The point of dwelling on this somewhat arbitrary and intricate terminology, aside from the fact that it was much used in the nineteenth century, is that in France such social categories tended to be more prominent and enduring than in Britain.
In Britain's ruling elites, class distinctions and snobbery were retained in some cases, but on balance the growing ranks of the upwardly mobile, energetic businessman in Britain in the nineteenth gradually became more of an issue.
The differences in the growth of productivity in the two nations are probably explained by the differences in their national identity in the 19th century.
France's rigid class structure in the 19th century had an influence on another trend: France's total population began to level off because its peasants were limiting the size of their households.
By the eve of World War I, the British had almost caught up with the French, whose population had grown only to 39 million.
The population of the new German Reich, formed in 1871, reached 65 million by 1914, making it more impressive than the British growth.
In the first half of the 19th century, most of Europe's nations and regions fell below Britain and France in industrial productivity and wealth, but above the southern regions of Spain and Italy.
Each country had a different mix of the above mentioned characteristics.
Britain was a business-oriented country when it became independent from the Netherlands in the 19th century.
The British would surpass the British in reputation as competitors in the scramble for profits by the end of the century.
All of Europe would feel pressure to follow in Britain's footsteps.
Because of industrialization's gradual and many-sided nature, many people who observed it in its initial stages were impressed by its human and environmental costs.
Europe as a whole would eventually be transformed by industrialization's enhancement of productivity.
The new industrial developments were initially thought to be destructive and only benefit the capitalists.
Railroad engines were accused of being noisy, smoke-belching monstrosities, and violating the tranquility of country life.
"Satanic mills" was a common epithet for the first factories.
The entrepreneurial spirit of the first capitalists was thought to be immoral and driven by a near-criminal lust for individual profit.
Over the course of the century, those who concluded that the application of industrial techniques was mostly positive grew in number and influence.
There was a more enduring dissent about how much the state should attempt to interfere with or manage the new industrial economy, and various anti-industrial and anti capitalist movements arose, but for the most part the legislation passed in the course of the century, especially in Britain, had the purpose of encouraging
Although the role of technology has been exaggerated in comparison to the broader historical and cultural setting, technological innovation is one of the most familiar themes in the standard narratives of the industrial revolution.
In other words, people had to be ready to use the new technologies, and at first many were not, especially in rural areas.
In the first stages of the second industrial revolution, science in a more rigorous sense began to play a prominent role in such fields as chemicals and electricity, but in the first stages such was not usually the case.
Most of the early inventors and industrialists had some education, but only a few came from the lower ranks of society.
Most of the first successful industrialists came from the middle and lower ranks of society, so the phrase "rags to riches" overstated the matter.
James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny in 1764.
The entrepreneurial individualism of these early industrialists, which came to be so revered and idealized, was somewhat less bold than thought.
Compared to the mentality of a traditional peasant, it was real enough, but these individualists depended on a dense network of legal reforms and social institutions that had little to do with their personal efforts.
In southern Italy or Spain, men with skills like those of Watt or Arkwright would be hard to find.
Even if they had been able to take their inventions with them to such areas, their enterprises would almost certainly have failed, since there were no markets or effective demand for their products.
The cotton textiles were the most important part of this first stage.
Between the 1780s and 1820s, production in Britain soared.
As their price continued to decline, the demand for them seemed boundless, opening up attractive vistas of profit for those ready and able to seize opportunities.
In Britain, there were many people who were inventive, ingenious and willing to take risk in order to make money on the market.
The technical details of the rise of the cotton industry are not easily summarized and often arcane, but in general one invention or innovation tends to stimulate others, with inevitable false starts and recurring periods of adjustment to solve various practical or technical problems.
In Britain, the "flying shuttle" nearly doubled textile production by the mid-century.
That led to a sharp increase in the demand for yarn, which in turn inspired two other famous inventions, the spinning jenny and the water frame.
In the 1780s, Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the water frame, adapted a steam engine to drive the new spinning machinery, which had previously been driven by water power.
The need to supervise production more closely was one of the reasons Arkwright moved workers, spinning machinery, and steam engines into large buildings.
Small workshops remained the mainstay of Britain's industrial scene for many years, but the appearance of large units of production marked a new stage of history.
Each change had a human cost.
Before a power loom was invented to meet the demand, there was a spurt in the productivity of spinning that overwhelmed the hand-loom weavers, who worked mostly from their homes.
Cotton textiles were produced in quantities in the early 19th century and with an efficiency that would have been impossible a half century earlier.
The production of raw cotton, which came from India, was one of the bottlenecks that was attended to.
The invention of the cotton gin, patented in 1793) by the American Eli Whitney, made it easier to remove the seeds from the cotton.
Britain's industrial revolution depended on factors outside Britain and Europe in terms of raw materials and markets for finished products, as well as Whitney's role in the production of cotton in the United States.
The first stages of the industrial revolution were associated with textiles, but the application of new technologies, new power sources, and rationalized production had powerful, many-faceted repercussions.
The use of steam engines in the mills was an example of how inventions in one area of production often proved useful in completely different areas: Experiments with steam power dated back to the 17th century, and by the early 1800s steam engines were being used to pump water out of coal mines.
James Watt made improvements to the engines up to that point.
Watt was a technician at the University of Glasgow and qualified more as a scientist than other early inventors, but his business partnership with Matthew Boulton, an already successful manufacturer of toys and articles of clothing, was more important to his success than his technical inventiveness.
Watt might have been stymied since the capital outlay needed for his inventions were much more than those of Arkwright or Whitney.