The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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The Industrial Revolution & Its Impacts

Term 1, 2016-17

Lecturer: Prof. Ian Morley

Phone: (852) 3943 7116
Office: Room 129, Fung King Hey Building

Tutor: Ms KAR Yuen Lam



Time: Monday, 2:30 pm to 4:15 pm
Venue: Lee Shau Kee Building, Room 304


Time:1:30-2:15 pm (Weeks 2, 7, 9, and 11 only)
Venue: To be confirmed




An Overview of the Course Structure

The teaching for course HIST4380 consists of two complementary learning situations, these being:

  1. Weekly lectures to be given by Prof. Ian Morley. All lectures will be given via the use of Powerpoint, and where possible through the use of DVDs, videos and other electronic media. Audio-video copies of the lectures can be found on Blackboard.
  2. Tutorials. In total four tutorials (approximately 45 minutes each in length) shall be given throughout the course of the term and these present valuable opportunities to not only clarify your knowledge collected in the lectures but to furthermore engage you in discussion of issues associated with the industrial past and its effects.

Overall, the programme shall consist of two corresponding parts. The first, at the start of the term, covers the nature of the Industrial Revolution, the second towards the end of the term focuses more on the impacts upon society of industrial growth and change and gives references to developments in Asia as well as Europe and North America.

Course Description

Course HIST4380 intends to provide a survey of the origins and transformations of industrial society over the last two centuries or so, a period of time within which industrial nation states have reached new heights of power and acquired the dominant share of the world’s wealth – a wealth once dominated by Westerners but increasingly challenged in recent years by the rise of, for example, South East Asian nations. This comparative studies programme shall allow students to obtain a critical understanding of the nature of industrial society through fostering a multidisciplinary approach to industrialisation and many of the changes in society it helped to establish. The course will give students the opportunity to consider the ideas and the conditions in Europe and elsewhere that produced industrial change, capitalism and democracy – processes that the West considered then and still considers today as desirable for itself and other parts of the world. The curriculum gives particular focus to pre-industrial Europe and its economy, industrial Britain, urbanisation and its effects upon social classes, public health, housing and ways of living. The course is designed to build skills such as thinking critically, well-constructed writing and the clear presenting of oral arguments. In so doing students will be expected to critically engage with a range of academic disciplines such as History (social and economic, cultural and urban), Social Studies, Economics and Geography, so as to answer questions such as:

  1. What dangers arise from industrial and urban transition? Are these dangers universal?
  2. What is the relationship between cities and the countryside both before and after the onset of industrial growth?
  3. How did rural developments affect the rise of industry in Europe’s past?
  4. Were the First and Second Industrial Revolutions the same or were they different?
  5. What demographic changes have occurred since industrialisation began?
  6. How did industrial changes affect the role of women or children in the work place?
  7. How did social class relations shift due to industrial progress?
  8. How did patterns of urbanisation change as a consequence of industrial growth?
  9. What factors accounted for the beginning of the Industrial Revolution?
  10. In what ways did industrialisation fundamentally change societies?


Course Aims

At the end of the course students should be able to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Recognise and explain key events that led to upheavals within the economies and societies of Europe, North America and Asia, in so doing enhancing existing knowledge of what shaped these continents.
  2. Grasp the relationship between the evolution of industrialisation and the changing nature of societies.
  3. Consider broad issues within History in greater depth so as to make connections between industrial growth and other contexts.
  4. Demonstrate historical knowledge via a short tutorial presentation and class-centred exercises.
  5. Exhibit critical thinking and research skills through the writing of scholarly assignments and the compiling of an online portfolio.