The Pioneer of Industrialization: Britain

时间:2015-01-07 单词数:3410

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The Pioneer of Industrialization: Britain


Lies in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the European continent, Britain defeated Spanish Armada in 1588 and set foot on the world stage since then. In stepping from the Middle Ages to modern society, the powerful monarchy has been a key point. Queen Elizabeth I encouraged maritime exploration and trade, managed the state affairs with an enlightened attitude and comprised in dealing with social conflicts, all of which made this marginal island country embrace its early glory.


Yet the following King Charles I adhered to divine right of kings which violated the rules that kings must obey the law stipulated in the Magna Carta in the 15th century. The King declared a four-year- war with the parliament and was sentenced to death after defeated. At last, Britain gradually set up the constitutional monarchy through Glorious Revolution and transformed to the modern society. 


With Britain’s colonial expansion and maturity of its overseas market, there was increasing demand for goods, yet handcraft workshop could not satisfy the need. To encourage innovation and creation, Britain issued the earliest “Patent Law” in the world. When Isaac Newton discovered the law that governs the universe, the scientific spirit penetrated to every corner of Britain; when Watt solved the power problem with the all-powerful steam engine, Britain’s industrialization developed in full swing in an amazing speed; when Adam Smith pointed out the market law in”The Wealth of Nations”, the British began to promote free trade and expand into the world market based on its own strong industry. Through all of these, Britain became the first industrialized country in the world. And in the process, Britain defeated France and became the number one colonial empire in the world.


Since the second half of the 19th century, the colonies have increasingly become Britain’s burden and the drawback of free market economy became obvious. Therefore, Britain gradually slowed down in development and finally lost its position as the world hegemony.