Perilous Passage: Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2005 - Social Science - 395 pages
For the appendixes mentioned in the book, Click Here. In this innovative and ambitious global history, distinguished economic historian Amiya Kumar Bagchi critically analyzes the processes leading to the rise of the West since the sixteenth century to its current position as the most prosperous and powerful group of nations in the world. Integrating the history of armed conflict with the history of competition for trade, investment, and markets, Bagchi explores the human consequences for people both within and outside the region. He characterizes the emergence and operation of capitalism as a system driven by wars over resources and markets rather than one that genuinely operates on the principle of free markets. In tracing this history, he also charts what happened to the people who came under its sway during the last five centuries. Bagchi thus broadens our understanding of the nature and history of capitalism and challenges the fetishism of commodities that limits the perspective of most economic historians. The book also challenges the Eurocentrism that still underlies the conceptual framework of many mainstream historians, joining earlier narratives that chronicle the history of human beings as living persons rather than as puppets serving the abstract cause of "economic growth." His unflinching examination of the human costs of development--not only in the colonial periphery but in the core nations--includes not only economic processes and issues of inequality within and among nations but also the intertwining of economics and war-making on a world scale. The book also contributes to our knowledge of how and in what sequence human health has been shaped by public health care, sanitation, modern medicine, income levels and nutrition. Written with extraordinary range and depth, Perilous Passage will change the ways in which we think about many of the largest issues in world history and development.
 

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Contents

History of Human Development as the Subject of History
3
Construction of the European Miracle
21
Profit Seeking under Actually Existing Capitalism and Human Development
35
Capitalist Competition and Human Development in Europe
51
Race for Dominance among the Western European Countries since the Sixteenth Century
53
Population Growth and Mortality between the Sixteenth and Nineteenth Centuries A First Look
77
The Netherlands Rise and Fall of a Hegemonic Power
89
Delayed Transition to a LowMortality Regime in Europe and North America
101
Civilizing Mission in Lands Taken by European Settlers from the Original Inhabitants
221
Intercontinental Resource Flows Sustaining the Ascent of the European Powers
229
Colonial Tribute and Profits 1870s Onward
239
Demographic Disasters in the Colonies and Semicolonies in the Heyday of European Colonialism
249
The Twentieth Century Antisystemic Struggles Wars and Challenges to Global Capital
265
Setting the Stage for Megawars
267
Revolution Nazism Japanese Militarism and World War II
279
Imperialism and Wars in the Late Twentieth Century
291

Literacy in Western Europe since the Sixteenth Century
121
The World beyond Europe in the Age of Emergence of European Dominance
133
Chinas Economic Development and Quality of Life between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries
135
India under Mughal Rule and After
145
Conducting Trade in Asia before and after the European Advent
167
Reconsidering Japanese Exceptionalism
179
Capitalist Competition Colonialism and the Physical WellBeing of NonEuropean Peoples
195
Civilizing Mission and Racialization From Native Americans to Asians
209
Capitalism and Uneven Development in the Twentieth Century
305
Destruction and Renewal in the Neoliberal Global Order
319
Contradictions Challenges and Resistance
327
References
339
Index
383
About the Author
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About the author (2005)

Amiya Kumar Bagchi is the founder and director of the Institute of Development Studies in Calcutta, India.

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