(PDF FREE) [The Great Divergence China Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy] ✓ Kenneth Pomeranz
Aviation Logistics: The Dynamic Partnership of Air Freight and Supply Chain lIng at the time but needlessly dense JanuaryFebruary 2015 Truly this is one of the toughest books we graduate historians must read Pomeranz s ideas are great but the book s readability is not the best If you re a casual reader this is NOT the book for you This book is for serious students of economics history and political science and environmental science now that I think about itKenneth Pomeranz argues uite compellingly that we must stop privileging the West as innately superior to the East He specifically wants to abandon ideas that Europe especially Britain was somehow predestined to experience the Industrial Revolution and surpass Asia technologically To this end he amasses a bunch of statistical data and evaluates the state of Chinese Japanese Indian British and continental European economics in the 1700s Pomeranz shows that China and Japan in particular had relatively highevels of proto industrialization as well as impressive trade networks On issues R High Performance Programming likeifespan wages creature comfort the competitiveness of ocal markets etc China in particular often surpasses Great Britain So Pomeranz does a good job of showing that the Industrial Revolution could have happened anywhereWhy did the Revolution happen in England and not China then For Pomeranz the key is an influx of natural resources sugar cotton timber and fossil fuels from the New World Supporting factors included the harnessing of coal and other fossil fuels in Britain new tech population growth in Britain s developed cities as opposed to Chinese population growth in the farmlands and precious metals silver from the New World that Europeans could use trade with AsiaCritiues that have arisen for the book Pomeranz makes the industrial divergence between East and West sound sudden than it probably was Some of the data is awfully speculative and based on small datasets from China et al Some of the comparisons between Britain and provinces of China and India are pretty broad The ast three chapters of the book are poorly organized compared to the extremely well organized first three chapters Near the end of the book the prose becomes extremely dense Pomeranz could have explored the role of science and fossil fuels a most tantalizing motif he touches upon in far greater detailBut the big takeaways Maybe we should define modernity based on who harnessed fossil fuels first instead of defining modernity with awkward cultural claims The East often was on a par or ahead of the West The New World s raw resources may have mattered than actual money obtained thereMuch food for thoughtUpdate 9292016 Re read the book I bumped my rating from 3 stars to 4 A second read reveals the strength of the writing which one doesn t notice the first time because of the dense ideas Pomeranz has a debt to Max Weber in thinking that capitalism appeared around the world at an early time Unlike Weber Pomeranz doesn t think capitalism is the inevitable form of modern civilization Pomeranz draws from Thomas Malthus s idea of resource traps civilizations are bogged down just feeding themselves never mind using natural resources for industrialization Supplies from America helped Britain escape its Malthusian imits China which experienced population growth
poor rural areas to spend resources on feeding people this process succeeded but didn t eave much material eft to use in industry Pretentious circumvoluted and unsubstantiated revisionist blabber apparently solely written for the sake of contrarian revisionism in itself There is nothing scientific here in spite of the tepid flow of anecdotal facts all about as relevant to the main story the emergence of economic growth from the Malthusian world as deckchair moves were to the history of the Titanic Economic history is done through models not from selected anecdotes Shame on an otherwise dependable publisher for havingIn Poor Rural Areas
lent credence to this a truly excellently researchedcredence to this A truly excellently researched thorough argument Against European Exceptionalism In The Industrial Revolution And That There European exceptionalism in the Industrial Revolution and that there something special about Europe that made it inevitable that the IR should happen In Pomeranz s view the only things different about Europe and China and by that he really means Britain and the Yangzi Delta but for reasons of either selling books to speak to modern controversies or a misguided attempt to address every Eurocentric argument in the world he uses the general categories of China and Europe were Britain had coal deposits and Europe as a whole had access to the New World and its vast raw materials which China did not His argument is that they were both approaching an ecological cul de sac where their respective population growth and unsustainable resource use was about to screw them both and make the kind of eisure time that allowed industralization to be invented totally obsolete as both areas worked to survive It is hardly news that the West has Vermeer to Eternity led the world economically for the past 200 years or This superiorityet s be honest that s what it is academics commonly call the Great Divergence a term coined by Samuel Huntington in 1996 though the study of Western economic superiority began much earlier There are many sub uestions one can ask eg what constitut Excellent super in depth discussion of why Europe surpassed China in the early modern period 1500 1800 even though China was technologically economically and financially advanced than Europe prior to that and as Heaven to Betsy late as 1750s Overall he underestimates the effects of colonialism and imperialism and seems to overestimate the role of coal but I m not an expert on this But really good anyway The comparisons will blow you away Main complaint people usually have is that it is too detailed and slow to read. G increased imports rather than maximizing yields Together coal and the New World allowed Europe to grow along resource intensiveabor saving pathsMeanwhile Asia hit a cul de sac Although the East Asian hinterlands boomed after 1750 both in population and in manufacturing this growth prevented these peripheral regions from exporting vital resources to the cloth producing Yangzi Delta As a result growth in the core of East Asia's economy essentially stopped and what growth did exist was forced along So B. It labor intensive resource saving paths paths Europe could have been forced down too had it not been for