The Great Divergence Essay

2479 Words May 11th, 2013 10 Pages
Europe is given special consideration thus far in this class. What made Europe or European civilization unique in the perspective of some authors? It went from ‘marginal’ status to powerful region in a few hundred years. What did this process look like? Be sure to address this at the various levels (ideological, behavioral, institutional, material etc.). Are there reasons for this dominance that are more important than others?
Looking back at the world in the past few hundred years, it would have been difficult to imagine that one day, majority of Western Europe would come to dominate the world in global economy (Landes, European Exceptionalism: A Different Path, 1998). Frank (2001) described the process of which the western society
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In such environment, policies of scientific and social inactivity could stand because of tradition or culture. On the other hand, Europe was geographically set in reduced, closer, but with larger number of groups, surrounded and separated by small rivers and mountains, thus, governments that repressed economic and scientific development soon amended their errors or were out-done rapidly (Pomeranz, 2000).
The early western world benefitted from revenues from trading European products to the Eastern countries (Pomeranz, 2000). High earnings obtained from trading with eastern countries and sales of slave established seven percent profit per annum, which is a “relatively high rate of return considering the high rate of depreciation on pre-industrial capital stocks, which limited the amount of savings and capital accumulation”, stated Pomeranz (2000). Many theories suggest that the Great Divergence occurred as a result of trade development from Europe to Asia, which later on became the main factor of the New World. As, Pomeranz (2000) stated, “the greatest significant advantage for Europe was the vast amount of fertile, uncultivated land in the North America which could be used to grow large quantities of farm products required to sustain European economic growth and allowed labour and land to be freed up in Europe for industrialization.” A great example of this is how England saved approximately 23-25 million acres of agricultural space by importing goods such