By Ivan Berend

Why did a few international locations and areas of Europe achieve excessive degrees of monetary development within the 19th century, whereas others have been left at the back of? This new transnational survey of the continent's financial improvement highlights the function of local changes in shaping each one country's financial course and final result. proposing a transparent and cogent clarification of the old reasons of development and backwardness, Ivan Berend integrates social, political, institutional and cultural elements in addition to undertaking debates concerning the relative roles of data, the country and associations. that includes boxed essays on key personalities together with Adam Smith, Friedrich checklist, Gustave Eiffel and the Krupp relations, in addition to short histories of options corresponding to the steam engine, vaccinations and the co-operative procedure, the ebook is helping to provide an explanation for the theories and macro-economic traits that ruled the century and their influence at the next improvement of the eu economic climate correct as much as the current day.

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Britain, however, had a relatively backward educational system and was at least a century behind Prussia. Yet it still became the pioneer of transformation. Since the economist Arnold Toynbee’s famous lecture series in 1884, when he introduced the terms “agricultural revolution” and “industrial revolution,” these expressions have become used widely. Thomas S. Ashton’s The Industrial Revolution, 1760–1830, first published in 1948, made “revolution” a household term. Adolphe Landry, the French demographer, coined the term “demographic revolution” in his influential La r´evolution d´emographique in 1934.

In 1801, according to the calendar? In 1789, when the French Revolution changed history? In 1769, when James Watt patented the first modern steam engine heralding a new industrial age? “Deep is the well of the past. ” quips Thomas Mann so memorably in Joseph and his Brothers (Mann, 2005, 1). Indeed, one may place the starting date of those monumental changes even farther back, at the discovery of America by Europeans and the beginning of the building of colonial and commercial empires that paved the way for industrial capitalism.

Among the richest and most advanced areas of Europe towered northern Italy, Flanders, and in a certain sense, Spain – the main beneficiary of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century inflow of more than 36 million pounds of silver and nearly 400,000 pounds of gold. Northern Italy and Flanders played central roles in long-distance trade, early banking, and craftsmanship, and they became the prime forces behind an early European expansion. By 1600, however, as a result of the destruction by floods of a great area of land during the geo-historical catastrophe in the Mediterranean known as the “Little Ice Age” between the turn of the thirteenth and the mid-fifteenth century (Tabak, 2008), as well as a series of devastating wars, the economic power of Venice, Genoa, and Flanders was virtually gone.

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