Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World-Economy, 1600-1750 (The Modern World-System, Volume 2)
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Immanuel Wallerstein's highly influential, multi-volume opus, The Modern World-System, is one of this century's greatest works of social science. An innovative, panoramic reinterpretation of global history, it traces the emergence and development of the modern world from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.
discuss the period from 1660 to 1720,194 he suggests that the East India trade was "also becoming multilateral in character." Nonetheless, the data he presents show no significant decline of bullion export—indeed, quite the contrary. In general, he says, treasure continued to be 70-90% of the total annual export value, which suggests that "the basic economic factors underlying the trade between Europe and the Indies did not fundamentally change in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries."
he never intended a general unification." 243 How uncharitable. I believe Meuvret to be more fair when he says: "Probably it was better that Colbert was only a hard-working and tenacious administrator and not an audacious and original innovator. Neither the situation nor the attitudes of the time permitted radical changes." 246 To realize the upward battle Colbert fought to bureaucratize the state, one has only to look at the resistance of both the gens de mer and the naval officer corps to
de robe] were commoners in England (gentry); but the social status and social roles of the two were in fact comparable. Because the French state was historically weaker than the English (more because of its size than anything else and because of the consequent centrifugal economic forces), the noblesse de robe were incorporated into the political structure as national officials, the gentry more frequently as local officials; but in both cases their new roles represented real, if limited,
what way did the story differ in France? We come back once again to the peculiar geography of France. England had its peripheral regions and a fortiori Great Britain. These peripheral regions, located within a core state, were fearful of two trends: the gradual strengthening of this EnglishBritish state, which threatened them politically, and the triumph of capitalist elements, which threatened them economically. In Great Britain these two threats were coordinate; and it is no surprise that
(dormant dormant). The parish priests, so ready for confrontation under the League and the Fronde, became thereafter, despite the Jansenist quarrels, pillars of the established order."273 None of these explanations suffice. Perhaps it was like a pointless exchange in chess, a hope that by reducing the pieces, one might improve one's position. In chess, if an exchange is not clearly advantageous, it simply brings stalemate closer. The king sought to strengthen the state. It was harder to do than