Goldstone J.A. (1988) East and West in the 17th century

March 23, 2008

Goldstone Jack A. (1988) “East and West in the Seventeenth Century: Political Crises in Stuart England, Ottoman Turkey, and Ming China”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 30/1, 103-142.



Criticism of the previous interpretations:

  • Too Eurocentric: they assume that the West was the epicentre of a crisis due to the rise of capitalism and of the modern state (Marx and Weber). Significantly, the crisis seems to have had more consequences in the East than in the West. The simultaneity of the English revolution, the Anatolian turmoil and the end of the Ming is not either merely casual: “behind all of these events lay a common causal framework rooted in a wide-ranging ecological crisis” (104). The author intends to “note certain cogent similarities that make comparative analysis possible” (105). Read the rest of this entry »

Flynn D. O. (1991) Japan and Spain as silver-based empires in a global setting

January 20, 2008

Flynn Dennis O. (1991) “Comparing the Tokagawa Shogunate with Hapsburg Spain: Two silver-based empires in a global setting”, in Tracy James D. ed., The Political Economy of Merchant Empires. State power and world trade 1350-1750, New York: Cambridge University Press, 332-359.

This book is available on google for every one to read!!!

Estimations find Spanish American empire’s silver production at 300 metric tons per year during the 16th and early 17th century and Japan’s – the second largest world producer – at 200 (332). Over the period, 15,000 tons went from America to Europe and 13,000 directly from Mexico to Philippines (335) Japan exported 10,000 tons (336). Yet, this enormous annual production only represented 1 or 2% of the world’s silver stock at the time. Read the rest of this entry »