A Short History of Economic Progress: A Course in Economic History
By: Y. S. Brenner (author)Paperback
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Y. S. Brenner is an economist whose main concern is with development, and this attitude is reflected in his approach to economic history. He begins this seminal study in the era of the Reformation in Europe, and bases it on the hypothesis that once started, economic progress will spread over ever-increasing parts of the earth wherever and whenever conditions become suitable. From this point of view, he examines the nature of the impediments which prevent the more rapid and general progress of mankind towards greater material affluence, while at the same time considering the positive growth promoting factors in the various economies. Thus, he provides an analysis of economic progress in the developed countries showing which natural, social, political and cultural forces promoted such progress and which delayed or hindered it. He attempts to explain why European nations took several decades to emulate the achievements of Britain and why nations in other parts of the world, such as Japan and Russia, were unable for a considerable time to match the advances made in parts of Western Europe and the United States.
Finally, he attempts to explain why the developing countries are still finding it so difficult to catch up with the economic progress of the more advanced nations. Y. S. Brenner was Head of the Department of Economics at Cape Coast University in Ghana. The book arose from a series of lectures on economic development he delivered there during the years 1966-1967. This book was first published in 1969.
I The beginnings Introduction: Some General Ideas Population Growth and the New Agriculture 7 Urbanisation, Transport and the Growth of Markets 21 Machines and New Sources of Power 32 II Population World Trends in Population Growth 53 The Accretion of People in Europe 53 Economic Conditions and Population Trends 67 III Agriculture Progress in Agriculture: General Observations 96 The Widening of the World's Cultivated Area and the Rising Per-caput Output of People Employed in Agriculture 100 Delays in the Emulation of Modern Farming Techniques in Eastern Europe 109 The Increasing Per Acre Yield of Cultivated Land 118 Capital and Organisation 124 IV Industry The Coming of Industry: General Observations 145 Transport and the Transformation of Commerce 154 Science, Natural Resources and New Sources of Power 159 The Waning of the Political and Institutional Impediments to Economic progress in Continental Europe 161 The Industrialisation of North America 171 Industrial Progress in Pre-Revolutionary Russia 176 The Industrialisation of Japan 183 V The New Era The Rise in Living Standards 196 The United States of America: Competition among Capitalists and the Rise of Organised Labour 204 The Soviet Union: Growth without Capitalistic Competition 217 Japan: Industrial Growth and International Competition 229 Israel: A Special Case 238 VI The Underdeveloped Countries Thinly and Densely Populated Areas 264 Thinly Populated Countries 268 The 'Overpopulated' Countries 282 An Afterthought 292 Index 296
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