spice trade

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A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

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Although the primary objective of the crusades was not commercial (unless one was Venetian or Genoese), Christians clearly recognized the Muslim command of the spice trade for the money machine it was. During their campaigns in the Holy Land, the crusaders interrupted the caravan traffic between Egypt and Syria with a chain of fortresses that ran from the Mediterranean down to the Red Sea's northeastern extremity at the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1183 Reginald of Chatillon mounted a series of raids against Arab shipping in the Red Sea itself. The alarm of the Islamic world at the infidels' penetration of this critical maritime corridor, previously thought to have been a Muslim domain, must have been extreme. The Egyptians mounted a vigorous response and forced Reginald back north. In 1249, events at Damietta, on the Nile delta, demonstrated the crucial importance of the spice trade in the Muslim world. In that year, Christian forces captured the town, and so anxious were the Ayyubid Egyptians to regain this strategic trade outpost that they offered to return Jerusalem to the Christians in exchange; the offer was refused.4 When it came to the spice trade, Christian and Muslim alike usually favored Mammon over God.

Venetian merchants had reacted with horror at the news of da Gama's return to Portugal, and at first saw their worst fears confirmed: Venice's spice trade did plummet, by perhaps as much as three-fourths, in the decades following 1498. The falloff was not, however, the result of a Portuguese blockade. Rather, large amounts of spices were now flowing around the Cape to Lisbon, then onward to Antwerp, the main Habsburg trading hub in an increasingly prosperous northern Europe. When da Gama left Lisbon on his first voyage in 1497, Europeans consumed less than two million pounds of pepper per year. By 1560, this amount had grown to between six and seven million pounds.63 Perhaps even more detrimental to the Venetian spice trade than competition from the Cape route was the deterioration in relations between Venice and the ever-expanding Ottomans.

They laid grand plans to clear the Red Sea and to invade Aceh; for the latter task, they would need the cooperation of the Manila fleet of the hated Spaniards. All came to naught; the Portuguese simply did not have the manpower, the ships, or the money to retain control of the spice trade. One Portuguese observer noted that Javanese ships freely carried cloves, nutmeg, and mace through the Strait of Malacca to Aceh, where "we cannot stop them doing, as we have no fleet in those parts to prevent them.""' Worse, an alternative route south of Sumatra, then north through the Sunda Strait (between Sumatra and Java) lay entirely beyond the reach of the Portuguese. As Portugal's dominance of the spice trade gradually deteriorated during the sixteenth century, things were looking up for it, at least temporarily, farther east. Occasionally, the human urge to trade takes a backseat to war and racism.


pages: 282 words: 82,107

An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

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agricultural Revolution, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, carbon footprint, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce

The pursuit of spices is the third way in which food remade the world, both by helping to illuminate its full extent and geography, and by motivating European explorers to seek direct access to the Indies, in the course of which they established rival trading empires. Examining the spice trade from a European perspective might seem strange, given that Eu rope occupied only a peripheral position and a minor role in the trade in ancient times. But this served to heighten the mystery and the appeal of spices to Europeans in particular, ultimately prompting them to uncover the true origins of these strangely appealing dried roots, shriveled berries, desiccated twigs, slivers of bark, and sticky bits of gum—with momentous consequences for the course of human history. THE SPICE TRADE’S WORLD-WIDE WEB When a ship was found stranded on the shores of the Red Sea, around 120 B.C., there appeared at first to be no survivors. Everyone on board had starved to death—except, it turned out, for one man, and he was only barely alive.

“It is remarkable that its use has come into such favor, for with some foods it is their sweetness that is appealing, others have an inviting appearance, but neither the berry nor the fruit of pepper has anything to recommend it,” he wrote. “The sole pleasing quality is its pungency—and for the sake of this we go to India!” Similarly, Pliny’s contemporary Tacitus worried about Roman dependence on “spendthrift table luxuries.” When he wrote these words around the end of the first century A.D., however, the Roman spice trade was already past its peak. As the Roman Empire declined and its wealth and sphere of influence shrank in the centuries that followed, the direct spice trade with India withered in turn, and Arab, Indian, and Persian traders reasserted themselves as the main suppliers to the Mediterranean. But the spices continued to flow. A Roman cookbook from the fifth century A.D., “The Excerpts of Vinidarius,” lists more than fifty herbs, spices, and plant extracts under the heading “Summary of spices which should be in the house in order that nothing is lacking in seasoning,” including pepper, ginger, costus, spikenard, cinnamon leaf, and cloves.

There is undoubtedly some scope for “relocalization” of the food supply, and if nothing else, the food-miles debate is making consumers and companies pay more attention to food’s environmental impact. But localism can be taken too far. Equating local food with virtuous food, today as in Roman times, is far too simplistic. The rich history of the spice trade reminds us that for centuries, people have appreciated exotic flavors from the other side of the world, and that meeting their needs brought into being a thriving network of commercial and cultural exchange. Hunter-gatherers were limited to local food by definition; but if subsequent generations had limited themselves in the same way, the world would be a very different place today. Admittedly, the legacy of the spice trade is mixed. The great spice-seeking voyages revealed the true geography of the planet and began a new epoch in human history. But it was also because of spices that European powers began grabbing footholds around the world and setting up trading posts and colonies.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Venice became the central European distribution point for pepper and other spices in the mid-thirteenth century, after Muslim traders had brought the spices to the Adriatic from India in caravans. The profits Venice made from the sale of its legendary Murano glass were an afterthought compared to the tariffs it charged as a middleman in the spice trade. By the 1600s, the direct sea routes to India had already started to lower the price of pepper on the open market, though it was still precious enough to inspire a new age of empires and global corporations. The Dutch East India Company—the very first corporation to issue publicly traded stock—was founded to exploit the immense profitability of the spice trade. Modern economists estimate that the Dutch markup on nutmeg and clove was as much as 2,000 percent. The taste for pepper and other spices also provoked some of the darkest chapters in the history of globalization.

The first cloves to grow anywhere outside a hundred-mile radius of Indonesia were harvested in 1776 on Isle de France. It seems preposterous to say it, but one of the key events that brought an end to the Dutch financial empire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a one-armed Frenchman stealing a handful of seeds halfway around the globe. Poivre’s triumph, in a way, marked the beginning of the end for the spice trade, or at least the spice trade in its grandiose phase. Before long, descendants of Poivre’s initial batch of clove seedlings would be employed to launch a thriving clove business in Madagascar and Zanzibar. “Nearly two hundred years later,” Turner observes, “the flow of spices across the Indian Ocean has been reversed, with Indonesia now a net importer of cloves.” The newfound geographic diversity of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper—and the increasingly efficient means of harvesting them—soon demoted spices from luxury item to commodity

