Epilogue: Cycles of Capitalist Expansion

Ayşe Çelikkol

in Romances of Free Trade

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199769001
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896943 | DOI:
Epilogue: Cycles of Capitalist Expansion

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Nineteenth-century British literature articulated the insight that capital breaks through all the barriers standing in its way. If global capitalism defies national borders, how come free trade policies boosted the strength of the British state in the nineteenth-century? The epilogue clarifies why the border-defying nature of capitalism does not threaten the nation-state. According to world systems theorists, chaotic circulation both precedes and follows the concentration of capital in one country. The two stages together constitute a cycle, which repeats itself over time. The epilogue concludes with a brief discussion of how the cycle that established the global hegemony of Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century differs from the later cycle in which the United States emerged as a superpower.

Keywords: history of capitalism; history of globalization; world-systems theory

Chapter.  2824 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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