Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

This book has its origin in a network on energy history, the LEG network (Long-term Energy and Growth). This came together in 2003 with the aim of providing standardized and comparable statistics on historical energy use for a range of European countries, as the basis for developing more reliable...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-16

This book is an economic history of Europe viewed through the role that energy has played in that history. As such, it also aims to provide an account of the role energy can play in economic history more generally, and how energy consumption and economic development have been, are, and may...

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2. Definitions and Concepts

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pp. 17-34

In daily life we have direct contact with matter, but not with energy. Matter can be touched, its form described, and it is found underfoot and all around us. With energy, things are different. We only perceive the indirect effects that derive from changes either in the structure, that is, the molecular or...

Part I: Pre-Industrial Economies

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3. Traditional Sources

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pp. 37-80

Over the last two centuries energy has been plentiful, its price relatively low, and the influence of its consumption on the environment profound. In agrarian economies of the past, in contrast, energy was scarce, expensive, and its productivity low; environmental, and particularly climatic, changes...

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4. Constraints and Dynamics

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pp. 81-128

Our view of the early modern European economy is more pessimistic than that proposed by many historians. We think that, while in aggregate terms agricultural output was growing in the continent from the late Middle Ages, in per capita terms the reverse was true. Since energy consumption almost...

Part II: The First Industrial Revolution

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5. A Modern Energy Regime

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pp. 131-158

By the early nineteenth century, Europe had become a far more populous continent than three centuries previously, at the beginning of the early modern period. A mixture of opportunism, an “improving” ethic, and response to price pressures had led to efforts at saving land and labor, so...

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6. The Coal Development Block

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pp. 159-208

From an energy point of view, the key aspects of the first industrial revolution were coal, steam, and iron.1 No doubt individually many of the numerous technological improvements of the age, such as mechanization in the textile industry, would have raised productivity even in the absence of...

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7. Energy and Industrial Growth

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pp. 209-248

The economies of Europe grew more rapidly during the nineteenth century than at any previous period in history. This was not simply a consequence of the doubling of the population; per capita income rose too. Given these facts it is hardly surprising that energy consumption also increased...

Part III: The Second and Third Industrial Revolutions

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8. Energy Transitions in the Twentieth Century

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pp. 251-286

This final part of the book examines the rise in energy consumption in the twentieth century and the breakthrough of oil and electricity. These developments display similarities and differences with the previous century, that of the first industrial revolution, where coal came to dominate the...

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9. Major Development Blocks in the Twentieth Century and Their Impacts on Energy

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pp. 287-332

This chapter examines the impact that the major development blocks of the twentieth century had on the diffusion of new energy carriers and energy use in society. Here we will primarily address the drivers of energy transitions and economic energy efficiency...

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10. The Role of Energy in Twentieth-Century Economic Growth

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pp. 333-365

This chapter will focus on the nature of twentieth-century economic growth with respect to energy. There has been a degree of convergence in final energy consumption among European nations, while the nineteenth century was a story of divergence. With this in mind, our aim is to examine...

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11. Summary and Implications for the Future

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pp. 366-386

In this chapter we will first summarize the main results of the book, and then move on to a discussion of what we think can be learned for the future. As historians, the first comes rather more naturally to us than the second; and as we are historians, the reader may also accordingly give rather...

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A. The Role of Energy in Growth Accounting

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pp. 387-394

We will demonstrate in this appendix that energy can play a major role in explaining growth in a growth accounting framework, by making only rather modest changes to the basic assumptions usually employed. We will assume less substitutability between production factors and allow for...

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B. Decomposing Energy Intensity 1870–1970

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pp. 395-401

This appendix provides the basic data and results for energy decomposition for Sweden and England and Wales between 1870 and 1970. The results are discussed in the main text.
Table B.1 shows all the necessary data for the two benchmarks, 1870...

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C. The Impact from the Service Transition on Energy Intensity

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pp. 402-410

One possible explanation for falls in energy intensity in the twentieth century is the transition to a service economy, because service production is generally less energy-demanding than industrial production in relation to the value that is created. This would also offer hope for the future...

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D. Biased Technical Development

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pp. 411-414

New coal-using technology tended to use more energy than old methods of production, and nearly always less labor. This is what is called biased technical development: that is, a permanent change by which it is possible to produce any given level of output using a relatively greater amount of...

References

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pp. 415-450

Index

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pp. 451-460