This history is an account of less utilitarian pleasures; habits and customs and environments that came into being for no apparent reason other than the fact that they seemed amusing or surprising. (In a sense, it is a history that follows Brian Eno’s definition of culture as “all the things we don’t have to do.”) Looking at history through this lens demands a different emphasis on the past: exploring the history of shopping as a recreational pursuit instead of the history of commerce writ large; following the global path of the spice trade instead of the broader history of agriculture and food production. There are a thousand books written about the history of innovations that came out of our survival instincts. This is a book about a different kind of innovation: the new ideas and technologies and social spaces that emerged once some of us escaped from the compulsory labor of subsistence. The centrality of play and delight does not mean that these stories are free of tragedy and human suffering.


pages: 295 words: 92,670

1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown

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Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, charter city, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Peace of Westphalia, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, UNCLOS

But during the sixteenth century, Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the world for the first time to settle the dispute over where the line of demarcation ran on the far side of the world; English privateers, inspired by the legendary mariner Francis Drake, preyed on Spanish shipping in the Caribbean and the Pacific; and the Dutch Republic fought Spain and Portugal both for independence and for control over the global spice trade. Just as technology and knowledge were about to open the waterways of the world after Columbus’s heroic voyage, the Treaty of Tordesillas sought to restrict access to two favoured nations. It began the epic struggle for the freedom of the seas: would global travel and commerce be controlled by autocratic decree, or would seas be open to the ships of any nation? Freedom of the seas was a distinctly modern notion, championed in the early seventeenth century by the Dutch legal theorist Hugo Grotius.

Much of Europe’s literature, science, agricultural techniques, ideas and practices in medicine, engineering and philosophy made its way into Europe from the sophisticated Islamic culture in Iberia. But by the fifteenth century the period of peace was ending. In 1453 Constantinople fell to the invading armies of Mehmet the Conqueror using giant siege cannons (ironically, crafted by dissatisfied European church-bell makers), essentially ending the Christian Byzantine Empire and shutting off the spice trade to Europe. Soon popes and senior church officers were attempting to raise interest throughout Europe in another crusade in retaliation. Mehmet’s invasion escalated the simmering quarrel between Islam and Christianity, and as before Spain’s Jews suffered from both directions. During the time of the Black Death in the fourteenth century, Jews were massacred by Christian mobs in Toledo, Seville, Valencia and Barcelona.

He read many other geographical works as well, and in the margins scrawled myriad thoughts that preoccupied him at the time: “All seas are peopled by lands”; “Every country has its east and west”; and “The Ocean Sea is no emptier than any other.” He later claimed, “I have made it my business to read all that has been written on geography, history, philosophy and other sciences.” Columbus also wrote letters to Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, a respected Florentine physician, mathematician and astronomer who was the head of a large family spice-trading operation with contacts in the east. In 1474 Toscanelli had laid out his theory of a narrow Atlantic Ocean separating Spain from the Indies and had forwarded his views in a letter to the Portuguese king, Afonso V. “The end of the habitable earth towards the Orient and the end of the habitable earth towards the Occident are near enough, and between them is a small sea.” Toscanelli wrote that “the shortest route from here to the islands of the Indies where the spices grow [was] a route shorter than that via Guinea.”


pages: 582 words: 136,780

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester

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Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, cable laying ship, global village, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route

) – from ‘Admiralty Sailing Directions’, NP 36, Indonesia Pilot, Volume 1, London, 1999,1 Though we think first of Java as an eponym for coffee (or, to some today, a computer language), it is in fact the trading of aromatic tropical spices on which the fortunes of the great island's colonizers and Western discoverers were first founded. And initially supreme among those spices was the one rather ordinary variety that remains the most widely used today: pepper. Piper nigrum, Syzygium aromaticum* and Myristica fragrans – pepper, clove and nutmeg – were the original holy trinity of the Asian spice trade. Each was familiar to, and used by, the Ancients. Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, for instance, the Chinese of the Han Dynasty demanded that their courtiers address their emperors only when their breath had been sweetened with a mouthful of Javanese cloves, the ‘odoriferous pistils’, as they were later more widely known. There is some vague evidence that Roman priests may have employed nutmeg as an incense; it was definitely in use as a flavouring in ninth-century Constantinople, since the terrifyingly Orthodox St Theodore the Studite – the scourge of the image-smashing Iconoclasts – famously allowed his monks to sprinkle it on the pease pudding they were obliged to eat on days when monastery meat was forbidden.

The change began somewhat inauspiciously in late June of 1596, when a ragged flotilla of four Dutch vessels dropped anchor in the roads off the north-western Javanese pepper port of Banten and invited the Portuguese spice merchants, whose godowns had long lined the shore, to come aboard. The voyage had been sponsored by the nine merchant-adventurers of the Compagnie van Verre of Amsterdam – in translation simply ‘The Long Distance Company’ – who had been inspired by the idea of blazing a spice trade-route to the Indies. It had not gone at all well. Cornelis de Houtman, who commanded the venture, turned out to be both an inept navigator and a cantankerous martinet. Not that he had been wanting of preparation: along with his brother Frederik he had already spent two years in Lisbon gathering intelligence on the Portuguese operations in the East.* His expedition was grandly titled Eerste Scheepvart, ‘The First Ship Sailing’.

And seven more sailors dropped dead almost as soon as they reached home, their stomachs reacting violently to the change back to civilized rations. But for all the blundering tragedy of that first Dutch expedition, the achievement could hardly be gainsaid: for it did bring back those few pots of precious black Java pepper. And that, it seemed to the nine sponsoring merchants of Amsterdam, was all that really counted. The Portuguese stranglehold on Oriental spice trading could in theory at long last be broken. Other, better-furnished expeditions could now venture out and obtain more pepper, clove and nutmeg (and its attendant aril, called mace, as well as the cinnamon that grew close by) and thus help make the mercantile barons of Holland richer than could be imagined. One might have expected a spirited reaction from the Portuguese. They did indeed react – but then managed to blunder even more calamitously than had the Dutch.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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CHAPTER 10 HOPSCOTCH ACROSS THE OCEANS AN EMPIRE OF ENCLAVES Four hundred years before Halford Mackinder issued his famous dictum declaring the Central Asian “Heartland” the geographic pivot of history, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés made an equally extravagant claim in 1524: “He who controls the passage between the oceans may consider himself master of the world.”1 By the early sixteenth century, Manila was the thriving midway point for Seville’s round-the-world trade as its merchants raised revenue for the Crown through heavy trade with Ming China and carried eastward through the East Indies across the Pacific Ocean to Acapulco in Mexico (then called New Spain) and back across the Atlantic to Spain. King Philip II’s armada of two-thousand-ton oceangoing galleons maintained a monopoly over the “spice trade” that also included silk, porcelain, pearls, and other luxury goods. Five centuries after the Spanish galleon trade, mankind is once again a coastal maritime civilization with dense connectivity among dozens of major ports enabling greater volumes of commodities and goods flows. But who controls the passages between the oceans? Maps 16, 18, 23, 27, 31, and 32, corresponding to this chapter, appear in the map insert.

