Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Volume I: by Fernand Braudel

By Fernand Braudel

By way of reading intimately the cloth lifetime of pre-industrial peoples worldwide, Fernand Braudel considerably replaced the best way historians view their topic. quantity I describes food and drinks, gown and housing, demography and relatives constitution, power and expertise, cash and credits, and the expansion of cities.

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Extra info for Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Volume I: The Structure of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible

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It was limited in extent even towards America, if only by the capacity of the transport ships. By way of comparison, total Irish immigration between 1769 and 1774 only amounted to 44 ,000, or fewer than 8000 a year. 24 Likewise one or two thousand Spaniards on average left Seville for America annually in the sixteenth century. 25 But, even if we assume that the slave trade represented the completely unthinkable figure of 50,000 a year (it would in fact only have reached this level - if at all - in the nineteenth century, as the trade came to an end ) , such a total would only accord with an African population of 25 million at the most.

At approxi­ mately the same times, China and India probably advanced and regressed in the same rhythm as the West, as though all humanity were in the grip of a primordial cosmic destiny that would make the rest of man's history seem, in comparison, 34 The Structures of Everyday Life of secondary importance. Ernst Wagemann, the economist and demographer, held this view. The synchronism is evident in the eighteenth century and more than probable in the sixteenth. It can be assumed that it also applied to the thirteenth and stretched from the France of St Louis to the remote China of the Mongols.

We have summarized the experts' estimates in a table. Note that all their calculations begin late - in r650 - and that they are all on the high side, even the recent research by United Nations services. O n the whole I think these estimates are too high, at least in so far as they concern first Africa and then Asia . It is rash at the starting point in r650 to attribute the same figure ( r oo million) both to Europe, which was then dynamic, and to Africa, which was then backward (with the possible exception of its Mediterranean coast) .

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