| Bentley Q4

Bentley Q4

Author

Jerry H. Bentley

Response

One of the most interesting approaches taken by world historians in recent years is a fresh comparative analysis of economic development in early modern times (about 1500 to 1800). In his landmark study entitled The Great Divergence, Kenneth Pomeranz argued persuasively that European and Chinese economies were remarkably similar throughout this period and that the great divergence of economic fortunes came afterwards, when European peoples were able to benefit from a windfall of New World resources as well as a new and powerful source of energy in the form of coal. It would be most helpful to have parallel studies exploring the economic organization of the other large, powerful societies of the eastern hemisphere, and particularly the Islamic “gunpowder empires” –- the Ottoman, Savafid, and Mughal empires –- during the early modern era.

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