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Europe’s access to a larger quantity of raw materials and a larger market to sell divsrgence manufactured goods gave it a distinct advantage through the 19th century.

Agreed the Great Divergence and the Industrial Revolution form part of an interconnected narrative and the degree of divergence in labour productivities and real incomes between Europe in China, that had so clearly appeared bylooks inconceivable without the massive supplies of basic foodstuffs and raw materials imported from the Americas and other primary producers.

Fortunately, through improved farming techniques, the import of fertilizers gfeat, and reforestationEuropeans were able to recondition their rgeat and prevent food shortages from hampering industrialization. The location of major coal deposits was a critical factor in determining the viability of industrialization.

Towards a new global history’, Osaka University Economic Review1227— If parliament curbed arbitrary regulations and tolls in one realm, then neighboring rulers might have to respond in kind, even if they themselves remained without a parliament.

Thirdly, it is not at all clear that the arable land, pastures, forests and seas of Western Europe, together and through trade with its periphery to the East and South could not have sustained the rates of population growth, industrialization and urbanization experienced say, down to the midth century without massive imports of primary produce from the Americas.


At the same time, Chinese and Indian demands for foodstuffs and manufactures produced in Europe remained limited in volume and scope.

Ten Years of Debate on the Origins of the Great Divergence | Reviews in History

Giovanni Arrighi et al. A number of economists have argued that representative government was a factor in the Great Divergence. In order to further industrialize, it was imperative for the developing core areas to acquire resources from less densely populated areas, since they lacked the lands required to supply these resources themselves.

We might rhetorically enquire if small outcomes could flow from large changes to endogenous variables?

Great Divergence

There have been similar findings for India. China decided to continue a self-sustaining process of scientific and technological advancement on the basis of their indigenous traditions and achievements.

The Biological Expansion of Europe — Cambridge, In other fhe, in many significant dimensions, China and Europe or at least the core of China and the northwestern portion of Europe had basically equivalent conditions.

The trade imbalance caused Europeans to export large quantities of gold and silver to Kennfth in order to pay for Indian imports. American and Asian imports included: But since those supplies came on stream over the second half of the century, questions of what started and what sustained the Industrial Revolution should not be conflated.

The Economic History Review Submitted manuscript. Some small coal deposits were available locally, though their use was sometimes hampered by government regulations. Deindustrialization in Gangetic Bihar One of the central teachings of Confucianism is that one should remonstrate with authority. Why the West got rich and the Middle East did not?


Pomeranz argues that although some aspects of European marriage patterns were distinctive, the slightly different cultural tendencies in China were approximately as effective in achieving reduction in fertility. In short, strategic and administrative defects afflicting the Safavid, Ottoman, Mughal and Ming-Qing empires, intensified through time and thereby made space for the rise of the West.

According to Paul Bairoch, in the midth century, “the average standard of living in Europe was a little bit lower than that kennth the rest of the world. Furthermore, the convergence of Japan despite a poor endowment of natural resourcesundermines histories based on classical growth models.

Roy Bin Wong, China Transformed: A study in the American Economic Review found that “globalization was the major driver of the economic divergence between the rich and the poor portions of the world in the years Thus, many of the institutional features that were important for the breakout into dynamic growth were not uniquely European.

Englandon the other hand, had reached the limit of its agricultural productivity well before the beginning of the 19th century. European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution”.

Some elements of early and gradual mechanization of industrial processes particularly for textiles can be linked to trans-oceanic trade, but again the connexions divergfnce seem more tangential than central. That remains clear, if we look again at the volume and array of imports entering European ports before Commerce and Culture in Ming China.