Talk:Great Divergence

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Former good article nominee Great Divergence was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 23, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed

Very doubtful statements.[edit]

To say the least:

"This is what set Europe apart from the technologically advanced, large unitary empires such as China and India. China had both a printing press and movable type, and India had similar levels scientific and technological achievement as Europe in 1700, yet the industrial revolution would occur in Europe, not China or India."

(in the "Political fragmentation" part)

First, India has generally been rather divided despite short periods during which a dominant power rose (and fell), such as the Mughal empire which fell at the beginning of the 18th century (India was largely divided during the 18th century). Presenting India as an consistently united empire is totally absurd.

Second, it's rather disturbing to place in 1700 (!) China/India at the exact same level of Europe in terms of scientific achievement. There is no end to the numbers of mathematicians and scientists in Europe through the 16th and the 17th centuries. Scientific articles on wikipedia during those centuries are almost only filled by Europeans. Just realize that in China it was believed that Earth was flat until they accepted the foreign idea of a sphere in the 17th century. Meanwhile elsewhere, Newton created equations that will be used to calculate gravity until the 20th century. Technology is maybe a more debatable field (though I still believe that overall, Europe was obviously ahead at this point), but in terms of pure "science" I'm quite shocked by the absurd comparison. In terms of accumulated knowledge, India and China didn't have the same arms as Europe to begin an industrial revolution. Of course, it doesn't change the fact that they were more advanced than Europe in some very particular fields, which doesn't change the point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 27 August 2017 (UTC)

This is reliably sourced. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 19:50, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
The paragraph in question is cited to Mokyr (2016), with no page numbers given. However, it seems Mokyr makes the point about unity only in reference to China as contrasted with Europe. And on page 164 he attacks Parthasarati's claim that "as late as 1700, there was no discernible difference between the scientific and technological achievement of Britain and India" after dealing with similar claims about Europe and China. Kanguole 20:20, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
What is very well known is that China and India had been surpassed by Europe by 1700, which happened at least a couple of centuries earlier. We know that from accounts by scholarly Jesuit missionaries who had access to the Emperor's court where they discussed astronomy. European thinkers were influenced by Greek logic which the Chinese did not adopt. Though the Chinese had movable type printing they had too many characters. The Chinese press was run by the government so only government approved material got published. When movable type started being used in Europe it immediately resulted in a huge increase in the number of titles published. Europe was well ahead with mechanical, mining and chemical technology by the time De re metallica was published. De re Metallica had a good chapter on chemistry and was the standard text for the next 170 years. Printed technical manuals were available in China, but only to scholars. Some copies of De re metallica were available to the public in churches, where they were attached to a chain. Calculus had already been invented by 1700 and Newton Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which has no equal anywhere in Chinese or Indian science.Phmoreno (talk)

Hello (I'm the person who created the thread). As pointed out by the person before me (and it's only a few examples), things were rather obvious in the 16th and in the 17th centuries. Here's a wiki article about the scientific revolution, which began in the 16th century and ended in the 18th: A section of another wiki article about the history of mathematics in general, I selected the 17th century (the 16th century is just above) I have a hard time accepting "This is reliably sourced" as a final reply. The particular field of science was overwhelming. Also, Kangole above seems to have checked the "source" and pointed out how it was inaccurately quoted anyway.

I personally think we should keep only the reference to China regarding the "big empire vs fragmented europe" part. Regarding science and technology, we should add "Mokyr claims that" since it's his very personal view on the matter. Personally I would even remove "science" to keep only "technology" but I guess it's probably a bit much. What do you think we should do? If Kangole is right, we can't let it as it is right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:CB00:8169:9700:B968:D730:20C1:4365 (talk) 20:50, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

As I was saying, Mokyr isn't claiming parity in 1700, rather the reverse: he's arguing against others who do claim it. Kanguole 23:13, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand how I read that wrong. Even if I'm not a native speaker it was clear, I apologize again. Any suggestion about the change to make in thta part of the article? I don't want to take an isolated initiative.
Since there was no further reply, I took the liberty to change it for: "This is what set Europe apart from technologically advanced, large unitary empires such as China. China had both a printing press and movable type, yet the industrial revolution would occur in Europe." As you can see, I actually just removed what was related to India (including this comparison with 1700's Europe).


This section contains errors and omissions, and is generally misleading. It should be removed unless someone who has an understanding of the subject can rewrite it.Phmoreno (talk) 13:10, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

Indian Subcontinent[edit]

Was the trade deficit between India and Great Britain and Holland really due to the fact that India was self sufficient or was it because that by 1760 wages in Lancashire were six times higher than India? And what about the fact that Western Europe had so much gold and silver flow in from the Spanish colonies in the Americas that there was a large inflation in Europe. The intellectuals in Europe became aware that gold and silver weren't wealth. Anyway, statements in this section do not accurately describe the situation.Phmoreno (talk) 13:23, 31 August 2017 (UTC)

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