Essay On The Great Divergence Between Europe And China

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Around the 1700s and the 1800s the Islamic, Indianan, Japanese and Chinese civilizations were on a similar path as Europe. However, they started diverging. The Great Divergence is a term used to explain the process in which Europe (the West) dominated other civilizations and emerged as the most innovative and wealthiest civilization. Specifically in this essay, the Great Divergence refers to the difference between Europe and China. This essay will argue that technological invention/innovation is not the only factor that explains the Great Divergence between these two countries. There were other factors such as politics and culture that give an explanation to the Great Divergence between Europe and China. This will be established by examining the debate between David S. Landes and John M. Hobson.
Landes is a self proclaimed eurocentrist - he interprets the world from a European perspective. He argues that Europe was ‘a power-based civilization’ and believes that Europe dominated other civilizations because Europe was innovative. Landes does acknowledge the fact that civilizations such as China were inventive, but he believes that they were not innovative enough to become the leading civilization – inventive means having a new idea for a product or process and innovative means practically applying the new inventions into
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However, he believes that China did not succeed because they failed ‘to realize its potential’ and that ‘Chinese technology stopped progressing’, hence the reason why there was a Great Divergence between Europe and China. Sinocentrists agree that there was a Great Divergence between the two civilizations but it was not because of technological invention or innovation that created
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