To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 13 simultaneously rehabilitates and provincialises British imperialism. Rehabilitating the dark side of empire counters the Eurocentric conception of the ‘benign British civilizing mission’ while provincializing empire counters Eurofetishism's and Indian nationalism’s reification of European hyper-agency and power and their side-lining of Indian and Asian agency. Overall, it focusses on the combination of Western and non-Western agency in the making of the modern capitalist second global economy (SGE). It begins by problematizing the Eurofetishist/Indian nationalist thesis concerning the imperial de-industrialization of India's (as well as China's) cotton industry, arguing that Indian and Chinese peasants retained considerable agency and maintained the handicraft sector throughout the nineteenth- and well into the twentieth-century. The second and third sections highlight the ‘multicultural contact zone’ wherein the entangled agencies of Europeans and Asians converged to produce the SGE after about 1850. I highlight the agential roles of the Parsis, Kachchhis, Gujaratis, Omanis and Chinese and, albeit more briefly, the Nattukottai Chettiars, Sindworkies, Vāniyās, Multānīs and Shīkārpūris, as they interacted either relatively autonomously or with the British. The final section focuses on the symbiotic convergence of the Asian transcontinental bazaar with the European capitalist world-economy in the making of the SGE.
Chapter 4 also focuses on the Afro-Indian pivot of the FGE by highlighting interconnections between African slavers, consumers/prosumers and Indian cotton textile trade/production in the making of the FGE. The first section brings the power and agency of African slavers to the fore, revealing how they were able to negotiate with the European slavers from a position of equality and often strength. The Africans had developed a vast infrastructure and knowledge pool in their dealings with the Muslims since the seventh century when the Islamic slave trade first emerged in Africa. Critically, the Africans preferred Indian cotton textiles (ICTs) to the Manchester ‘fustians’ right through to the latter part of the eighteenth century. This reflected the strength of Gujarati Indian merchants and the weakness of their British counterparts. The chapter also interrogates fundamentalist postcolonialism's ‘anti-racist refusal’ to recognise the power and agency of the African slavers. Finally, the chapter reveals the entangled agencies of the African slavers and prosumers along with the Gujarati Indian textile merchant capitalists. The latter formed symbiotic bonds with African middlemen (Vashambadzi and Patamares) which, inter alia, gave Indian merchants a considerable advantage over the Portuguese.
Chapter 10 analyses the ‘global-Atlantic consumption driver’ of Britain's ‘late-industrialization’ in the context of global uneven and combined development. It returns to the theme of Indian structural power which, through the Afro-Indian global cotton whip of necessity, pushed the British to develop their own cotton sector through industrialization. The story of Britain's cotton industrialization in part rests on meeting the consumption needs of the Africans who accepted predominantly Indian cotton textiles in payment. The British had little choice but to mechanise cotton-textile production first because their spinners were not sophisticated enough to spin the all-important warp thread; and second, because in the face of a tiny workforce they could not compete with the vastly superior output that the millions of Indians (and Chinese) pumped out. Moreover, the British ‘combined’ or emulated various production techniques from the Indians when it came to industrializing their cotton and iron/steel sectors, though they might also have learned from China with respect to the latter sector. Also important was the role of the late-developer British state via the imposition of high tariffs and re-export substitution industrialization. In sum, though British developmental agency was important, so too was the global context.
If Indians and Asians had been the leading producers and traders in the first global economy, as chapters 2 through 5 argue, then chapter 6 considers who they were as well as where and how they operated so effectively. It uses the Multānīs as a key example of Indian trading firms that plied the overland caravan routes. This gains added significance because Eurocentrism presumes that the so-called European-dominated High Seas displaced the trade on the overland routes. The chapter places special emphasis on critiquing the Eurocentric model of the Asian pedlar by revealing the rational methods and activities of the large-scale Multānī firms. Indeed, these matched the scale of leading European firms and bankers such as the Rothschilds and Warburgs. And it also problematises the Eurocentric Oriental despotism thesis by revealing the many ways in which the major Asian states—Mughal, Ottoman, Safavid and the Central Asian Uzbek Khanates—provided a highly conducive environment for the Multānī firmsto flourish.
Chapter 11 is the first of two that explains why Britain industrialized and why China and India did not. They provide a non-Eurocentric answer to the famous ‘Needham problem’, which boils down to asking ‘why China (and to an extent India), which had been a pioneer of technological development for over two millennia failed to industrialize whereas Britain, which had been a laggard for several millennia, succeeded? To answer this I bring out surprising resemblances and differences in the ‘developmental architectures’ of the three aforementioned countries, which factors in state-society relations and the modes of: production, empire, warfare, taxation and epistemic construction. In this chapter, I argue that differing global and domestic contexts can account for the ‘second great divergence’ in cotton-textile production. In essence, my solution to the ‘Needham problem’ is two-fold: first, neither China nor India were on a trajectory into a cotton-based industrial capitalism owing to the nature of their developmental architectures, especially the nature of their systems of production and class relations. Second, there was neither a desire nor a need to industrialize partly because there was an absence of imperial- and global-economic pressures and partly because these societies were ‘historical capitalist satisficers’.