While the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns were the first truly global empires (and were for half a century united until 1640), they physically subjugated (through violent conquest and even genocide) large swaths of Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. For Lisbon and Seville, these possessions were extensions of their Iberian homeland. The Dutch, by contrast, operated in a less brutal and more commercial fashion. The Dutch East India Company, chartered in 1602, is considered the world’s first multinational corporation that issued stocks and bonds to finance expeditions. In its efforts to undermine Portuguese control of the lucrative spice trade and Spanish control over its Low Countries (modern-day Belgium), the Dutch deployed more merchant ships (five thousand) and traders (almost one million) over a two-hundred-year period than the rest of Europe combined. Indeed, the Iberian-Dutch and Anglo-Dutch rivalries were about controlling not the oceans but access to ports east of Suez. We owe the concept of “freedom of the seas” to the Dutch legal scholar Hugo Grotius, who in his 1609 work Mare liberum argued that the oceans should be international rather than sovereign territory.

As these countries learn to better connect their geography—with China’s help—they threaten Singapore’s centrality. Like highways and railways, energy pipelines and canals embody how countries are remapped to enhance the efficiency of global connectivity. Oil- and gas-rich Malaysia is growing so quickly (while its supplies decrease) that it is already a natural gas importer. In 2013, near the old spice trade center of Malacca on the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean), Malaysia opened an LNG importing and regasification terminal to rival Singapore as a gas-trading hub. One year later, it announced construction of a petrochemical complex just east of Singapore in Johor (Pacific Ocean). While Malaysia is trying to displace Singapore in energy markets, an ambitious scheme for a canal across Thailand’s narrow Isthmus of Kra could cut Singapore and the Strait of Malacca off entirely.


What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response by Bernard Lewis

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, lone genius, spice trade, women in the workforce

In the early seventeenth century another Ottoman official noted an alarming presence of Portuguese, Dutch, and English merchant shipping in Asian waters, and warned of a possible danger from that source.9 The danger was real, and growing. When the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed round Africa into the Indian Ocean at the end of the fifteenth century, he opened a new sea route between Europe and Asia, with far-reaching consequences for the Middle East, first commercial, later also strategic. As early as 1502, the Republic of Venice, the prime European beneficiary of the eastern spice trade, sent an emissary to Cairo to warn the sultan of Egypt of the danger that this new sea route presented to their commerce. At first, the sultan paid little attention, but a sharp decline in his customs revenues focused his attention more sharply on this new problem. Egyptian naval expeditions against the Portuguese in eastern waters were 13 WHAT WENT WRONG? however unsuccessful and no doubt contributed to the defeat of the Egyptian sultanate in 1516–1517 and the incorporation of all its dominions in the Ottoman realm.

See education; universities science, 6–7, 45, 46, 57, 66; and education, 76; Islamic contributions to, 78–81; and research, 129; and secularism, 104 secularism, 106–112, 116, 157; and Christianity, 96–99; and difference of belief, 100–105; and tolerance, 113–115 self-determination, 115 Selim I, Ottoman sultan, 9 Selim II, Ottoman sultan, 11 Selim III, Ottoman sultan, 28, 31, 40, 42–43 Servetus, Michael, 79 shar§‘a (Holy Law), 53, 86, 100, 106; constitutional status of, 108 Sherley, Anthony and Robert, 12 Sh§‘a, 100 Shi‘ism, 8 shoes, 138–139 S¹l¹hdar, 16 Sitvatorok, Treaty of (1606), 12 Slade, Aldophus, 133 slavery, 11–12, 26, 54, 69; abolition of, 71, 85–87, 92 slaves, 67–69, 83, 84; black, 85, 88, 93 socialism, 62, 158 Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, 11 sovereignty, national, 48, 61 Soviet Union, 62. See also Russia space, measurements of, 117, 119– 120, 127 spice trade, 13, 14 sports, 147–148 state, 99, 101, 103, 111, 116 status, 84 students, 56 Sublime Porte, 143 sugar, 50 Süleyman, Ottoman sultan, 11, 14, 123 sundial, 123 Sunnis, 100 supremacy, 84, 93 synagogue, 98 syphilis, 7, 39 T T~j es-Saltana, 95 Taq§ al-D§n, 80, 123–124 Tasvir-i Efka-r (newspaper), 70 Tatars, 4–6, 8 taxation, 91, 126–127 teacher(s), 53, 54, 99 179 INDEX technology, 125, 142–144 telegraph, 51–52 Télémaque (Fénélon), 146 telescopes, 127 theater, 129, 141–142, 149 theocracy, 97, 113–114 Thirty Years War, 16, 52 time, 117–118, 120–126; and modernization, 129–132; and music, 127–129 tolerance, 33–34, 36, 113–115, 154 Tott, Baron de, 29 translation, 39, 42, 50, 56, 113; and cultural change, 139–140, 145– 147, 149 Translation Office, 45 travel, 25–29, 35–39, 48, 120, 122 Treaty of Bucharest (1812), 33 Treaty of Carlowitz (1699), 17, 18– 19, 23, 29 Treaty of Gulistan (1813), 34 Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774), 21, 23 Treaty of Passarowitz (1718), 20 Treaty of Radzin (1681), 16 Treaty of Sitvatorok (1606), 12 Treaty of the Pruth (1711), 20 Treaty of Turkmanchay (1828), 34 Trinity, Holy, 67 Tunis, 57, 88 Turkey, 12, 20–21, 33, 48; and alliance with England, 22; and cultural change, 141–142, 149 Turkish republic, 72, 106, 108 Turkmanchay, Treaty of (1828), 34 Turks, 6, 16, 35–36, 104–105 ulema (doctors of Holy Law), 21, 43, 53, 92, 102 unbelievers, 67–69, 83, 84, 114.


pages: 231 words: 72,656

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

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He also encouraged his captains to embrace advances in navigation such as the magnetic compass, along with trigonometry and the astrolabe, an invention which had, like distillation, been introduced by Arabs into western Europe. The chief motive of the Portuguese, Spanish, and other explorers of the time was to find an alternative route to the East Indies, in order to circumvent the Arab monopoly on the spice trade. Ironically, their eventual success was due in part to the use of technology provided by the Arabs. The Atlantic islands of Madeira, the Azores, and the Canaries proved to be ideal places to produce sugar, another Arab introduction. But growing sugarcane required enormous amounts of water and manpower. The Arabs had amassed a range of irrigation techniques and labor-saving devices during their westward expansion, including the water screw, the Persian innovation of underground aqueducts, and water-powered mills to process sugarcane.

