Rethinking the rise of the West: The Great Divergence Debate


Konstantin Georgidis, Canterbury School, Ft. Myers, Florida


Class Activities: Comparing and Contrasting Points of View
Web Sources
Lesson Plan(PDF)

China and Europe, 1500-2000 and Beyond: What is "Modern"?

Teachers’ Guide with Study Questions: China and Europe, 1500-2000


Rethinking the rise of the West: The Great Divergence Debate

Rethinking the rise of the West: Global Commodities

Standards of Modernity – China and Europe

Parallels in England and the Yangzi Basin of China in the 1800s


David Buck, "Was It Pluck or Luck that Made the West Grow Rich?" Journal of World History 10, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 413–30.

Duschesne Ricardo. "Paul Vries, The Great Divergence, and the California School: Who Is In and Who Is Out?" World History Connected Vol. 2 Issue 2:

Andre Gunder Frank, ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

Philip C. C. Hunag. "Development or Involution in Eighteenth-Century Britain and China?" Journal of Asian Studies 61 no 2501-538.

David Landes, The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969).

McNeill, William H., "The Rise of the West after Twenty-Five Years," Journal of World History 1, no. 1 (1990): 1–21.

Robert Marks, The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative, World Social Change (Lanham, MD.; Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002).

Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

Kenneth Pomeranz, "Beyond the East-West Binary: Resituating Development Paths in the Eighteenth-Century World," The Journal of Asian Studies 61, no. 2 (2002): 539-90.

Thomas R. Shannon, An Introduction to the World-System Perspective 2nd ed. (Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, 1996).

R. Bin Wong, China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of the European Experience (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997).

Peer Vries. Via Peking Back to Manchester: Britain, The Industrial Revolution and China (The Netherlands: Leiden University, CNWS Publications, 2003)

Immanuel Wallerstein, World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction (Duke University Press, 2004)

Other Resources

For access to primary documents and other resources for this project as well as appropriate activities see Bridging World History Unit 18, at

Asia for Educators: China and Europe – What is Modern?