“The Industrial Revolution: a Misnomer” written by Rondo Cameron is a highly opinionated article on the misleading usage of the term “Industrial Revolution”. He focuses on the distorted impression given by the term on the duration and the nature of the change that took place.
In his article, Cameron argues that the term “Industrial Revolution” gives an ambiguous reflection of the nature of the economic change. He disputes that the nature of the industrialization was not fast and sudden, but it was drawn-out and gradual, contrary to the common belief. Although there is not a general consensus on the dates, the author emphasizes the risk of overpassing the crucial fact of continuity that is associated with the intellectual and social changes in this period.
Instead of the traditional view on the Industrial Revolution where it is centered on the mechanization of the textile industry, Cameron believes that the industrialization should be based on the invention of the Newcomen atmospheric engine and Darby’s coke-smelting process. As the supply did not meet the demand of charcoal, another source of energy had to be found. The coke-smelting process redeemed coal as a viable source of energy. Coal now was in higher demand and the Newcomen engine was used to keep the water out of the deep mines. These two inventions laid down the bases of industrialization for all the other industries. Now, England became the biggest exporter of pig iron made by the usage of coal.
Another reason why the term “Industrial Revolution” is an unviable expression is because it is integrally associated with the horrific working conditions of the working class. It stresses the popularity of child labor and the replacement of employees with machines. Cameron views the Industrial Revolution in a better light as it resulted...