Chapter 5 considers Indo-European relations in the first global economy (FGE). It argues that Indians and Asians likely transported and sold far more Indian cotton textiles (ICTs) throughout the Indian Ocean system than did the Europeans, thereby undermining the Eurocentric assumption that it was only the Europeans who breathed life into the Indian Ocean trading system through their hyper-agency. It also reveals the manifold ways in which the Asians were able to circumvent European attempts at monopolising Asian trade, all of which was connected to the specific properties of the FGE. It highlights the ways in which it was the Europeans who were, under the influence of Indian structural power, in effect ‘incorporated’ into the ‘historical capitalist’ FGE and the Indian Ocean system, thereby inverting the standard Eurofetishist belief that it was the Europeans who incorporated the Asians into the European-led capitalist world-economy. Rather than suffering European domination, the Europeans learned very quickly that they had to form ‘partnership relations’ with the Indians simply to maintain their trading presence in the Indian Ocean system, though until the eighteenth century they were very much the junior partner.
Chapter 9 is the first of two chapters that provides a non-Eurocentric explanation of the rise of modern industrial capitalism in Britain—focussing here on the ‘global-Atlantic production driver’. This chapter argues that the Atlantic production sites comprised an important source of British industrialization. While the empire, especially in the Caribbean, was particularly important, as was the post-imperial United States after 1793, nevertheless the role of Black slavery provided the lowest common denominator of the American/Caribbean contribution. But while there were important global causal factors, I also factor in the role of British developmental agency under conditions of global uneven and combined development into the explanation. For other great colonial powers such as France did not make the breakthrough into industrialization. The analysis of the American/Caribbean contribution unfolds in stages. First, I argue that slave-produced raw cotton in the Caribbean and subsequently in the United States was one vital input. I quantify the overall Caribbean contribution together with that made by imperial military spending as supplying between 38 and 51 per cent of British domestic investment. Finally, I consider the twin roles of slavery and imperial warfare in driving forward the British iron and steel industrialization.
Chapter 12 follows on from chapter 11, focussing on the ‘second great divergence’ in iron/steel production. The first comparison focuses on the key differences between Britain and China, the first of which, following Pomeranz, is that Britain had access to cheap coal and invented the steam engine that enabled the mass production of iron and steel. Second, Britain benefited significantly from the economic exploitation of its Atlantic colonies whereas China’s land-based empire yielded no economic benefits. Third, although both Britain and China were embedded in multi-state systems, nevertheless the East/Southeast Asian was largely cooperative thereby keeping China’s military spending to super-low levels. The competitive European state system, by contrast, led to frequent and highly expensive wars between imperial great power rivals. Britain’s super-high military spending, paradoxically, had major economic benefits for industrialization. Finally, the nature of Chinese warfare did not require the industrialization of her iron/steel sectors whereas Britain’s did. The second half compares Mysore in India (South Asia) with Britain, arguing that the former spent much lower amounts on warfare, that Mysore was unable to use coal, that Mysorean state intervention undermined the prospects for industrialization and that, overall, unlike Britain’s, Mysore’s developmental architecture was primed for historical capitalism.
Chapter 14 closes the book by extending the analysis of chapter 8 and focuses on the two global economies. To counter the final Marxist rebuttal of the existence of a global economy before the nineteenth century, the first section brings into focus a key property of the first global economy (FGE): specifically the global Afro-Indian cotton whip of necessity. It also differentiates this from its modern capitalist successor that is given much emphasis by Marxists. The second section challenges the prevailing assumption in IPE and IR, not to mention many other disciplines, that transnationalism within a properly global economy emerged only after 1945/1979, given the (highly problematic) belief that mercantilist internationalisation prevailed before then. I challenge this temporal binary conception by revealing a significant number of important continuities between the two global economies. I focus on eleven ‘temporal capillaries’ that weave together the two global economies. For in highlighting critical continuities so I argue that the modern global economy is less unique than globalization scholars presume and that many of its features originated within the FGE.
Westerners on both the left and right overwhelmingly conflate globalisation with Westernisation and presume that the global economy is a pure Western-creation. Taking on the traditional Eurocentric Big Bang theory, or the 'expansion of the West' narrative, this book reveals the multicultural origins of globalisation and the global economy, not so as to marginalise the West but to show how it has long been embedded in complex interconnections and co-constitutive interactions with non-Western actors/agents and processes. The central empirical theme is the role of Indian structural power that was derived from Indian cotton textile exports. Indian structural power organised the first (historical-capitalist) global economy between 1500 and c.1850 and performed a vital, albeit indirect, role in the making of Western empire, industrialisation and the second (modern-capitalist) global economy. These textiles underpinned the complex inter-relations between Africa, West/Central/East/Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe that collectively drove global economic development forward.