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ArtikelOn the Rise of the West: Researching Kenneth Pomeranz’s Great Divergence  
Jenis: Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Dalam koleksi: Review of Radical Political Economics vol. 36 no. 1 (Mar. 2004), page 52-81.
Topik: Pomeranz; Great Divergence; rise of the West
Fulltext: 52RRPE361.pdf (194.03KB)
Isi artikelFor a long time, scholars have tried to explain why Europe alone of the great civilizations of the world achieved a profound transformation in output and productivity in the nineteenth century. Ken Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence is a recent, highly praised intervention in this debate. He argues that, as late as 1800, Chinese living standards and productivity levels were comparable to European ones. What allowed England to industrialize first were plentiful supplies of coal and vast land-saving resources in the New World. But Pomeranz’s claims lack empirical credibility. Over the period 1700–1850, most of Western Europe was on a trajectory away from the Malthusian limitations of the old regime as a result of sustained improvements in both land and labor productivity. The ecological benefits provided to England by American imports were not significant compared to the actual and potential expansion of intra- European trade. China was unable to attain any industrial breakthrough despite enjoying a much greater “ecological windfall” from the acquisition of new territories in central and southwestern Asia after 1500.
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