World Trade Since 1431
Geography, Technology, and Capitalism
Equipped with reliable maps and instruments for open-ocean navigation and highly seaworthy, three-masted, cannon-armed ships, Portugal dominated the Atlantic trade routes—until the diffusion of Portuguese technologies to wealthier polities made Holland the eventual successor, owing to its geographic position and its immense commercial fleet. It is precisely this interplay of technology and geography, argues Peter J. Hugill, that has guided the evolution of the modern global capitalistic system. Tracing the relationship between technology and economy over the past 550 years, Hugill finds that the nations that developed and marketed new technologies best were the nations that rose to world power, while those that held onto outdated technologies fell behind. Moreover, he argues, major changes in transportation and communication technologies actually constituted the moments of transformation from one world economy to another.
About the Author
Peter Hugill is professor of geography at Texas A & M University.
"A magnificent work, Braudelian in its conception, scope, and attention to detail... A delight."
"A first-rate historical study in the genre of world history... Combines geography with the social sciences in skillful fashion. It is lucidly written and will appeal to the specialist and general reader."
"Hugill provides a refreshingly long historical sweep in arguing that transportation technologies have been the key to success in world trade... A wealth of historical and technicaldetail."
Other Titles in SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
Other Titles in Geography