The Arabs understandably did everything they could to protect their monopoly. Coffee beans were treated before being shipped to ensure they were sterile and could not be used to seed new coffee plants; foreigners were excluded from coffee-producing areas. First to break the Arab monopoly were the Dutch, who displaced the Portuguese as the dominant European nation in the East Indies during the seventeenth century, gaining control of the spice trade in the process and briefly becoming the world's leading commercial power. Dutch sailors purloined cuttings from Arab coffee trees, which were taken to Amsterdam and successfully cultivated in greenhouses. In the 1690s coffee plantations were established by the Dutch East India Company at Batavia in Java, an island colony in what is now Indonesia. Within a few years, Java coffee shipped directly to Rotterdam had granted the Dutch control of the coffee market.


pages: 466 words: 146,982

Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden

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Instead of driving the plow or wielding the sickle, you roll your cylinders. From there comes your whole crop. You find there a product that you did not manufacture. And there is your money coined. Every wave is the servant of your art. One might tire of searching for gold. But salt is something that everyone hopes to find. And rightly so, since every kind of meat owes its flavor to it. It is often said that Venice grew rich on the “spice trade.” This is true—yet that spice was not exotic cloves or cardamom, but simple salt. Aside from fish, the lagoon does not offer much in the way of foodstuffs. Throughout its long history, Venice has always had to import its food, which requires money. The earliest Venetians built saltworks that allowed lagoon water to flow during high tide into wide basins, where it was trapped and left to evaporate in the sun.

Business, in fact, remained quite good in the 1360s and 1370s. Although the Genoese had seized the city of Famagusta on Cyprus, the Venetians simply shifted their trade markets to the southern part of the island. More importantly, armed with a papal dispensation to trade with Muslims in nonstrategic goods, the Venetians established themselves in Syria and Egypt. To avoid problems in the Mongol Empire, much of the spice trade from India began making its way through the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, making the markets of Alexandria a source of rich profit for Venetians. As they had done for generations, the Venetians and the Genoese continued to compete for advantage in the Aegean, Constantinople, and the Black Sea. There was, nonetheless, a feeling of unfinished business between the two powers. The Genoese resented the peace that had been forced on them in 1355, sure that they could have won their struggle with Venice once and for all.

When Manuel died in 1521 his successor, John III (1521–57), abandoned the Crusade idea and pulled back royal funding of the Indian routes. As a result, the cost of spices in Portugal soared as Portuguese merchants were forced to absorb more of the costs of maintaining them or the losses of failing to do so. That, in turn, allowed Venetian merchants to reestablish themselves as the reliable venue for quality spices from the Far East. Throughout the remainder of the sixteenth century, the spice trade remained extremely profitable to Venice. But the pessimists continued to insist that Venice had staked its prosperity on a doomed business model. In an age in which European explorers crisscrossed the globe, Venetians could not expect things to remain the same. The future lay in the Atlantic. The rise of Spain, England, and France had cut Venice out of that ocean, locking it into the medieval Mediterranean world.


pages: 469 words: 146,487

Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World by Niall Ferguson

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British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Corn Laws, European colonialism, imperial preference, income per capita, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, night-watchman state, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing

By 1596 they had firmly established themselves at Bantam, on the island of Java, from where the first consignments of Chinese tea destined for the European market were shipped in 1606. Moreover, their company was a permanent joint stock company, unlike the English company, which did not become permanent until 1650. Despite being founded two years after the English one, the Dutch company was swiftly able to dominate the lucrative spice trade with the Moluccan islands of Indonesia, once a Portuguese monopoly. The Dutch scale of business was simply bigger: they were able to send out nearly five times as many ships to Asia as the Portuguese and twice as many as the English. This was partly because, unlike the English company, the Dutch company rewarded its managers on the basis of gross revenue rather than net profits, encouraging them to maximize the volume of their business.

To take the case of the two East India companies, the trouble was that they could not both have a monopoly on Asian trade with Europe. The idea that flows of goods to London were somehow distinct from flows of goods to Amsterdam was absurd, given the proximity of the Dutch and English markets to one another. In establishing itself at Surat on the north-west coast of India in 1613, the English East India Company was very obviously trying to win a share of the lucrative spice trade. If the volume of spice exports was inelastic, then it could only succeed by taking business away from the Dutch company. This was indeed the assumption: in the words of the contemporary political economist William Petty, there was ‘but a certain proportion of trade in the world’. The hope of the East India Company director Josiah Child was ‘that other Nations who are in competition with us for the same [business], may not wrest it from us, but that ours may continue and increase, to the diminution of theirs.’

Perceptive as ever, Daniel Defoe was quick to see what cheap credit could do for a country: Credit makes war, and makes peace; raises armies, fits out navies, fights battles, besieges towns; and, in a word, it is more justly called the sinews of war than the money itself … Credit makes the soldier fight without pay, the armies march without provisions … it is an impregnable fortification … it makes paper pass for money … and fills the Exchequer and the banks with as many millions as it pleases, upon demand. Sophisticated financial institutions had made it possible for Holland not only to fund its worldwide trade, but also to protect it with first-class naval power. Now these institutions were to be put to use in England on a much larger scale. The Anglo-Dutch merger meant that the English could operate far more freely in the East. A deal was done which effectively gave Indonesia and the spice trade to the Dutch, leaving the English to develop the newer Indian textiles trade. That turned out to be a good deal for the English company, because the market for textiles swiftly outgrew the market for spices. It turned out that the demand for pepper, nutmeg, mace, cloves and cinnamon – the spices on which the Dutch company’s fortunes depended – was significantly less elastic than the demand for calicoes, chintz and cotton.


pages: 559 words: 174,054

The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug by Bennett Alan Weinberg, Bonnie K. Bealer

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British Empire, clean water, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Haight Ashbury, Honoré de Balzac, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lao Tzu, placebo effect, spice trade, trade route, traveling salesman

Milton Snavely Hershey, a veteran sugar candy and caramel maker, bought the German chocolate-manufacturing machinery that he saw exhibited at the 1893 Chicago Exposition and sold his first chocolate bar in 1894. In the ensuing halfcentury, “Hershey bar” became almost a generic name for any chocolate candy bar. In the venerable tradition of using caffeinated seeds and nuts as the basis of highenergy foods, the United States issued chocolates as rations to American soldiers during World War II. 5 the caffeine trade supplants the spice trade Tea and Coffee Come to the West After Marco Polo returned to tell tales of his travels in Cathay (1275–94), Venice, increasingly a center of trade and a crossroads for traffic from the East, grew eager to learn more of strange peoples and their strange goods. However, vividly detailed and inclusive as it was, Marco Polo’s book does not mention tea, save in connection with the imperial tax that was levied on its use, reporting that, in 1285, a Chinese minister of finance promulgated an arbitrary increase.

After this early notice in Venice, tea was not mentioned again in any known Italian book until 1588, when a 1565 letter of the Florentine Father Almeida was published by the famous author Giovanni Maffei as part of his voluminous collection of traveler’s papers, Four Books of Selected Letters from India (Florence). Early Portuguese Explorers Encounter Tea At the same time that the Venetian travelers were making their way back and forth overland to the East in furtherance of the ancient spice trade, the Portuguese explorers, excited by the example of Columbus, were searching for new ways to get to new places. In 1497 Vasco da Gama discovered a sea route to the Indies by way of the Cape of Good Hope. In consequence, the Portuguese were able to expand their explorations eastward, relying on superior armaments to displace the Arab seamen who until then had controlled the exotic trade from India and beyond.

