The Challenge of the Rising West and the Lack of Response in the “Sleeping” East

Ivan T. Berend

in History Derailed

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520232990
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932098 | DOI:
The Challenge of the Rising West and the Lack of Response in the “Sleeping” East

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This chapter takes a longue durée approach that embraces an even longer period by comparing the different historical paths of Western and Central and Eastern Europe from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. Unlike Holland and Britain, absolutist France established its economy by state interventionism and became the model mercantilist state. A widespread new concept of human society and the universe, a new value system and a new way of thinking, emerged in the West. When the centralized Ottoman system began to decline, the situation worsened. The revolutionary ideas of the West began to infiltrate the “sleeping” countries of the European periphery, albeit only among the relatively small group of enlightened nobility. A modern Western Europe emerged and became the world's first highly industrialized zone. Reform and modernization became the leitmotivs of the region's history in the nineteenth century.

Keywords: Western Europe; Central Europe; Eastern Europe; Ottoman system; mercantilist state; reform; modernization

Chapter.  14809 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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