A. Historians are fascinated by historic “firsts.”
B. But a focus on “firsts” can be misleading.
1. most “first achievements” in history were not intentional
2. the Industrial Revolution was certainly an “unexpected outcome of converging circumstances”
C. Europeans have used their development of industrialization to claim an innate superiority.
1. it’s important to emphasize the unexpectedness of the Industrial Revolution
2. spread of industrialization around the world diminishes the importance of the “why Europe?” question
3. industrialization will increasingly be seen as a global process