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By Eric H. Mielants

Eric Mielants offers a clean, interdisciplinary interpretation of the origins of modernity often and of capitalism in specific. He argues that, opposite to proven considering, the "Rise of the West" shouldn't be tested during the lens of the commercial Revolution or the colonization of the hot international yet considered via long term advancements that all started within the center a long time. a desirable evaluate of civilizations in East Asia, South Asia, and northwestern Africa is equipped after which systematically in comparison to advancements in Europe while. using this research, the booklet addresses the most very important present debates in global historical past, comparative sociology, political financial system, sociological idea and historic sociology. Mielants uncovers the ways in which latest theories (such as Marxism, World-Systems conception, and Smithian Modernization idea) have suffered from both Eurocentric or restricted temporal and spatial analyses, combating them from absolutely explaining the explanations at the back of the emergence of capitalism in Western Europe.

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Extra resources for The Origins of Capitalism and the 'Rise of the West'

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62 Laiou concludes that the Italians who controlled the market “did not allow the Byzantines to develop their own manufactures. ”63 The glass industry in Greece was “replaced by imports from the 61. This is particularly evident when one scrutinizes the relation between the Byzantine Empire and the Italian city-states: As to the question of the division of labor, the answer is to some extent evident from the description of the economic function of the [Late Medieval] Eastern Mediterranean; this is an area whose main exports are food, raw materials, or the re-export of eastern luxury products, while its primary imports are manufactured articles from Western Europe.

66 Venice may indeed have been the first “true prototype of the capitalist state,” as Arrighi (1994) points out, but why does he only look to the Italian city-states to explain the origins of capitalism (Cistozvonov 1978; Meyer 1981:58)? Thus the concept of commercial capitalism is applicable to the Late Middle Ages throughout the entire Western European inter-city-state system (Chaunu 1969:311) and its historical continuity is undeniable (de Vries and van der Woude 1997:159–165; Hunt and Murray 1999; van Uytven 1974).

22 CHAPTER ONE knowledge of their financial position. There was no lack of capitalistic spirit, organization, or technique in the management of great estates during the 13th century” (1948:185–187). Although I do not want to stress the emergence of a Weberian capitalist spirit and do not agree with the claim that “what made European expansion different and ‘special’ was derived from a series of religious and cultural factors which were largely peculiar to European society” (Phillips 1998:243), a new commercial mentality did occur in the educational field (Dahl 1998:67–68; Wolff 1989:58–59; Prevenier 1994:13; 1996:353).

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