Economic History: Four Countries to Focus on

Someday, I would wish to see an economic history book, 1600 to today, focusing on (and comparing and contrasting) four countries, one section given to each. The countries, in order, are Great Britain, Japan, China, and India. The history of the first gives us the roots of the industrial revolution and modern economic growth. An economic history of the United States of America would do just fine for the latter, but wouldn’t give us anything about deep roots. Of any such a volume focusing on four countries, Japan probably is the only one that has to be included in every one, due to its uniqueness in an Asian context, its commonalities with Southern and Eastern Europe, its great economic size, and it having developed the largest city in the world in 1800, as well as showing other signs of progress prior to the beginning of modern economic growth in the North Atlantic. China and India, given their enormous populations and future vast economic importance, are tremendously important in their own right.

Britain:

*Importance of agricultural productivity

*Importance of diverse intellectual base and science

*Importance of manufacturing exports

*Imperial decline

*First and second globalizations

Japan:

China:

*Failure to catch up for a long while

*Socialist modernization

*Problem of literacy with no alphabet

India:

*Historically negative consequences of civil war

*Development and underdevelopment under imperialism (from the recipient’s perspective)

*Economic development with low human capital

*Third-world import-substitution policies

*Importance of trade reform and other neoliberal reforms

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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