Uneven development
Geographical specialisation and inter-dependency
in The first industrial region
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In this chapter, economic and urban development in the north west is set alongside that of England as a whole. This provides a context for the subsequent discussion of regional development and, more importantly, serves to highlight the parallel developments taking place in region and nation. These parallel developments thus underline the usefulness of north-west England as an exemplar of wider processes. The chapter highlights the following three aspects: the early establishment and persistence of geographical specialisation; the importance of towns in integrating these spatial divisions of labour; and the geographically uneven growth that resulted from these processes. It then introduces many of the ideas, structures and geographies. The social division of labour which is this involved is evident at both the regional and national scale; it is matched by a spatial division of labour that resulted in marked local and regional geographical specialisation.

The first industrial region

North-west England, c.1700–60

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