The Dutch East India Company, chartered in 1602, investigated the possibility of importing coffee to Holland from the port of Aden in the Yemen as early as 1614, but failed to do so. Venice and Marseilles, from vantages convenient to the Mediterranean, were the first ports to receive commercially imported coffee from Arabia. The first major cargo of coffee beans was shipped into Venice in 1624, most likely having entered the stream of commerce as part of the spice trade from Constantinople, which included silks, perfumes, dyes, and other exotic items. Around 1650 several Marseilles merchants began bringing coffee home from the Levant. Within a few years, a syndicate of pharmacists and merchants instituted commercial imports from Egypt and were soon followed in this business by their counterparts in Lyon. Coffee use became common in those parts of France. In 1671 a coffeehouse opened in Marseilles near the city market, the success of which prompted many imitators, while private use continued to increase.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The Portuguese were in the vanguard, but by 1521, seafarers from the other great European maritime power of the day, Spain, landed in the Philippines, and within 50 years had set up a Spanish capital at Manila. Under two treaties of 1494 and 1529, the Portuguese and the Spanish had already decided how they would carve up the “new worlds” they believed they were discovering in South America and in the Asia Pacific. The Portuguese and the Spanish were just the first wave of European colonizers. By the early 1600s, the Dutch were in Java, seeking to tie up the spice trade through the Dutch East India Company. Although the Portuguese had reached Calicut and Goa in 1498, it was the British and French, along with the Dutch and the Danes, who vied to establish trading posts along the coast of India in the early seventeenth century. By the end of the eighteenth century, Britain was the dominant colonial power in India and had also been able to establish a solid foothold at Guangzhou, which was rapidly becoming one of the world’s busiest trading hubs.

These mines, along with greenfield projects, will see Indonesia accounting for the largest share of growth in thermal coal exports over the next decade, Vann says.7 Bumi Resources, Asia’s largest thermal coal exporter from its stakes in the giant Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and Arutmin mines in Kalimantan—the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo—is controlled by the Bakrie Group, a large conglomerate headed by Aburizal Bakrie, a businessman turned politician who one day may be Indonesia’s president. The group, established by Bakrie’s father, Ahmad Bakri, in 1942 as a spice trading company, has interests in coal, oil and gas, property, telecoms, infrastructure, and agribusiness. Aburizal Bakrie stepped down as group chairman in 2004, but retains influence as head of the family. His younger brothers Indra and Nirwan have taken larger roles in recent years. Aburizal, now chairman of the Golkar political party, has seen his family’s business come close to ruin on more than one occasion over the last 20 years, most recently in 2008 after the global financial crisis, and in 1997–1998 when the Asian financial crisis rocked Indonesia’s currency and brought down the Suharto regime.


pages: 561 words: 87,892

Losing Control: The Emerging Threats to Western Prosperity by Stephen D. King

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Admiral Zheng, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Naomi Klein, new economy, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

These discoveries mattered for three reasons: (i) Europeans were fast developing ocean-going sailing skills which left Islamic nations at a nautical disadvantage; (ii) now that Europeans could sail to India and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, they were no longer dependent on the Middle East for supplies of exotic spices and silks, thereby reducing the incomes – and, thus, the rents – of Arab middlemen (Venice, which had been the European hub for the land-based spice trade, also went into relative decline at this time); (iii) as opportunities in the Americas expanded, so Europeans were able to cultivate crops that hitherto had been supplied via Islamic lands. Chief among these were coffee and sugar. The Islamic leaders of the Ottoman Empire did not emulate the separation of sacred from secular taking place in Christian Europe (the Prophet Mohammed was, after all, not just a spiritual leader but also a political and military hero, thereby inextricably linking the spiritual, political, legal and material worlds).

(i), (ii) Permanent Income Hypothesis (i) Persia (i), (ii) Philippines (i), (ii), (iii) Pike, Rob (i) Pingali, Prabhu (i) plague (i), (ii) Plaza accord (i) pogroms (i), (ii) Poland (i) political economy inequalities (i) education (i) the emerging gap (i) emerging nations and income inequality in the developed world (i) food shortages (i) globalization (i) living with inequality (i) new modes of distribution (i) not getting just rewards (i) a three-country model (i) too much domesticity (i) United Kingdom (i) winners and losers (i) market forces (i) return of political economy (i) scarcity (i) state capitalism (i) politics (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Ponzi schemes (i) population ageing anarchy in capital markets (i), (ii) command over limited resources (i) demographic dividends and deficits (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) globalization (i) government debt (i) Japan (i) migration (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) nationalism (i) pensions and healthcare (i) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii) savings (i) trade (i) population demographics China (i), (ii) demographic dividends and deficits (i) demographic dynamics (i), (ii) globalization (i), (ii) infant mortality (i) Japan (i) migration (i) pensions and healthcare (i) political economy and inequalities (i) scarcity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) population of working age (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) porcelain (i) ports (i) Portsmouth FC (i) Portugal (i), (ii), (iii) Potosí (i) poverty globalization (i), (ii), (iii) migration (i) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii) price stability and economic instability (i) scarcity (i) Spain and silver (i) price stability anarchy in capital markets (i), (ii) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) price stability brings economic instability (i) back to the 1970s (i) defining and controlling inflation (i) emerging economies (i), (ii) inflation as an instrument of income and wealth distribution (i) inflation as a result of currency linkages (i) overview (i), (ii) from stability to instability (i), (ii) we are not alone (i) scarcity (i), (ii), (iii) state capitalism (i), (ii) trade (i), (ii) printing money (i), (ii) privatization (i), (ii) productivity anarchy in capital markets (i) land grabs (i) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii) population demographics (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) price stability (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) rent-seeking behaviour (i) scarcity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Spain and silver (i) state capitalism (i) trade (i) Western progress (i), (ii) profits anarchy in capital markets (i), (ii) price stability (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) scarcity (i), (ii) state capitalism (i) trade (i) property rights population demographics (i) scarcity (i), (ii), (iii) secrets of Western success (i), (ii) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Prophet Mohammed (i) prostitution (i) protectionism anarchy in capital markets (i), (ii) globalization (i) migration (i) nineteenth century (i) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii) secrets of Western success (i), (ii), (iii) trade (i) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Prussia (i) public sector (i), (ii) purchasing power parity (i), (ii), (iii) Putin, Vladimir (i), (ii), (iii) Qu Hongbin (i) racism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) railways (i), (ii) Rauh, Joshua (i) Rawls, John (i) raw materials (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Reagan, Ronald (i), (ii) real estate (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) recession (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Reformation (i) regulation (i), (ii), (iii) religion (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) remittances (i), (ii) renminbi (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) rent-seeking behaviour (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) reserve currency (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) Reserve Fund for Future Generations (i) reserves see foreign-exchange reserves resources population demographics (i), (ii), (iii) price stability and economic instability (i) scarcity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) state capitalism (i) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii), (iii) retirement (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) Ricardo, David (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) rice (i), (ii) risk (i), (ii), (iii) Rockefeller Center (i), (ii), (iii) Rocket steam locomotive (i) Roman Empire (i), (ii), (iii) Romania (i), (ii), (iii) Rover Group (i) Royal Navy (i), (ii) rural populations (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) Russian Revolution (i), (ii) Russia/Russian Federation pogroms (i), (ii) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii) population demographics (i), (ii), (iii) a post-dollar financial order (i), (ii), (iii) price stability and economic instability (i), (ii) Russian default (i), (ii), (iii) scarcity (i), (ii) secrets of Western success (i), (ii), (iii) state capitalism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) trade (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Saddam Hussein (i) Samsung (i) Samuelson, Paul (i), (ii) sanitation (i), (ii) Saudi Arabia (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii) savings anarchy in capital markets (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) economic models (i), (ii) political economy and inequalities (i) population demographics (i), (ii), (iii) price stability and economic instability (i), (ii) state capitalism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) trade (i) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii), (iii) Scandinavia (i) scarcity (i) back to the classical economists (i) faith in the market (i) history (i) opportunity for all (i) overview (i) population demographics (i), (ii) price stability and economic instability (i) technology replication and resource scarcity (i) the West’s diminished status (i), (ii) Wimbledon and the Olympics (i) Schröder, Gerhard (i), (ii) Schumer, Charles (i) science (i), (ii), (iii) SCO see Shanghai Co-operation Organization Scotland (i) Seat (i) Second World War (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) securities (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Sen, Amartya (i) Seoul (i) Sevilla, Jaypee (i) Shah, Saef (i) Shanghai (i), (ii) Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) (i), (ii), (iii) Shinawatra, Thaksin (i) Shinkasen (‘Bullet’ train) (i) ships (i), (ii), (iii) Siemens (i) Silicon Valley (i) silk (i), (ii), (iii) Silk Road (i), (ii), (iii) silver (i), (ii) Singapore (i), (ii), (iii) Sinopec (i) SIVs see special investment vehicles Škoda (i) slavery political economy and inequalities (i) population demographics (i), (ii), (iii) scarcity (i), (ii) secrets of Western success (i) Spain (i) Slovakia (i) Slovenia (i) Smetters, Kent (i) Smith, Adam (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) Smoot–Hawley trade tariff (i), (ii) smuggling (i), (ii) soccer clubs (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) social security (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) soft knowledge (i), (ii) software development (i), (ii), (iii) South Korea (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) South Stream (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Soviet communism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii) Soviet Union (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) Spain (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) special investment vehicles (SIVs) (i), (ii) specialization (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) spending power (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) spice trade (i), (ii), (iii) sports (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) stagflation (i), (ii) Standard Bank (i), (ii) ‘Starbucks effect’ (i), (ii) state (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) state capitalism indulging the US no more (i), (ii), (iii) migration (i) political economy and inequalities (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) protectionism (i) rise of state capitalism (i) dynamics of excess saving (i) excess savings and command over assets (i) food prices (i) heading East (i) overruling the market (i) ownership versus control (i) rise of Russian power politics (i) rise of sovereign wealth funds (i) sleeping giants no more (i) unwilling sellers (i) who owns what?


