2001 volume 33(7) pages 1305 – 1325

Cite as:
Stobart J, 2001, "Regions, localities, and industrialisation: evidence from the East Midlands circa 1780 - 1840" Environment and Planning A 33(7) 1305 – 1325

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Regions, localities, and industrialisation: evidence from the East Midlands circa 1780 - 1840

Jon Stobart

Received 4 December 2000; in revised form 5 April 2001

Abstract. Regions form one of the fundamental categories of geographical thought and analysis and yet are far from being fixed spatial entities. Analysis of the East Midlands in the 19th century highlights three important aspects of regional development. The first aspect is that causality was not unilinear. Industrialisation reinforced strong local specialisms and allegiances rather than generating the wider integrated regional economies and identities seen in other industrialising areas. The second aspect is the importance of scale. There was no preordained size for a region: coherent economic and cultural units in the East Midlands operated at a more localised level. The third aspect is the significance of temporal continuity, seen in the persistent centring of economy, social cohesion, and identity onto established urban centres, despite the coalescing forces unleashed by industrial and technological change.

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