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History after HobsbawmWriting the Past for the Twenty-First Century$
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John H. Arnold, Matthew Hilton, and Jan Rüger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768784.001.0001

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Global History and the Transformation of Early Modern Europe

Global History and the Transformation of Early Modern Europe

(p.140) 8 Global History and the Transformation of Early Modern Europe
History after Hobsbawm

Maxine Berg

Oxford University Press

The Industrial Revolution was not only about the conditions of supply in the West. It was also about the development of global trading systems that positioned the West as a nodal point in a global exchange of goods and materials. This chapter makes a clear case for the significance of trade with Asia in the development of the European economies. It examines critically the historiography on the world and the Industrial Revolution: it contrasts the fairly expansive view that Hobsbawm gave to the Industrial Revolution with historiography’s turning first inwards, to Europe only (Landes) and to Britain only (Wrigley, Allen), then outward again, in recent approaches. By emphasizing the interconnectedness of economic development, it raises significant questions about how all scholars should approach the global nature of the modern capitalist economy.

Keywords:   global trading system, Industrial Revolution, Asia, Europe, Britain, economy, historiography

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