Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction
by Robert C. Allen
Editor: Oxford University Press
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Why some countries are rich and others poorIn 1500, income gaps were small but have increased dramatically since Columbus reached America.Since then, the interaction between geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and poverty of nations.The industrial revolution in Great Britain: a breakthrough in response to the challenge of globalisationWestern Europe and North America join Great Britain in forming a club of wealthy countries by pursuing four policies-the creation of a domestic market through the elimination of internal tariffs and investment in transportation, the construction of an external tariff to protect their emerging British industries from competition, banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and the mass of education to stabilize the economy.Together, these countries are pioneering new technologies that have made them increasingly richer.Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the world’s manufacturing was done in Asia, but the industries of Casablanca to Canton were destroyed by the West of competition in the nineteenth century, and in Asia was transformed into “underdeveloped countries, specialized in agriculture”.The spread of economic development has been slow because modern technology was invented to meet the needs of rich countries and is ill-adapted to the economic and geographical conditions of poor countries.A few countries – Japan, Soviet Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps China – have nevertheless engaged with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with a surge of industrialization that has grown rapidly through investment in coordination.If other countries can emulate the success of East Asia is a challenge for the futureABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Presentations of the Oxford University Press series contains hundreds of titles in almost every field.These paperback books are the ideal way to move forward in a new subtitle.
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