World Economic Primacy: 1500-1990
Charles Kindleberger's World Economic Primacy: 1500-1990 is a work of rare ambition and scope from one of our most respected economic historians. Extending over broad ranges of both history and geography, the work considers what it is that enables countries to achieve, at some period in their history, economic superiority over other countries, and what it is that makes them decline. Kindleberger begins with the Italian city-states in the fourteenth century, and traces the changing evolution of world economic primacy as it moves to Portugal and Spain, to the Low countries, to Great Britain, and to the United States, addressing the question of alleged U.S. decline. Additional chapters treat France as a perennial challenger, Germany which has twice aggressively sought superiority, and Japan, which may or may not become a candidate for the role of "number one." Kindleberger suggests that the economic vitality of a given country goes through a trajectory that can usefully (thought not precisely) be compared to a human life cycle. Like human beings, the growth of a state can be cut off by accident or catastrophe short of old age; unlike human beings, however, economies can have a second birth. In World Economic Primacy, Kindleberger takes into account the influence of complex historical, social, and cultural factors that determine economic leadership. A brilliant overview of the position of nations in the world economy, World Economic Primacy conveys profound insights into the causes of the rise and decline of the world's economic powers, past and present.
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2 The National Cycle
3 Successive Primacies
4 The Italian CityStates
5 Portugal and Spain
6 The Low Countries
7 France the Perpetual Challenger
8 Britain the Classic Case
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abroad Adam Smith agriculture American Amsterdam Antwerp Baltic Bank bankers borrowing Braudel Britain British Bruges capital central chap cities colonies companies conspicuous consumption debt decline developed dollar Dutch earlier early East economic growth economic historians economists eighteenth century England English entrepreneurs especially Europe European exchange exports Fernand Braudel finance foreign France French Genoa Genoese German gold Hanseatic League hegemony Holland ibid imports income increase industrial revolution inflation innovation interest investment Italian Japan Japanese Joel Mokyr Jonathan Israel keiretsu Kindleberger labor land largely later leadership loans London Mediterranean ment merchants military Mokyr monetary monopoly move Netherlands nineteenth century nomic percent political population Portugal Portuguese production provinces rise savings seventeenth century Seville shipbuilding ships silver sixteenth century social Spain Spanish success tariff taxes tion trade United Venetian Venice vitality wars workers world economic primacy World War II Zollverein