Global Studies 322:  The Industrial Revolution in Global Context

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Spring Quarter 2004-2005

MTRF, 6th or 7th Hour, A202

Office Hours, MTRF, 4th and 8th hours.  You can drop in at other times, too.

Dr. Samuel Martland, Moench AL 103, 872-6034

Email:  martland@rose-hulman.eduMy homepage.


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The changes in production, transportation, and consumption often called the Industrial Revolution brought paradoxes:  they accentuated fabulous wealth and squalid poverty; for a time, they expanded both paid labor and slavery; they ensured the independence of some countries and enabled the conquest of others; they brought greater chances for health and longevity, but made wars deadlier than ever before.

The Industrial Revolution reshaped the lives of many people who never saw a factory.  We will therefore trace a few key products about one a week from raw materials to consumers.  Well follow cotton, for example, from the plantations of the southern US to the mills of Manchester and on to the shops of Chile and Peru.  Each product will take us through several countries, cultures, and economic systems.  Well compare those systems, see how they interacted, and trace how they changed from about 1700 to about 1875.

          See  GL 322 in Angel for the syllabus, drop box for work, useful links, handouts, and related information.  To use the drop box and some other features you'll need to log in to Angel.  Click here for a brief citation guide for papers.



          Each student will complete a portfolio of short research assignments on a related topic (probably a particular type of good, technology, etc.).  I will provide a list of possible types of work that could go into the portfolio, ranging from short papers to annotated collections of images or charts.  Students will pick several that most interest them.  One choice will be due about every two weeks.  Students interested in making their portfolio in the form of a website are encouraged to do so (Ill mostly grade them based on content, not web design.)

The various parts of the portfolio will add up to about 70% of the grade.  Class participation and short homework assignments on assigned reading will make up the rest of the grade.  The assigned readings will serve as common material for class discussions and as starting points for research for the portfolios.


These books will be available for purchase in the bookstore:

Arnold Bauer, Goods, Power, History: Latin America's Material Culture;

Alan Dawley, Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn;

Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Railway Journey:  The Industrialization of

     Time and Space in the Nineteenth Century; and

Dava Sobel, Longitude:  The True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the

     Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time (A national bestseller). 


     I will hand out copies of letters from lonely merchants on the South American coast, entries from diaries of life at sea, and a few other supplemental readings.  I will also use documentaries, music, and art wherever it's appropriate.


     If you have any questions, please email me ( or stop by my office (AL 103).