Economic History of Europe in Modern Times

Economic History of Europe in Modern Times

Economic History of Europe in Modern Times

Economic History of Europe in Modern Times

Excerpt

The most serious problem encountered in compressing an account of the economic history of modern Europe into a book of moderate compass is that of deciding just how far to go in defining and stressing the dominant characteristics of the momentous changes of the period, and how far to make room for differences, exceptions, and complexities in general. On the one hand, an understanding of modern economic history is so important for the understanding of the economic structure of modern society that there is a temptation to make the general course of history appear simpler than it really is. On the other hand, the materials are so rich and their variety and interest so great that there is danger that the narrative will be loaded down with what, for the purposes of a general view, is irrelevant and obscuring detail. In order to secure unity in respect of the degree of emphasis put upon broad and general views and upon emendations and qualifications of such views, the first drafts of the different chapters of this book were subjected to careful revision. This task was entrusted to Dr. Knight, who also contributed several of the chapters, but the editor accepts a full share of responsibility for the general character of the changes that have been made.

Taking the book as a whole, I am confident that the student will get from it, not only an adequate knowledge of important historical facts, but also a better general view of the economic development of modern Europe than he will find elsewhere between two covers. The economic history of Europe in modern times is both the history of the industry, agriculture, and commerce of a continent over a period of five centuries and the history of a series of changes in economic organization which have been dominant factors in making the modern world what it is. The authors have . . .

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