According to North, "institutions change shapes the way societies evolve through time and hence is the key to understanding historical change"(1990:vii, 3). Poor economic performance is the result of inefficient institutional structures. The difference growth rates among nations are the result of different types of societal rules that nations have. The great progress made by England compared to Spain is the different institutional structure of the two countries. Spain adopted a conquest strategy while England used a commerce strategy. However, there are some who consider North’s emphasis on the importance of institutions too naive. According to Donald Snooks, what determines the industrial climate and economic growth is not the institutions but individuals who are capable of making decisions (292).
Ideal institutional framework alone cannot achieve success in economic progress. There should be the apt technology for the success of any economic revolution. The Industrial revolution in England was fuelled by great technological change. This may be called the dynamic strategy of technological change. The growth that England showed in the middle ages was slowly losing the impetus by the 16th century and resulted in gradualism. This continued for many more years and the English economy stagnated in the early 1700(Wringley, 1994:32). Only a big push could save the country from financial ruins. Luckily for England a combination of Technological strides coupled with matching strength of institutions came to the rescue of the nation.
The commercial change of the industrial transformation was not connected with England alone. Even France was an ideal soil for a change. Certain combination of factors in England made it a possibility. A major chunk of these were technological leaps that England had made. The adequate institutions that England evolved were also a major factor. Transportation in England had the support of the railways and steam engines. Further steam engines reduced human factor in industry. The global markets became accessible due to navigation. England replaced the institution of regulation and encouraged the climate of competition.
The central factor in the success of Industrial Revolution was the cheaper method of manufacturing products and cheaper ways of transporting them across the globe. There was adequate institutional support for these activities. The technology strategy replaced the need to conquer others and resulted in the realization that colonies are not necessary for economic growth but countries capable of entering into trade relations. Early in history England realized that economic growth is possible only if individuals worked through market. This realization helped England to form institutions based on laissez-faire policy. The English institutions were the individuals working through market. This resulted in legal system that protected the rights of the individual and private property. The political system gave enterprising individuals the chance to defend their sources of wealth. The educations system provided the skills required for cheaper production. In brief the system followed in England for technological transformation was a system of freely operating market that gave the individual the ability to take decisions. So for the private individual to maximize returns on