Lecture 10

Then there is karl wittfogel notion of oriental

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Unformatted text preview: sm). Then there is Karl Wittfogel’ notion of Oriental Despotism – large s public works, such as irrigation along the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers create despotic states that throttle change. Not obvious that any of these ideas are useful. The puzzle is why China was very dynamic technologically for a long time, and then stopped. Also Mokyr points out how central the state was in stimulating innovation. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and14, 2009 Analysis October Historical 5 / 19 The Traditional View Mokyr develops a traditional view of Chinese stasis after 1400 which I …nd very persuasive. The argument is that the Imperial state was more interested in political stability than promoting economic development. The famous inter-oceanic voyages were stopped and the ships rotted after the famous exploits of Admiral Zheng between 1405 to 1433. After this international trade as often banned. Notable that at the start of each dynasty there were many regulations meant to restrict trade etc. e.g. …rst Ming Emperor the Hongwu Emperor between 1368-1398. Also the …rst Qing Emperors. Even if these policies were often reversed, this must not have been good for economic incentives. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and14, 2009 Analysis October Historical 6 / 19 A treasure ship of Zheng He was several times larger than Christopher Columbus's Santa María. The Traditional View Qing Dynasty after 1616 were Manchu’ with an even more precarious s grip on the imperial throne. There was non-stop warfare until 1682. From 1652 onwards the policy of ‘ clearing the shoreline’was implemented which implied destroying all coastal towns and settlements and moving t...
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This document was uploaded on 02/28/2014 for the course ECON 2328 at Harvard.

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