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World Accumulation 1492–1789 PDF

299 Pages·1978·27.41 MB·English
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World Accumulation 1492-1789 By the same author CAPITALISM AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN LATIN AMERICA LATIN AMERICA: UNDERDEVELOPMENT OR REVOLUTION LUMPENBOURGEOISIE: LUMPENDEVELOPMENT SOCIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF SOCIOLOGY ON CAPITALIST UNDERDEVELOPMENT DEPENDENCE AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT: LATIN AMERICA'S POLITICAL ECONOMY (with Dale Johnson and James Cockcroft) MEXICAN AGRICULTURE 1521-1630: TRANSFORMATION OF THE MODE OF PRODUCTION REFLEXIONES SOBRE LA CRISIS ECONOMICA ECONOMIC GENOCIDE IN CHILE AMERICA LATINA: FEUDALISMO 0 CAPITALISMO? (with Rodolofo Puiggros and Emesto Laclau) ASPECTOS DE LA REALIDAD LA TINOAMERICANA (with Orlando Caputo, Roberto Pizarro, and Anibal Quijano) QUALE 1984? (with Samir Amin and Hosea Jaffe) DEPENDENT ACCUMULATION AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT CRISIS: THE WORLD ECONOMIC SYSTEM TODAY REFLECTIONS ON THE WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS WOrld Accumulatt.on 1492-1789 Andre Gunder Frank M © Andre Gunder Frank 1978 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without permission First published in the U.S.A. 1978 First published in the United Kingdom 1978 Reprinted 1982 Published by THE MACMILLAN PRESS LTD London and Basingstoke Companies and representatives throughout the world British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Frank, Andre Gunder World accumulation, 1492-1789 1. Saving and investment-History I. Title 332'.0415 HC79.S3 ISBN 978-0-333-23884-4 ISBN 978-1-349-15998-7 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-1-349-15998-7 To the memory of my student, friend, and compaiiero in Chile Dagoberto Perez Vargas and his comrades who put these theoretical concerns behind them to fight and die to end accumulation through expropriation and exploitation The inquiry into this question would be an inquiry into what the economists call Previous, or Original Accumula tion, but which ought to be called Original Expropriation. -Karl Marx, "Wages, Price and Profit" (1969:56) Indeed, the booty brought back by Drake in the Golden Hind may fairly be considered the fountain and origin of British Foreign Investment. Elizabeth paid offo ut of the proceeds the whole of her foreign debt and invested a part of the balance (about £42,000) in the Levant Company; largely out of the profits of the Levant Company there was formed the East India Company, the profits of which during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were the main foundation of England's foreign connections; and so on. . . . this is quite sufficient to illustrate our argument . . . that the greater part of the fruits of the economic progress and capital accumulation of the Elizabethan and jacobean age accrued to the profiteer rather than to the wage-earner. . . . Never in the annals of the modern world has there existed so prolonged and so rich an oppor tunity for the businessman, the speculator and the prof iteer. In these golden years modern capitalism was born . . . . Thus the rate at which the world's wealth has accumulated has been far more variabk than habits of thrift have been . ... It is characteristic of our historians that,for exampk, the Cambridge Modern History should make no mention of these economic factors as moulding the Elizabethan Age and making possible its greatness. . . . We were just in a financial position to afford Shakespeare at the moment when he presented himself! . . . It would be a fascinating task to re-write Economic History, in the light of these ideas. -John Maynard Keynes, A Treatise on Money (1930) Contents Preface II I. The Sixteenth-Century Expansion 25 2. The Seventeenth-Century Depression 65 3. The Political Economy of Cyclical Expansion and Rivalry, I689-I7 63 I03 4. The Transition in India to the Transformation of Asia 135 5. Depression and Revolution, I762-I789 I67 6. The Eighteenth-Century Commercial Revolution in Accumulation 213 7. Conclusions: On So-Called Primitive Accumulation 238 Bibliography 273 Index 29I Preface I think authors ought to look back and give us some record of how their works developed, not because their works are important (they may turn out to be unimportant) but because we need to know more of the process of history writing. Historians today generally recognize, like social scientists, that their scholarship is an activity in which they are themselves participants. Writers of history are not just observers. They are themselves part of the act and need to observe themselves in action. Their view of what "really" happened is filtered first through the spotty and often hit-or-miss screens of available evidence, and second through the prisms· of their own interest, selection, and interpretatwn of the evidence they see. The result can only be an imperfect approximation. Fortunately, no one has to regard it as the last word. Once an author looks back at what he thought he was trying to do, many perspectives emerge. Foremost is that ofi gnorance, at least in my case. A hook that to its author is a mere antechamber to a whole unwritten library, bursting with problems await ing exploration, may seem to his readers to have a solidity which shunts their research elsewhere. It is useless to assure them that the book is really full of holes. -John King Fairbank, Trade and Diplomacy on the China Coast (1969) In this preface, I shall first try to look back and give some record of how this work developed, before saying something about what this book is about. In a way, I shall reminisce and dialogue in my own II

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