Why are some countries rich and others poor? In 1500, the income differences were small, but they have grown dramatically since Columbus reached America. Since then, the interplay between geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and poverty of nations. The industrial revolution was Britain’s path breaking response to the challenge of globalization. Western Europe and North America joined Britain to form a club of rich nations by pursuing four polices-creating a national market by abolishing internal tariffs and investing in transportation, erecting an external tariff to protect their fledgling industries from British competition, banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and mass education to prepare people for industrial work. Together these countries pioneered new technologies that have made them ever richer. Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the world’s manufacturing was done in Asia, but industries from Casablanca to Canton were destroyed by western competition in the nineteenth century, and Asia was transformed into ‘underdeveloped countries’ specializing in agriculture. The spread of economic development has been slow since modern technology was invented to fit 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, nonetheless, caught up with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with Big Push industrialization that has achieved rapid growth through investment coordination. Whether other countries can emulate the success of East Asia is a challenge for the future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This book, the last work of the great German sociologist and historian Max Weber (1864–1920), is based on a series of lectures he delivered in 1919–20. The present volume brings together major ideas that explain economic life and change. Beginning with descriptions and analyses of the early agrarian systems, Part One takes the reader through the manorial system, the guilds, and early capitalism as developed on plantations and other estates. Part Two considers the economic organization of industry and mining, while Part Three discusses the development of commerce, technical requisites for transporting goods, and banking systems. The last section surveys, among other topics, the evolution of capitalism and the capitalistic spirit. It also includes Weber’s famous discussion of the relationship of religion to the cultural history of capitalism. This excellent English-language version of a work renowned for its interpretive brilliance, is intended for students of the social sciences as well as general readers.
This second edition of the leading textbook on European economic history has been updated throughout and includes new coverage of post-financial crisis Europe. Covering the full sweep of European history, this is the only textbook students need to understand Europe’s unique economic development and its global context.
This book provides a comprehensive study of the economic history of New Zealand. It is for use as a textbook, and will be of interest to economic historians for its comprehensive coverage of the subject. It provides a clear and readable account that will be accessible to those without a background in economics. The book covers the period since European settlement, with particular emphasis on the postwar economy. It deals with the economic problems encountered in establishing a trading economy in New Zealand and in maintaining it and adapting it to the evolving international economy. It looks closely at the development and performance of different sectors of the economy, the influence of the government and the response to international economic conditions. It also considers the way in which New Zealand society has been shaped by the problems encountered and by the solutions to those problems.
The third edition of this highly successful text takes a broad look at the world’s economic history from pre-historic times to the present. Placing contemporary world economy in historical perspective, it explores the critical reasons why some nations have become rich while others failed. The author expands coverage of the EEC, now the European Union, and extensively restructures his work on the non-Western world in light of recent scholarship. He also gives special attention to developments in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and the European Union. Now available in 11 languages, including Spanish (second edition), French, German (2 volumes), Polish, and Chinese, this uniquely comprehensive text remains an invaluable, lively, and accessible text for both undergraduate and graduate students of European economic history and world development.
The period since 1945 has seen the US economy evolve from an expanding consumer society in which affluence was more widely distributed than before, through to the economic challenges of recessions in the 1970s, and 1980’s and the competitive challenge from overseas rivals, notably Japan.
This book represents the first recent attempt to provide a comprehensive treatment of Sweden’s economic development since the middle of the 18th century. It traces the rapid industrialisation, the political currents and the social ambitions, that transformed Sweden from a backward agrarian economy into what is now regarded by many as a model welfar
A sweeping and original work of economic history by Michael Lind, one of America’s leading intellectuals, Land of Promise recounts the epic story of America’s rise to become the world’s dominant economy. As ideological free marketers continue to square off against Keynesians in Congress and the press, economic policy remains at the center of political debate.
Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States offers a much-needed historical framework that sheds new light on our past—wisdom that offers lessons essential to our future. Building upon the strength and lucidity of his New York Times Notable Books The Next American Nation and Hamilton’s Republic, Lind delivers a necessary and revelatory examination of the roots of American prosperity—insight that will prove invaluable to anyone interested in exploring how we can move forward.
Without economic history, economics runs the risk of being too abstract or parochial, of failing to notice precedents, trends and cycles, of overlooking the long-run and thus misunderstanding ‘how we got here’. Recent financial and economic crises illustrate spectacularly how the economics profession has not learnt from its past.
This important and unique book addresses this problem by demonstrating the power of historical thinking in economic research. Concise chapters guide economics lecturers and their students through the field of economic history, demonstrating the use of historical thinking in economic research, and advising them on how they can actively engage with economic history in their teaching and learning.
Blum and Colvin bring together important voices in the field to show readers how they can use their existing economics training to explore different facets of economic history. Each chapter introduces a question or topic, historical context or research method and explores how they can be used in economics scholarship and pedagogy. In a century characterised to date by economic uncertainty, bubbles and crashes, An Economist’s Guide to Economic History is essential reading.
For further information visit http://www.blumandcolvin.org