Why Did the Chinese Economy Lag Behind?

David Faure

in China and Capitalism

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9789622097834
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206694 | DOI:
Why Did the Chinese Economy Lag Behind?

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses why the Chinese economy lagged behind in the nineteenth century. One of the major reasons was China's difficulty in acquiring steam technology due to its state of traditional technology and nineteenth-century politics. China did learn about steam engines, but too little and too late. By the 1880s, breath-taking advances were coming on in the science of stream in Western technology: the Second Industrial Revolution was supported by research in the laboratory and it was sustained by mathematics. In 1800, China might have acquired some of the industrial advances of the West with the minimum change to the traditional curriculum, but to do so in the 1880s meant reforming school education to put a premium on a new mathematics and the forever elusive superiority of Western technology. China was doomed, therefore by the impossibility of timing.

Keywords: Chinese economy; nineteenth century; steam technology; Second Industrial Revolution; Western technology

Chapter.  6567 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Hong Kong University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.