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Previously ships had really been carriers of soldiers. They would fire some guns in combat but mainly maneuvered to get their men on their opponents’ decks. The Portuguese eschewed this approach. They turned their ships into seaborne gunnery platforms from which they pounded the enemy, never fearing a direct attack because of their ships’ capacity to sail against the wind.4 It took a combination of gold, silver, and force to dominate the spice trade, but the Portuguese succeeded in doing so, laying down a new law of the seas in the East, even if they never entirely monopolized their lucrative trades.5 For a short time Portugal, a nation of a million people, succeeded in imposing its will upon the Chinese, Arabs, and Venetians who had long plied these waters. They carried European tools and weapons to Africa, silver and gold to China, Chinese goods to Japan, and spices and silks back to Europe.

The great losers in this geographic repositioning were the Italian city-states, the Turks, and other Muslims who had operated in the complex commercial network of the Indian Ocean. Up until the first half of the sixteenth century Venice had sent a fleet of merchants to trade with England, which had virtually no navy or merchant marine. All that changed when the English formed their own trading companies and sent ships around the world. Closed out by the Dutch from the spice trade centered in Indonesia, the English East India Company, chartered in 1600, established settlements at Surat, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras. By the eighteenth century it had succeeded in taking control of most of India. The winners of this European intrusion into the Far East narrowed down to England and the Netherlands. The Impact of Civil War English and Dutch success invites a closer look at what was going on in these countries politically.

The company established its headquarters in 1619 on Java, conferring the old Germanic tribal name of Batavia on the Javanese city that they had destroyed while capturing it. The archipelago included dozens of sovereign states that often interfered with the control the Dutch wished to exert, so what began as an aggressive commercial policy became a program of conquest. By 1670 the tasks of subduing local rulers had been accomplished. Still, the profits from the spice trade were so high that Chinese and European rivals rarely gave up trying to corner a bit of the market, muscling in on the trade of pepper, sugar, coffee, tea, silk, and textiles. Still, the Dutch East India Company enjoyed a monopoly of trade with Japan from the middle of the seventeenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century as well as on the commerce in cloves, mace, nutmeg, and cinnamon.15 A self-perpetuating urban oligarchy oversaw the domestic and foreign commerce of the Netherlands.


pages: 686 words: 201,972

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately

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barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Peace of Westphalia, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor

In 1494, after mediation from Pope Alexander VI, the two maritime powers had divided the globe between them along a north-south meridian, with the Spanish allotted all “new” lands west of longitude 39’ 53‘ and the Portuguese the other half of the world. Brazil fell into the Portuguese hemisphere, which they settled and to which they introduced sugarcane and distillation, but their principal efforts were focused on Asia. They established bases in Goa, in India, in 1510, and in Malacca, in Malaysia, the following year, with the intention of cornering the spice trade. In 1536, the Chinese permitted them to use Macau on their coast as a harbor and to purchase the silks and other luxury goods that fetched such colossal prices in Europe. From Macau the Portuguese voyaged to Japan, where they were granted permission to send one ship each year. Japan had featured large in the European imagination since the publication of Marco Polo’s largely fictional account of the gold-rich island of Zipangu.

Drake coasted up America as far as present-day San Francisco, where he claimed the land for his queen, received the submission of the native chiefs, and named the region Nova Albion. He, and the complement of his ship, the Golden Hind, were probably the first men ever to drink wine in northern California. After repairing his vessel, Drake reached off over the Pacific to Asia, where he gate-crashed the spice trade, before heading home for England and a knighthood. The appearance of an English ship in those parts of the world that the pope had confirmed as belonging to Catholic Spain and Portugal was as unexpected as it was unwelcome. In retrospect, it was inevitable. During the same decades that they had been exploiting their respective spheres of influence, a schism among European Christians had thrown the home continent into disarray.

