (Part 1: The Great Awakening)

After the suppression of the Puritans, religiosity died down in Great Britain and British America. Then, in the mid-18th Century, a revival of nonconformist churches swept over the English world. And it had a profound impact on the coming Industrial Revolution.

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Dave Broker