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Asian Topics in World History Asia for Educators Columbia University
China and Europe, 1500–2000 and Beyond: What is Modern?
Common Dynamics
Industrial Evolution, not Revolution?
Rethinking Regions
Explaining the Industrial Revolution in Europe
Emperors and Reign Periods (PDF)
Timeline of Chinese Inventions (PDF)
China's Gifts to the West (PDF)
Chinese Ideas in the West (PDF)
Excerpts of Interest
Rethinking the Industrial Revolution
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Industrial Evolution, not Revolution?

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Precursors of Change
De-centering the European Model
What does this imply for our teaching? It seems to me that it offers us a number of opportunities. In an Asia-specific course, it allows us to talk quite openly about the fact that there are dynamics of change, such as commercial expansion, that took place in different parts of Asia as well as in Europe. And several centuries passed before Europeans began to develop the scales of commerce found in China beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Looking at Asian cases of commercial development allows us to place European phenomena in a broader global context, to see which European phenomena are similar to those that we find in other parts of the world.

These comparisons de-center the supposed uniqueness of European activities. As we move from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, we can share with students the economic parallels of the period as a major theme in world history. One of the effects of such a presentation is to set up the need to explain the subsequent economic divergence in the nineteenth century