World Trade since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism

World Trade since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism

by Peter J. Hugill
     
 

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Equipped with reliable maps and instruments for open-ocean navigation and highly seaworthy, three-masted, cannon-armed ships, Portugal dominated the Atlantic trade routes—until the diffusion of Portuguese technologies to wealthier polities made Holland the eventual successor, owing to its geographic position and its immense commercial fleet. It is precisely

Overview

Equipped with reliable maps and instruments for open-ocean navigation and highly seaworthy, three-masted, cannon-armed ships, Portugal dominated the Atlantic trade routes—until the diffusion of Portuguese technologies to wealthier polities made Holland the eventual successor, owing to its geographic position and its immense commercial fleet. It is precisely this interplay of technology and geography, argues Peter J. Hugill, that has guided the evolution of the modern global capitalistic system. Tracing the relationship between technology and economy over the past 550 years, Hugill finds that the nations that developed and marketed new technologies best were the nations that rose to world power, while those that held onto outdated technologies fell behind. Moreover, he argues, major changes in transportation and communication technologies actually constituted the moments of transformation from one world economy to another.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Tracing the relationship between technology and economy over the past 550 years--since the Portuguese navigator Velho set sail into the Atlantic in 1431, establishing a trade route to the Azores and marking the beginning of commerce with the West as we know it today--Hugill finds that the nations that developed and marketed new technologies best were the nations that rose to world power, while those that held onto outdated technologies fell behind. Moreover, he argues, major changes in transportation and communication technologies actually constituted the moments of transformation from one world economy to another. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Progress in Human Geography.

A magnificent work, Braudelian in its conception, scope, and attention to detail... A delight.

Virginia Quarterly Review

A first-rate historical study in the genre of world history... Combines geography with the social sciences in skillful fashion. It is lucidly written and will appeal to the specialist and general reader.

Geonomics.

Hugill provides a refreshingly long historical sweep in arguing that transportation technologies have been the key to success in world trade... A wealth of historical and technicaldetail.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801842412
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
7.33(w) x 10.28(h) x 1.23(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Hugill is professor of geography at Texas A & M University.

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