Lessons from a fight between economists and historians

IN A fascinating new piece at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Marc Parry examines an intense, ongoing debate between historians and economists on the role American slavery played in the industrial revolution. A number of recent books by historians (including Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told, with which The Economist has an unfortunate history) argue that growth in output in American cotton, made possible by America’s slave economy (and rising brutality within it), was crucial in fostering the nascent industrial revolution, which had its beginnings in the mechanisation of textile industries. The conclusions of these historians stand in stark contrast to the general view among economists and economic historians, that in the absence of slavery, industrialisation would have occurred more or less as it actually…Continue reading

This post was originally published in the Economist.

Advertisements
Lessons from a fight between economists and historians

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s