See also bootlegging snake wine Snoop Dogg Socrates sommelier Sommer, Richard Sonoma, California Sons of Jonadab Sons of Liberty Sons of Temperance Sophocles Southey, Robert Soviet Union Spain and the American Revolution and coffee and conquest of Mesoamerica- and the French wine market and international trade and Islam and maritime trade New World colonies and Peruvian wine trade U.S. treaties with speakeasies spice trade Spotswood, Alexander Spurrier, Stephen Squire, James Sri Lanka St. Aiden St. Arnold St. Arnuld St. Augustine of Canterbury St. Benedict of Nursia St. Bernard of Citeaux St. Brigit St. Clement of Alexandria St. Columban St. Dionysus St. Gildas St. Goericus St. Huberts wine St. Jerome St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Reporter St. Patrick St. Philip Episcopal Church St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Stamp Act steam beer steam power Steele, Richard Stein, Gertrude Steinbeck, John Stevenson, Robert Louis Stowe, Harriet Beecher Strudwick, Thomas Stuart, Moses students and drinking Stuyvesant, Peter Sugar Act sugarcane sulphur Sumeria Sunday closing laws Sunnis Swift, Jonathan Sydney, Australia- Sydney Town, California symposia Syria Tacitus Taittinger, François The Tanakh Taos Lightning taverns beverages sold at in colonial New England and Dutch settlers and the gin craze in Greek culture and Islam in London in New Orleans in New York taverns (continued) in Pompeii and racial restrictions and settlement of Australia and student riots taxation and American brewing industry and the American Revolution and the War divided opinions on and the gin craze and Islam levies on brewers and the Licensing Act and Perestroika and the Permissive Act and the Romanization of Britain sin taxes tea duties and the Whiskey Rebellion and World War Tchelistcheff, Andre tea- Teach, Edward teetotalism temperance movement and anti-slavery and California and Carry A.


pages: 695 words: 194,693

Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible by William N. Goetzmann

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Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, compound rate of return, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, delayed gratification, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invention of the steam engine, invention of writing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, stochastic process, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, wage slave

CORPORATE COUSINS The Dutch East India Company, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), was created in 1602 in a manner somewhat similar to the founding of the Honor del Bazacle—as a merger among separate companies, in this case the various trading ventures sponsored by merchants in several Dutch cities. By uniting under one firm, the Dutch were following the example of the British East India Company that was founded in 1600. Both of these firms sought to compete with the Portuguese for access to the lucrative Asian spice trade—and they were successful at it. Over the next three centuries, the VOC claimed the lion’s share of the Indonesian trade, while the British dominated trade with India and China. Spain and Portugal were first movers in the discovery of the New World and sea routes to Asia, and yet the Dutch and British rose to dominance. A research team of legal, economics, and history professors in Europe is carefully studying the early history of the VOC.

Second, it tapped into the natural human tendency to gamble and speculate. De la Vega characterized some traders as naturally pessimistic and others naturally optimistic, and he saw a natural flow of trade among them over the fortunes of a company, which, after all, might not issue a dividend for years. The public issuance of VOC shares turned the Amsterdam Exchange into a barometer of opinion about the future of the spice trade. While Bazacle shares were fully tradable in the fifteenth century, and the Toulouse grain market was certainly the realm of speculation, as we saw in Chapter 17, the stock market as a frenzy of bulls and bears never quite materialized there. Perhaps it was the very uncertainty and risk of the VOC ventures with their potential for vast riches and threat of serious disaster that got the speculators’ juices flowing.

See also government debt sovereign wealth funds, 512–14, 515–16 Soviet Union, 449–51 speculation: Crash of 1929 and, 482; European financial development and, 203; on Genoese dividend futures, 292; Keynes on Wall Street and, 467, 482; Keynes’s investment policy and, 464; mathematics applied to 1980s stock market and, 284–85; in nineteenth-century Russian stock market, 445; with options, 281–83; Regnault on impossibility of profit from, 278; in seventeenth-century Amsterdam stock market, 317; in seventeenth-century Dutch lotteries, 322; in seventeenth-century London stock market, 330; venture capital and, 310; vilification of, 204, 258. See also bubble; gambling; land speculation spice trade, Asian, 316, 318 Spieth, Darius, 360, 378 Spring-Autumn Period, 152, 158–59 Squire, Richard, 121–22, 126 Stadnitski, Pieter, 395 Stad Rotterdam, 368, 375, 380. See also maritime insurance Standard and Poor (S&P) 500, 509, 510 Standard Oil, 447, 448 statistical data: Bernoulli’s use of, 270; Chinese government accounting and, 272; Cowles’s use of, 487; Keynes’s Treatise on Probability and, 464–65.


pages: 401 words: 122,457

Salt by Mark Kurlansky

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British Empire, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, invention of movable type, Mahatma Gandhi, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route

Growing fat on the salt subsidy, Venice merchants could afford to send ships to the eastern Mediterranean, where they picked up valuable cargoes of Indian spices and sold them in western Europe at low prices that their non-Venetian competitors could not afford to offer. This meant that the Venetian public was paying extremely high prices for salt, but they did not mind expensive salt if they could dominate the spice trade and be leaders in the grain trade. When grain harvests failed in Italy, the Venetian government would use its salt income to subsidize grain imports from other parts of the Mediterranean and thereby corner the Italian grain market. Unlike the Chinese salt monopoly, the Venetian government never owned salt but simply took a profit from regulating its trade. Enriched by its share of sales on high-priced salt, the salt administration could offer loans to finance other trade.

To make English Katchup Take a wide mouth’d bottle, put therin a pint of the best white wine vinegar, putting in ten or twelve cloves of eschalot peeled and just bruised; then take a quarter of a pint of the best langoon white wine, boil it a little, and put to it twelve or fourteen [salt cured] anchovies washed and shred, and dissolve them in the wine, and when cold, put them in the bottle; then take a quarter of a pint more of white wine, and put it in mace, ginger sliced, a few cloves, a spoonful of whole pepper just bruised, and let them boil all a little; when near cold, slice in almost a whole nutmeg, and some lemon peel, and likewise put in two or three spoonfuls of horse radish; then stop it close, and for a week shake it once or twice a day; then use it; it is good to put into fish sauce, or any savory dish of meat; you may add it to clear liquor that comes from mushrooms.—Eliza Smith, The Compleat Housewife, posthumous 16th edition, 1758 Ketchup derives its name from the Indonesian fish and soy sauce kecap ikan. The names of several other Indonesian sauces also include the word kecap, pronounced KETCHUP, which means a base of dark, thick soy sauce. Why would English garum have an Indonesian name? Because the English, starting with the medieval spice trade, looked to Asia for seasoning. Many English condiments, even Worcestershire sauce, invented in the 1840s, are based on Asian ideas. Whether it is called garum, anchovy sauce, or ketchup, a large dose of salt was an essential ingredient. Margaret Dods cautioned in her 1829 London cookbook that “catsups, to make them keep well, require a great deal (of salt).” The salt in ketchup originally came from salt-cured fish, and most early anchovy ketchup recipes, such as Eliza Smith’s, do not even list salt as an ingredient because it is part of the anchovies.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Although Venice also produced fine glassware, silk, paper and other fine craft goods, the majority of Venice’s wealth was invested in the trade of spices, which it imported into Europe via hundreds of middlemen and settlements along the Silk Roads and the Indian Ocean. See Figure 7-2. Today, pepper is an optional condiment we sprinkle on our food according to taste. But in an era without refrigeration, pepper, saffron and other spices made the difference between palatable and unpalatable meat. As the continent developed and demand for spices grew, so too did the profits of the Venetian spice trade and the importance of its Mediterranean transport infrastructure to the city-state’s economy. A pair of external shocks exposed that same infrastructure as the republic’s greatest vulnerability. The first was the Ottoman advance into the Mediterranean. In 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople, which had stood as an unassailable bulwark against Islamic expansion into European waters for centuries.

