The Great Divergence: The Differences Between Europe And China

711 Words3 Pages
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 products or services. In Landes’ book, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, he gives us multiple examples of which he explains this argument. One of the

More about The Great Divergence: The Differences Between Europe And China

Open Document