The Great Divergence

  • Created by: katie_lm
  • Created on: 02-05-18 11:07
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  • The Great Divergence
    • Overview
      • Definition: the process by which Western Europe entered a period of rapid growth allowing it to overtake Asian nations in terms of development.
      • Timing: multiple different views
        • California schools view (Pomeranz) : 1800s
        • Allen: originated in the pre-industrial period (1500-1750).
        • Traditional/ near consensus view: Began with the age of enlightenment in the 18th century.
      • Indicators: Growth in the gap of living standards.
        • Allen: focused his work on silver wages.
        • Shisue and Keller used price convergence data.
    • Why was Britain first?
      • Institutions
        • Setting up of an independent Judicial System: established property rights and patents.
          • Patents: provide legal rights over an idea or invention.
          • Property rights: Gave legal   ownership of land to individuals.
      • Agriculture
        • Rise of capitalist farming: specialisation meant that less workers were needed to produce the same level of output.
          • Started the process of hiring and firing.
          • Greater incentives for workers to leave rural areas.
      • Geography
        • Coal reserves: easy access to an essential fuel source  that powered machinery and therefore growth.
          • No need to import making it comparitively cheaper.
        • Naturally forming waterways easily navigable.
      • Scientific Revolution
        • A period when a number of theoreticaland abstract discoveries in natural sciences and maths were made.
        • Britain were able to implement the discoveries far more effectively than the r countries as they had high labour costs and low energy cost.
          • Less money was having to be spent on labour.

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