favorable resource stocks from underground and overseas. A very fun book to read Pomeranz takes a sledgehammer to older ideas of European exceptionalism and Weberian ideas of a nebulous capitalist spirit instead suggesting that until about 1800 Europe and China precisely England and the Yangzi delta wer The great divergence summed up would be as follows there is this theory on why China was different from Europe and that is why Europe become the economic powerhouse and not china then Kenneth Pomeranz steps in and in a dozen or so pages filled with tons of data and comparative analysis or case studies points out how much assumption and howittle fact based research is in this specific theory and up we go to the next theory It is as if the author was sick and tired of the many stereotypical assumptions on China and Japan when compared to western Europe that he decided to Cabaret list all the things he heard and systematically disproved them so he could easily counter the said assumptions in debates ah but your theory is flawed for I have actually studied the data and they tell me you are wrong I get why he chose this approach and style for his book but I did notike it in short if your not already deep in the subject the book will feel as a blur afterwards with a few general impressions in stead of a few solid arguments Well except for the final statement spoiler rather than pretend we are seeking the differences among truly independent entities on the eve of industrialization we must acknowledge the importance of pre existing connections in creating those differences This statement refers to his big counterpoint to the many theories which he denounces as following It makes for an awkward marriage between history and economics at east schools of economics that posit single euilibrium as the destination towards a given system trends a form of intellectual anarchy The author is adamant that it was the existence of the new world and European colonies there in particular those of the United Kingdom that proved to be the defining edge and factor in allowing the possibility of mass industrialization For both China and west Europe and to a esser extent Japan had strong core regions with proto industries an emerging consumer class a changing relations with regional peripheries and a similar ecological challenge that imited the growth of aforementioned factors there were differences between West Europe and East Asia only a ot of the times not as the theories assume them to be for example it seemed China and Japan in the 18th century were closer to the Adam Smith idea of a classic market economy with companies and market oriented farmerscraftmen then most of Europe was including Great Britain and the Netherlands In the end it all boils down to the fact that most theories on why Europe rose above Asia refrain from taking into account the dominance of Europe over the Atlantic trade the trade in silver slaves cloth drugs sugar tabacco coffee and energy foodtimber that allowed Europe to circumvent ecological Trading Places: The Netherlandish Merchants in Early Modern Venice limitations that East Asia had and could not circumvent with relativelyimited expansions in the pacific south east asia siberia or central Asia And even then still East Asia outranked Europe on a few fronts such as ife expectancy capital accumulation and while Europe was the bigger factor war investments and research the author makes a strong case of
DISMANTLING THE SEEMINGLY OBVIOUS ADVANTAGE THISthe seemingly obvious advantage this for Europe With noted exception of coal for the author there is no denying
obvious difference that had coal and importantly great Britain had coal as it did have a ot of alternative food timber and energy foods for workers while China had not in the 18th19th century or imited uses for it at the time But as the author points out if coal is the MAIN FACTOR OR A HUGE FACTOR factor or a huge factor there is ittle room for big theories and economic models explaining the inevitable rise of Europe and its civilization and thus these theories tend to downplay coal All in all I Dance Real Slow liked the theme and purpose of the book but it needed a story As it is now it is rather boring to read if your not fully part of the discussion and now the nuances of the theories and positions I have aimited affinity with the subject so I could keep track but I do prefer a historical narrative over a dry comparison We do get a narrative but you have to piece it together For instance on why China and Japan had ess use for coal to begin with China and Japan either had to grow food for workers or cotton for material but the first would mean ess material and the second The Day Christ Was Born: The True Account of the First 24 Hours of Jesus's Life less workers ergo an ecological catch 22 thatimited the proto industry and thus a potential mechanized industry to speak even ess of growing sugar to a scale to help sustain a proletariat While Great Britain could grow cotton in the Americas and thus grow food and material at the same time by regional specialization on massive scale another example would be on how uxery interacted with the growth of a capitalist society an interesting approach but it needed I did not uite get the subtle differences which would not have been the case if there had been some space for presenting societies aspects of need for uxury a ot of PostgreSQL Server Programming - Second Edition luxury guides are mentioned yet we get veryittle content from them So we do get a narrative but it is all over the place I would have oved a general societal structure analysis before we dove into all the theoretical comparisons Still if you are into this material and tend to believe the Europe was destined to be top dog check it out and challenge your views especially if you insists on data comparison Europe and the West by extension gets their balls clipped in this magisterial mostly economic history comparing and integrating the The Great Divergence brings new insight to one of the classic uestions of history Why did sustained industrial growth begin in Northwest Europe despite surprising similarities between advanced areas of Europe and East Asia As Ken Pomeranz shows as recently as 1750 parallels between these two parts of the world were very high in ife expectancy consumption product and factor markets and the strategies of households Perhaps most surprisingly Pomeranz demonstrates that the Chinese and Japanese cores were no worse off ecologically than Western Europe Core areas throughout the eighteenth century Old World faced comparable The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac, local shortages