Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 December 2020
Chapter 7 is the first of two chapters that consider the globality and structural properties of the first global economy (FGE). It challenges the two most comprehensive critiques of the existence of the FGE the neoclassical economic and the transformationalist—(i.e., O'Rourke and Williamson/Held, McGrew, Goldblatt and Perraton respectively). Revealing their Eurocentrism is important because I redeploy their exact threshold criteria within a non-Eurocentric framework in order to prove the existence of the FGE. In particular, I dismantle their imputed Eurocentric temporal binaries in which the pre and post 1828 periods are presented as opposites. That is, transcontinental trade in the pre 1828 era is (re)presented as more controlled/regulated, monopolistic, noncompetitive, luxury-based and non-global than it was so that the post-1828 or post-1945 era can be (re)presented as more laissez-faire, ‘free trading’, competitive and hyper-global than it has been. And I also challenge their ahistorical temporal binary conception wherein the pre-1828 era is (re)presented as more state-regulated and militarily violent than it was while the post-1828 period is (re)presented as more laissez-faire and peaceful than it has been. In the process, their binaries airbrush out of the picture significant continuities between the first and second global economies.