By Ivan Berend
Why did a few nations 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 position of nearby variations in shaping every one country's financial course and end result. proposing a transparent and cogent rationalization of the ancient motives of development and backwardness, Ivan Berend integrates social, political, institutional and cultural elements in addition to conducting debates in regards to the relative roles of information, the nation and associations. that includes boxed essays on key personalities together with Adam Smith, Friedrich record, Gustave Eiffel and the Krupp family members, in addition to short histories of ideas similar to the steam engine, vaccinations and the co-operative method, the e-book is helping to give an explanation for the theories and macro-economic developments that ruled the century and their influence at the next improvement of the ecu economic system correct as much as the current day.
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Extra resources for An Economic History of Nineteenth-Century Europe: Diversity and Industrialization
26. Leandro Prados de la Escosura notes the contradiction that “economic history is more present than ever in social sciences journals” while “its size as an independent field [is] shrinking” (Prados de la Escosura, 2007). “Economic history,” Lance Davis observes, “has largely been taken over by economists, and they don’t much care what anybody else says . . , 2009, 227). Many economic historians defend their field as an independent historical discipline and not as applied economics. They insist, as Lars Magnusson has stressed, that economic history is not a “specialized sub-discipline of economics,” and they long for the “return to what was worthwhile in the ‘old’ program of economic history” (Magnusson, 2005, 929).
A broader comparison proved that there were genuine differences between Asia and Europe, and major advantages for Northern Europe from the 1500s. As P. Vries has argued, the entrepreneurial and innovative economic culture and the positive role of the state in Europe, compared with that in Asia’s unified agrarian empire, played a decisive role. Instead of “coal and colonies,” it was the scientific revolution (with roots in the late Middle Ages), the creation of universities (the nests of rational thinking, the growing interest in nature, and experimental observation), and the resulting Reformation and Enlightenment that ultimately distinguished Europe from China.
On the other hand, agricultural productivity increased threefold between 1700 and 1850. As agriculture was and remained the largest sector of the economy until 1840, this growth of output was the real driving force of the British economy. 13 At the same time, a multitude of people, without means of subsistence and uprooted from agriculture, migrated to the growing urban centers and provided an unlimited labor force for industry. The number of small towns with 5,000–10,000 inhabitants doubled in Britain between 1600 and 1750, while that number declined on the continent.