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C O U R S E 
A History of the World since 1300
Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Benefits of Comparative Advantage
Notes taken on February 22, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
transition from self-sufficient villages to interdependent societies
Marx observed this as fundamental to the system
the demise of mercantilist empires
the end of the slave trade
the rise of free labor
these were intensifying
painting: Pieter Bruegel's Peasants
taking a break from their work
they take a lot of breaks because they produce for their own needs
there are no clocks
there are no assembly lines
you're producing for village needs
you're self-sufficient
how trade changes the world
creation of interdependent societies
the village used to be largely self-sufficient
trade alters this system
societies become interdependent
e.g. England
produces manufactured goods
e.g. Argentina
export wheat
there is interdependence
you no longer produce for your own subsistence needs
promote free trade with little regulation
as they become more specialized, they become more productive, and as they become more productive, they become wealthier
to own property and to trade became basic rights
these became principles that would govern laws and institutions
David Ricardo
one of the first economists to observe these trends
promoted the idea of extreme industry specialization by nations, to the point of dismantling internationally competitive and otherwise profitable industries
there are benefits that come from comparative advantage
it was applied to parts of globe that did not necessarily want to be part of the system, i.e. did not want to be the weak exporters
free trade sometimes has to be imposed by force
resistance of societies at the arrival of the market place
merchants seen as the instruments that corroded older economies
Indian Rebellion of 1857
a response to the dispossession of land
anger over taxes being levied by the East India Company
capitalism becomes institutionalized
after Napoleonic wars, it would be free trade, and not old empires, that would pull the parts of the global system together
this resistence against capitialism were spasms of a dying empire-based world
saw capitalism as destiny
Marx not the only one who saw these trends
but Marx was unique in piecing the parts together
Alexis de Tocqueville
in the 1830s was sent to the United States to report back on innovations in the penitentary system
during the Jacksonian era
the ways in which capitalism was unfolding in the frontier societies in the United States
found an egalitarian society with grassroots democracy
strength rested on power of civil society
wrote one of the great tracts called Democracy in America
it was obvious to de Tocqueville that America's thriving economic system depended on its frontier
between the opportunities between the frontier for economic expansion
the United States could have capitalism without the upheavals which appeared to come inevitably in the other capitalist transformations in Europe, India, China and elsewhere
combination of a civil society and a frontier
1841 and 1846 traveled to north Africa
"Travail sur l'Algérie"
saw here a possibility for France to open up a frontier zone analogous to the opening of the frontier that the United States had
it's own safety valve
it's own opportunity to resolve the tension of capitalism by opening up the opportunity for others to settle land
describes an Algeria populated by Arabs on the coast
Berber tribes in the interior
all living within a decaying Turkish regime
these coastal plains were lying in wait for European settlers, for agrarian colonization
analogous to the United States
the conquest of Algeria could do for France what westward expansion could do for the United States
he expressed these thoughts as a member of France's Chamber of Deputes
from a 1840 speech: "What is now taking place in Egypt and in Syria is only at the edge of a vast panorama, only the prelude to a dramatic action on a large scale. Do you know what is happening in the East? An entire world is changing. From the banks of the Indus to the shoes of the Black Sea, in that vast space, every society is being shaken, every religion is growing weaker, the nations are dying, every light is being extinguished, the ancient Asiatic world is disappearing. And we are seeing the European world gradually take its place. In our time, Europe is not merely nibbling away at one corner of Asia as Europe did in the days of the Crusades. It is attacking it to the north, the south, the east, the west, everywhere. It is puncturing the ancient world, enveloping it, subduing it."
arguing as Marx did that there was a global destiny to the system that Europe had created
the growth of European expansion will see its climax in the First World War
ends with the guns of August 1914
our first narratives of globalization
De Tocqueville
we can say that these people were both trying to envision a future utopia but also looking at the world as it already was and trying to make sense of it