ofand intensive prod. Pposite ends of Eurasia Ken argues that by 1750 Europe meaning Britain and East Asia China and Japan were basically at the same stage of economic development type and suffering from the same ecological constraints It was only the accident of geography and juxtaposition that allowed parts of western Europe to exploit the New World and surge forth A ot of that has to do with the bloodthirsty nature of European expansion but Kenny doesn t go into that too much This is very much an economic history and a ook at how things are the same than different in a global perspective Pomeranz argues in a book which has become uite influential of ate Martin Jacues for example relies on Pomeranz revisionist history that the great divergence of China and the West only occurs about 1800 that before that time China was if anything ahead and that the divergence came as a result of fortuitous and purely material circumstances viz as the world exhausted its supplies of energy wood England had ready access to arge deposits of coal that The Road From Home: The Story Of An Armenian Girl lay near its industrial heartland while China had coal but it was in the north and northwest and at a distance from the industrial areas and because Europe also had a sudden access toarge uantities of natural resources in the New WorldOf course this begs the uestion as to why it was Europe and not China that engaged in a period of Discovery that Europe as Mokyr has argued was already ahead in early forms of industrialization well before 1800 during the 16th and 17th centuries why it was Europe that built and then USED guns eg and not China which had invented gunpowder etc etcWhile there are many factors there can be Exile and Pilgrim little uestion that Europe brought something cultural to the table The Spirit of Protestantism of course was Weber s answer But there is something to be added to this namely to use JH Parry s brilliant phrase an extreme readiness to apply science in immediately practical ways Age of Reconnaissance p 15The Chinese had technology gunpowder and they had theory science butike the Greeks of the Hellenistic period who only used their knowledge of steam power to power toys at the court of the Ptolemies they argely failed to combine the two which is precisely what was accomplished to a degree previously undreamt of in the Europe of the 15th 18th centuryWhat Europe had of course that was uniue was a fully developed and formalizable theory of induction which had been developed by ogicians in Oxford at the time of Robert Grosseteste see eg AC Crombie Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100 1700 also which itself was developed directly out of the concept of analysis which Descartes describes in the Regula as the method of discovery as opposed to Synthesis which is the method of exposition which was in turn derived from early Greek mathematical writers the notion is already in Aristotle who passed it on to the Greek commentary tradition the so called Aristotelian Commentators of the CAG and thence to the Arabs from whom it passed via Averroes to the West under the Latin name of regressus This concept of analysis by which one passes from the confused whole presented in sensation to the elements that compose it and then via synthesis back to the whole this concept of analysis however as Francis Bacon and only a few others have seen was derived directly from the Socratic dialectic which itself is inconceivable without the highly articulated and inflected nature of THE ANCIENT GREEK LANGUAGE THUS THE ancient Greek Hannah Montana: The Movie language Thus the of the Great Divergenceay far in advance of British coal minesI read this book about a year no maybe two years ago and was not impressed Of course this is not my field and it was the first book I had read on the topic of the great divergence so the following needs to be taken with arge heapings of saltFirst of all the writing was turgid and repetitive it had all of the vices and none of the graces of good academic writing But than that though that is a ot I recall feeling that the book underweighted the advantages that Europe had in terms of a culture of rational analysis that must have been critical to the development of industrializationI also could not believe that the mere proximity of coal could be a distinguishing characteristic of importance since access doesn t necessitate use It is well known for example that the Alexandrians inThe Obvious Difference That
the Hellenistic period knew how to harness steam power but used it only to makeHellenistic period knew how to harness steam power but used it only to make battleships for the Ptolemaic court to play with the Greeks knew all about induction and deduction had a full grasp of the hypothetical method as early as Plato s Meno and knew the difference between analysis and synthesis as early as Plato and Aristotle and yet STILL never developed the experimental method which had to wait upon Roger Bacon who himself had to earn of it of course indirectly from Averroes and from the Arabic translations of the ate Greek commentaries on Aristotle see eg the works of AC Crombie Indeed the Greeks did have the concept of zero ouden despite what is often said they just didn t use it in mathematics as a place holder which was the key innovation made by the Arabs So knowledge of a thing does not necessarily mean that a thing gets used There has to be some sort of intellectual catalyst as well as a material oneAnyway all this by way of preface to the claim that this article by Joel
Mokyr ht caseyang offers a very nice introductory critiue of Pomeranz oft citedht caseyang offers a very nice introductory critiue of Pomeranz oft cited though I am sure that Mokyr s argument will be unwelcome to many in the Academy the merit of a book rests upon its method not upon its implications a fact generally overlooked by contemporary scholarship in many a field Very important book with ideas that were groundbreak. Ucts shortages that were only partly resolved by tradePomeranz argues that Europe's nineteenth century divergence from the Old World owes much to the fortunate ocation of coal which substituted for timber This made Europe's failure to use its and intensively much Cardiovascular Pet: Current Concepts less of a problem while allowing growth in energy intensive industries Another crucial difference that he notes has to do with trade Fortuitous global conjunctures made the Americas a greater source of needed primary products for Europe than any Asian periphery This allowed Northwest Europe to grow dramatically in population specialize further in manufactures and removeabor from the and usin.