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Origins and Growth of the Global Economy. From the Fifteenth Century Onward. by Ronald E. Seavoy. Analyzes the origins and evolution of trade and economic.
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Origins and Growth of the Global Economy by Ronald E. Seavoy - Praeger - ABC-CLIO

Moreover, in his view, these scholars are inclined to use "weasel words" pp. But if the work of the scholars before him is so inadequate, why not begin the book with an overview of why our existing hypotheses about global economic development are insufficient? Instead, Professor Seavoy begins with an overview of European commercial imperialism.

He argues that its purpose "was to mobilize the labor of resident populations to produce larger amounts of exchange [End Page ] commodities than they would normally produce so that the surplus could be exported and sold on anonymous markets" pp. Commercial imperialism "became permanent because European nations had sufficient military and naval power" p.


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But the imperialism was not permanent. Settlers throughout North and South America demanded their freedom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Chapter 2 examines commerce and taxation in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Origins and Growth of the Global Economy

Here is where Seavoy begins to relate imperialism to a consumption-oriented society. He notes that parliamentary leaders understood that in order to generate enough taxes to pay for the state, England had to increase the volume, value, and variety of artisan manufacturing and maritime commerce. This chapter compares the British variety of political economy with that of the Spanish and Dutch and also examines imperialism in the colonies and in India.


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  4. In chapter 3 Seavoy notes that nineteenth-century imperialism differed from earlier imperialism because it was impelled by technology "and the vacuum of power that existed in all subsistence cultures" p. Thus, he argues, governing elites in subsistence cultures participated on terms offered by imperial nations. Professor Seavoy notes that many nations from Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the Spanish colonies of the Americas do not fit his overarching generalization, but that does not lead him to question its utility. On page Seavoy finally admits that Russia, Japan, and the United States do not fit his rubric because these nations industrialized.

    But he does not explain how or why.

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    The focus on consumers gets lost in the chapters that follow. Chapter 4 defines "the revolution" as the forcible intrusion of imperial commerce and governance into subsistence culture. Chapter 5 then updates his thesis to fit the global economic governance structure. In this analysis, political, social, and technological trends are absent.

    Chapter 6 describes how big corporations became global corporations. He sees these corporations as providing global public goods—raising the level of material welfare for those citizens integrated into the global economy. He believes these companies have reduced national If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.

    The global market and its derivative, consumer cultures, could only have come into existence during the peace following World War II. In Seavoy's analysis the absence of world wars results in a world where global economy and peace are synonymous terms.

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    This is a sweeping synthesis that will be of interest to scholars, students, and the reading public interested in economic development and world economic history. His most recent book is Subsistence and Economic Development Praeger, Origins and Growth of the Global Economy: From the Fifteenth Century Onward. An Economic History of the United States: From to the Present Ronald E. An economic history of the United States: