The Great Divergence Case Study

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In the past, Europe has always been behind China and the Middle East. The Great Divergence is the process of Europe moving forward and away from the other parts of the world and receiving dominance in power and wealth. It was the increasing gap between the rich and poor in the countries, developed on one side and underdeveloped/developing/non-developed on the other. There are two big schools of thought when it comes to the discussion of The Great Divergence. The first one, the Eurocentric school, was put together based on the views of Max Weber, a German philosopher and sociologist. He claimed that the West underwent a long cumulative approach of rationalization, which then resulted in capitalist markets, economies and bureaucratic states. They regard its historical background as both structurally…show more content…
For example, Britain was rich in coal and had many colonies with a variety of resources that were exploited in order to industrialize. This was not the case for China as they struggled to industrialize. This meant that development in science and technology was difficult resulting in lagging of industrialization. For example, China could not print books like could be done in Britain because of complication with the language and characters In addition, Japan for instance was not blessed by nature, but did manage to industrialize by using labor in the country. The second counterargument involves analyzing the Dutch republic. The Dutch Republic was probably the richest country in the world, until the 1820s. However, the Dutch Republic industrialized quite late, just like happened to China. This shows that there isn’t necessarily a strong correlation between wealth and the potential for further development. Britain’s switch to coal made Britain a very wealthy country as it became much more efficient to produce energy. The Dutch Republic stuck to peat, which caused them to fall behind Great
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