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Why did modern states and economies develop first in the peripheral and late-coming culture of Europe? This historical puzzle looms behind every study of industrialization and economic development. In this analytical and comparative work Eric Jones sees the economic condition forming where natural environments and political systems meet: Europe's economic rise is explained as a favoured interaction between them, contrasting with the frustrating pattern of their interplay in the Ottoman empire, India and China. For the third edition Professor Jones has added a new Preface and Afterword.
Part I. Eurasia
1. Environmental and social conjectures
2. Disasters and capital accumulation
Part II. Europe
3. Technological drift
4. The discoveries and ghost acreage
5. The market economy
6. The states system
Part III. The World
8. Beyond Europe
Part IV. Asia
9. Islam and the Ottoman Empire
10. India and the Mughal Empire
11. China and the Ming and Manchu Empires
12. Summary and comparison
Annotated bibliographical guide
Bibliography and supplementary guide
"The European Miracle is a powerfully argued explanation of why the western periphery of Eurasia advanced, while the other three empires remained static, or regressed. Professor Jones's approach is sophisticated and complex. He suggests that only a concatenation of factors can explain Europe's increasing advantage."
- The Economist
"It is one of the merits of this thoughtful and stimulating book that it will awaken insights even broader and more numerous than those presented in this pithy, concentrated work."
- Journal of Historical Geography
"This is a very ambitious book. Modest in length, vast in scope, confident (yet neither immodest nor dogmatic) in tone, it is the latest impressive addition to the steadily growing body of literature on universal and very long-term history [...] No brief review can possibly convey the scope and subtlety of Jones's study."
- Economic History Review
"This is a bold, learned, and ecologically sensitive effort to answer the central question of modern and of world history. It deserves to be read and pondered by historians of every species and field of specialization."
- The Journal of Modern History