Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600-1850

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 11, 2011 - History - 380 pages
Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not provides a striking new answer to the classic question of why Europe industrialized from the late eighteenth century and Asia did not. Drawing significantly from the case of India, Prasannan Parthasarathi shows that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the advanced regions of Europe and Asia were more alike than different, both characterized by sophisticated and growing economies. Their subsequent divergence can be attributed to different competitive and ecological pressures that in turn produced varied state policies and economic outcomes. This account breaks with conventional views, which hold that divergence occurred because Europe possessed superior markets, rationality, science, or institutions. It offers instead a groundbreaking rereading of global economic development that ranges from India, Japan and China to Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire and from the textile and coal industries to the roles of science, technology, and the state.

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About the author (2011)

Prasannan Parthasarathi is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Boston College. His previous publications include The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200-1850 (co-edited with Giorgio Riello, 2009).

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