Mass Production, Mass Persuasion (AD 1780-1914)
Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum in London, continues his global history as told through objects from the Museum's collection. In this episode, Neil concentates on the period between the French Revolution and the First World War, when the countries of Europe and the USA were transformed from agricultural to industrial economies. At the same time, their empires around the world grew. Technological innovation led to the mass production of goods and growing international trade. Previously luxuries, like tea and Wedgewood pottery, became affordable to the masses. In many countries, movements pressed for political and social reforms, including the right for all men and women to be able to vote. The industrial revolutions of the West were partly funded by resources from Europe's expanding colonial empires. Only one non-western country, Japan, successfully embraced modernisation and emerged as an imperial power in its own right.
Producer: Paul Kobrak.