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Lesson 4: England Before the Industrial Revolution

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a practical man 实干家

the rising town 新兴城市

arteries of communication 交通动脉

outstanding feature 显著特点

out of interest 出于兴趣

from dawn to dark 从早到晚

in the air 酝酿之中

conform to 符合

The Royal Society 皇家学会

the multi-purpose machine 多功能机器

the indian summer 兴旺的晚期

The Church of England 英国国教

grammar school英国的中等学校

conform to遵从、信奉

cottage industry 家庭手工业

diesel locomotive 柴油机车

工业革命 Industrial Revolution

基础产业 basic occupation

农业部门 Department of Agriculture

大运河 the Grand canal

自我奋斗的生涯 self-made career

The country was a place where me worked from dawn to dark, and the labourer lived not in the sun, but in poverty and darkness.


James Brindley of Staffordshire started his self-made career in 1733 by working at mill wheels, at the age of seventeen, having been born poor in a village.


What aids there were to lighten labour were immemorial,like the mill, which was already ancient in Chaucer’s tiem.


It may seem strange to put into the same packet an industrial revolution and two political revolutions.


It was not simply a source of power, it was a new wave of movement.


Brindley’s improvements were practical; to sharpen and step up the performance of the water wheel as a machine. It was the first multi-purpose machine for the new industries.


Brindley had begun on his own account, out of interest, to survey the waterways that he travelled as he went about his engineering projects for mills and mines.


During the first half of the eighteenth century, in the old age of Newton and the decline of the Royal Society, England basked in a last Indian summer of village industry and the overseas trade of merchant adventurers.


The universities also(there were only two, at Oxford and Cambridge) took little interest in modern or scientific studies, and they were closed to those who did not conform to the church of England.


Brindley worked, for example, to improve the grinding of flints, which were used in the rising pottery industry.


Two things are outstanding in the creation of the English system of canals, and they characterize all the Industrial Revolution.


Yet there was a bigger movement in the air by 1750.


The canals were arteries of communication: they were not made to carry pleasure boats, but barges.


The men who make the revolution are craftsmen: the mill-wright, the watchmaker, the canal builder, the blacksmith.


What makes the Industrial Revolution so peculiarly English is that it is rooted in the countryside.


The Industrial Revolution is a long train of changes starting about 1760.


By 1820, it was standard to bring workers into a factory and have them overseen.


Water had become the engineer’s element, and men like Brindley were possessed by it.


The summer faded. Trade grew more competitive.


It is a well-known fact that the English have an obsession with their weather and that, give half a chance, they will talk about it at length.


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