Journal of World History, vol. 23, no. 3 (2012)

In Memorium: Jerry H. Bentley, vi


The Global View of History in China
Liu Xincheng, 491

This is an attempt to trace and contextualize Chinese scholars’ response—either positive or negative—to the “West-imported” concept of a “global view of history” after its emergence in China more than two decades ago. It also introduces how world historians in China are consciously employing this “global view of history” to compile their own world history textbooks, a practice that gave rise to a serious concern about world history methodologies.

Fiscal and Financial Preconditions for the Formation of Developmental States in the West and East from the Conquest of Ceuta (1415) to the Opium War (1839)
Patrick Karl O’Brien, 513

For centuries before the Great Divergence the priorities of Eurasian states had not been with the specification and protection of property rights, the reduction of transaction costs, the extension of markets, the facilitation of competition or any of the other institutional prerequisites specified for Smithian growth in premodern economies. Their overwhelming concern seems to have been with their own formation in contexts of intensifying geopolitical and imperial violence, attacks from nomads, as well as internal rivalries for control over resources with warlords, local gentries, aristocratic magnates, urban oligarchies, ecclesiastical prelates, and other contenders of power within their own borders. Some comprehension of when, how, and why some states constructed the kind of autonomous, centralized, and effective governments with administrative capacities required to support and sustain institution required for long-term economic growth seems to be a precondition for the initiation of a discourse for a global history of state formation. The aims of this paper are to survey the modern secondary literature covering both historical and theoretical approaches concerned with connections between the formation and constitutions of states and the construction of institutions for the assessment and collection of taxes. For global history its conclusion is that in retrospect the extensive territorial empires in both the Orient (and the Occident?) look suboptimal as political units for the promotion of economic growth.

The Global and the Local: Problematic Dynamics of the Triangular Trade in Early Modern Manila
Birgit M. Tremml, 555

Toward the end of the sixteenth century, Spanish Manila became a pivot for intercontinental exchange in silver and silk. When studying early modern Manila, its multilayered character has often been overlooked. Urban and economic developments were not only based on Chinese and Japanese private merchants’ contributions but also imbedded in the complex history of Asia’s global integration and the Castilian Overseas Empire’s involvement in various international affairs. The present article revisits these global and local connections by highlighting the impact of triangular encounters between powerful premodern states on the short-lived global significance of the Manila market.

Mt. Tambora, Climatic Changes, and China’s Decline in the Nineteenth Century
Shuji Cao, Yushang Li, and Bin Yang, 587

This article first introduces the correlation between volcanism and global climatic abnormalities (commonly referred to as global cooling), with particular reference to the Tambora eruption in 1815. Recent case studies in China concerning this volcanic effect and climate changes in the nineteenth century are brought in to substantialize and revise some general statements previously made about China. These case studies cover various regions, including the Yangzi Delta, Yunnan, the Jiaodong Peninsula, and the North China Sea area, and examine a wide range of topics such as floods, famines, economic recession, crop patterns (including those of New World crops), and Pacific herring catches. Finally, this article provides suggestions for future studies of the Tambora effects in China and proposes to bring climate into the specific temporal span of the decline of the Qing Empire.

The Global Spread of Neoliberalism and China’s Pension Reform since 1978
Aiqun Hu, 609

This article treats China’s pension reform as part of the global spread of neoliberalism, arguing that China’s pension reform was a process of the triumph of neoliberal models based on individual accounts. Chinese policymakers emulated or learned from the ILO social insurance in the 1980s, Singapore’s central provident funds until 1995, and the World Bank’s model since 1995, and the national forces dominated that process until 1995, when the World Bank established itself as the driving force. China’s pension reform has been far from successful, as shown in the difficulties in funding the individual accounts and the issue of fragmented coverage. But the neoliberal model will continue to exist, largely due to the fact that once adopted it is hard to abolish, and the continual compromises among policymakers.


Challenges, (Non-)Responses, and Politics: A Review of Prasannan Parthasarathi, Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850
Peer Vries, 639

This review is an analysis of Prasannan Parthasarathi’s explanation of the economic divergence in the long eighteenth century between Britain and India as presented in his recent book. It focuses on the question of why Britain industrialized first instead of India. Parthasarathi’s claim that Britain’s industrialization was a response to two challenges that were absent in India—global competition with other textile producers, in this case India, and a wood shortage—is critically discussed, as is his claim that the state played a fundamental role in the rise of Britain’s industry. The review ends with expressing doubts about Parthasarathi’s thesis that there would not have existed a unique scientific and technological culture in Britain or more broadly Europe.


Antony Black. A World History of Ancient Political Thought
reviewed by George Backen, 665

Beatrice Heuser. The Evolution of Strategy: Thinking War from Antiquity to the Present
reviewed by Gwyn Davies, 669

Leslie Dossey. Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa
reviewed by Eric Fournier, 673

Michael Keevak. Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking
reviewed by Magnus Fiskesjö, 676

Molly Greene. Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean
reviewed by Diana Gilliland Wright, 680

John Aberth. Plagues in World History
reviewed by Shona Kelly Wray, 682

Toby E. Huff. Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective
reviewed by J. B. Shank, 686

Lynn Hunt, Margaret C. Jacob, and Wijnand Mihnhardt. The Book That Changed Europe: Picart and Bernard’s Religious Ceremonies of the World
reviewed by Liana Vardi, 691

Hugh Trevor-Roper. John Robertson, ed. History and the Enlightenment
reviewed by Edward J. Woell, 695

Eric Jay Dolin. Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
reviewed by David P. Dewar, 699

Gail D. MacLeitch. Imperial Entanglements: Iroquois Change and Persistence on the Frontiers of Empire
reviewed by Rob Harper, 703

Kevin Sharpe. Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England, 1603–1660
reviewed by Mark Charles Fissel, 705

John E. Crowley. Imperial Landscapes: Britain’s Global Visual Culture, 1745–1820
reviewed by Michael H. Fisher, 712

Ronald Hyam. Understanding the British Empire
reviewed by Aaron Windel, 714

Nell Irvin Painter. The History of White People
reviewed by Jason Pierce, 716

Lisa Ford. Settler Sovereignty: Jurisdiction and Indigenous People in America and Australia, 1788–1836
reviewed by Elspeth Martini, 720

Tyler Colman. Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink
reviewed by Philip Whalen, 723

Roger S. Levine. A Living Man from Africa: Jan Tzatzoe, Xhosa Chief and Missionary, and the Making of Nineteenth-Century South Africa
reviewed by Fiona Vernal, 725

Sebastian Conrad. Sorcha O’Hagan, trans. Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany
reviewed by Joe Perry, 729

Rick Baldoz. The Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1898–1946
reviewed by Estella Habal, 734

Robert A. Hill, ed. The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Vol. XI: The Caribbean Diaspora, 1910–1920
reviewed by Glenn A. Chambers, 737

Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, and Meera Balarajan. Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future
reviewed by Lisong Liu, 740

Joyce Appleby. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism
reviewed by James P. Kraft, 744

Roland Hsu, ed. Ethnic Europe: Mobility, Identity, and Conflict in a Globalized World
reviewed by Elizabeth Vlossak, 747

David Ciarlo. Advertising Empire: Race and Visual Culture in Imperial Germany
reviewed by Joseph Paul Jones, 750

Janis Mimura. Planning for Empire: Reform Bureaucrats and the Japanese Wartime State
reviewed by Emily Anderson, 753

Richard Wolin. The Wind from the East: French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s
reviewed by Knox Peden, 756