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Eurocentrism Over Sinocentrism

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Chapter Summary

In Pomeranz's Great Divergence Pomeranz seeks to minimize the economic disparities between Western Europe/ England and China/Asia around 1800. In scope of reference and degree of quantification, it surpasses comparative explanations of the rise of the West. The author believes that by the mid-1700s most of Western Europe had started to move away from a Malthusian world in which a limit was set to demographic growth by the inability of agricultural output to expand and keep up with demand. The wood-based energy situation in England was undoubtedly serious. Britons had to learn how to obtain coke from coal before their iron industry could grow at a steady rate again. Revisionists make much of the fact that China was able to feed a population that grew from about 210 million in 1700 to 412 million in 1840. The seed-yield ratios of Europe were naturally inferior to China's.

Keywords:Britons; industrial divergence; Malthusian world; Pomeranz; Western Europe

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