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and casting of iron dates to 200BC but arrived in Europe in the late
14th century. The spinning wheel arrived at about the same time in
the 13th century. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and14, 2009 Analysis
3 / 19 Su Sung water clock from 1086AD “Chinese water clocks ... far exceeded in mechanical complexity, mastery of materials
And mechanism, and accuracy of measurements anything that Europe had to offers circa 1100AD”
Joel Mokyr (1990, p. 215). The Kangnido map was made in Korea from Chinese
source material in 1402 Kangnido map details Stasis
A lot of consensus that after 1400 China became technologically
undynamic and there are even examples of technologies which were
forgotten (such as iron smelting, see Mokyr’ chapter 9). By the early
19th century it was clear that China was far behind Western Europe
technologically and this had profound consequences, e.g. the Opium
Wars of 1839-1842.
Since at least the British writer Gibbon in the late 18th century,
people have speculated about why China went into relative (possibly
absolute) decline and why it did not experience the industrial
revolution …rst. Max Weber started the modern literature, contrasting
Protestantism with Chinese religious beliefs (The Religion of China:
Confucianism and Taoism, published in 1915).
As things stand there is no consensus on this issue. This is a topic
really waiting for a good empirical paper!
James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and14, 2009 Analysis
4 / 19 Types of Explanation Marx discussed the “Asiatic Mode of production” which he took to be
despotic and pre-capitalist (Marx famously saw European colonialism
as a dynamic force pushing such societies towards sociali...
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- Fall '09