Published by EH.Net (February 2011)
Nuala Zahedieh, The Capital and the Colonies: London and the Atlantic Economy, 1660-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xvii + 329 pp. $95 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-0-521-51423-1.
Reviewed for EH.Net by Lorena S. Walsh, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (retired).
Several recent investigations of early modern economic growth have emphasized the critical importance of overseas expansion -- especially the rise of Atlantic commerce -- in encouraging economic development and in inducing institutional changes initiated by new mercantile groups operating outside of royal circles (e.g., Robert C. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550-1653 [Cambridge, 1993]; Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy [Princeton, 2000], and Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson, “The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth,” American Economic Review, 95 (2005), 546-579). Some have also stressed the dynamic role of Atlantic port cities, London in particular, in bringing together strategically favorable combinations of financial and commercial expertise; skilled, well-paid workforces; and high levels of demand for food, fuel, manufactured goods, and new tropical products (e.g., Robert C. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective [Cambridge, 2009]; and Acemoglu, et al, “Rise of Europe”).
International and Domestic Trade and Relations
Markets and Institutions