Development is a key term in the modernising global world. It is a target for many of the world's economically poorer nations. It is widely considered that history self-evidently demonstrates that sustained economic growth and development is a realistic aspiration for today's poorer countries, their leaders and their citizens. However, there is accompanying concern that the global development policies of the last seven decades have achieved a very mixed set of outcomes and that many countries and people remain poor.

This lecture argues that history can provide a surprisingly fresh approach to this problem, indicating the importance of policies which have not previously found many champions in the development literature. It is argued that we can learn a lot about development policies by paying careful attention to the first ever episode of successful economic development in the world -- that of England. But to see the important lessons we need to adopt the right temporal perspective, examining the history of English society and economy from c. 1550 onwards, fully two centuries before the conventional dating of the start of the industrial revolution.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.

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