• Unit 2: Ancient and Early Modern Industry

    Industry did not begin with the Industrial Revolution. Ancient societies produced consumer goods on a large scale, serving markets spread over hundreds or even thousands of miles. In ancient Rome, India and China, large populations, centralized governments, and well-connected international trading routes created vast markets for all manner of goods, ranging from military and agricultural equipment to textiles and home décor. Entrepreneurs seeking to profit from these markets developed new techniques and new tools for mass production that laid the groundwork for future industrial advances. Many of these technological advances fell into disuse during the medieval period, but entrepreneurs continued to develop new commercial practices to organize and finance large-scale business.

    In this unit, we will examine several important industries that developed in the ancient world, such as mining, metallurgy, and textiles. We will then see how merchant entrepreneurs developed the tools and institutions that led to capitalism.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.