“At the receipt of this news, the whole city . . . was dumbfounded and the wisest thought it was the worst news ever heard,” recorded Girolama Priuli, a Venetian senator and banker.63 Venice’s merchants knew instantly what it meant: Portugal would buy in bulk, ship direct, and cut out the hundreds of small middlemen and exorbitant taxes that lined the overland route Venice had constructed and maintained over the past seven centuries. In a single masterstroke, a competitor had rendered Venice’s Mediterranean spice infrastructure obsolete. Some consequences were immediate. The following year, prices in Venice plummeted against the expectation of much better terms on the Atlantic coast. Many German spice buyers decamped and moved their business to Lisbon. Eventually, the decline of the overland spice trade proved less precipitous than first feared, because the sea route offered its own dangers: storms, piracy and hostile settlements up and down Africa’s West and East coasts. But it was no less inevitable. Cities and regions along the overland trade routes that had flourished as centers of commerce and culture since antiquity—Baghdad, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, the Black and Red Seas—declined into relative backwaters.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell

See also Entering the 21st Century: World Development Report 1999/2000 (World Bank/Oxford University Press, 2000). There is a constant debate as to how to measure per-capita wealth. You get different numbers when you do it on a purchasing-power scale or use other methods. But the overall lessons are the same in this case. 4. The transaction was part of the Treaty of Breda. Giles Milton has written a wonderful book on the spice trade and its dominance of global commerce, Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, or How One Man’s Courage Changed the Course of History (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1999). 5. Chart adapted from The Economist, April 17, 1999: 75. 6. Brunei may end up close to where it started. If you want a great historical novel on the area, check out Kalimantaan by C. S. Godshalk (New York: Henry Holt, 1998). 7. Want to tour the last millennium?


pages: 168 words: 56,211

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton

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Donald Trump, Isaac Newton, Malacca Straits, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spice trade, supply-chain management

It is the high-minded countries that have let their members starve, whereas the self-centred and the childish ones have, off the back of their doughnuts and six thousand varieties of ice cream, had the resources to invest in maternity wards and cranial scanning machines. Amsterdam was founded on the sale of raisins and flowers. The palaces of Venice were assembled from the profits of the carpet and spice trades. Sugar built Bristol. And yet despite their frequently amoral policies, their neglect of ideals and their selfish liberalism, commercial societies have been graced with well-laden shops and treasuries swollen enough to provide for the construction of temples and foundling hospitals. At my window seat in the motorway service station outside Ostend, observing the departure of a lorry carrying toilet rolls to Denmark, I opened a box of Moments that Pottier had presented to me as a farewell gift and thought about societies where exceptional fortunes are built up in industries with very little connection to our sincere and significant needs, industries where it is difficult to escape from the disparity between a seriousness of means and a triviality of ends, and where we are hence prone to fall into crises of meaning at our computer terminals and our warehouses, contemplating with low-level despair the banality of our labour while at the same time honouring the material fecundity that flows from it – knowing that what may look like a childish game is in fact never far from a struggle for our very survival.


pages: 348 words: 81,069

Home Sausage Making: How-To Techniques for Making and Enjoying 100 Sausages at Home by Susan Mahnke Peery, Charles G. Reavis

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spice trade

When you make your own sausage, fresh or cured, you are in good company. Homer mentioned the Greeks’ love for grilled sausage in the Odyssey. The legionnaires of Imperial Rome wouldn’t march without their little bottles of garum (a fermented fish sauce similar to today’s nam pla from Thailand) and long strings of dried or smoked sausages. Sausage making really took off in Europe during the medieval period, when an energetic spice trade and returning Crusaders brought exotic seasonings and new cooking techniques to sleepy farms and villages. Medieval towns all across Europe — Bologna, Frankfurt, Vienna, and many others — gave their names to distinctive sausages we still love. In North America, Native Americans dried and smoked venison and buffalo meat to make jerky, and they stuffed meat, suet, and berries into skins to make pemmican.


pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

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Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

A spot of bad weather, as the English are used to almost year round, blew them off course, and allowed the English to attack them from the rear. Drake even lit up eight old ships and had the wind push them into the Armada. In the first signs of English aptitude for war at sea, they sunk all but 65 ships of the Spanish Armada. This cleared the way for the British to rule the sugar and slave trade in the West Indies and have a fighting chance for their share of the spice trade in the East Indies. Trading in commodities was worth more as an economic engine than pillaging gold, which merely glitters, a lesson still forgotten. Elizabeth I understood this. She helped Sir Thomas Gresham set up the Royal Exchange in 1566, emulating a successful Dutch exchange. It mainly traded metals like tin and copper, but soon shares of companies like the Russia Company and Levant Company began to trade.


pages: 274 words: 66,721

Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World - and How Their Invention Could Make or Break the Planet by Jane Gleeson-White

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, British Empire, carbon footprint, corporate governance, credit crunch, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Islamic Golden Age, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Naomi Klein, Ponzi scheme, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile

For this reason it is right to say that the merchant is like a rooster, which of all the animals is the most alert and in winter and summer keeps his night vigils and never rests.’ By the fifteenth century, the marketplaces Pacioli mentions had spread across Europe and the Mediterranean and were dealing in a wealth of goods: Cotswolds wool exchanged in London; silver, copper, iron and tin from the mines of central and eastern Europe; furs from Russia, Siberia and Bulgaria; carpets, brocades, silks and spices traded in centres such as Cairo, Alexandria, Constantinople, Damascus and Tabriz. The fairs he mentions had proliferated in Europe during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The most famous were the annual trade fairs of Champagne in north-eastern France, where textiles, furs, leather and spices were bought and sold. And today’s Frankfurt Book Fair, held annually in October, had its origins in an autumn trade fair formally established in 1240 by the German king, Frederick II.


pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

In the late Middle Ages, for example, the Venetians became wealthy importing spices from Asia; the spices were carried overland from the Red Sea to Alexandria, which meant that the Venetian merchants, who bought them in order to ship them across the Mediterranean, had to pay a high price for them. The Portuguese, hoping to undercut the Venetians, sought a route to the spice islands by sailing around Africa, and in the end they succeeded. They were followed by the Dutch, who made the spice trade the foundation of a great commercial empire. Columbus sought a route to the West, but his successors discovered that circumnavigating South America was arduous and time-consuming; as a commercial route to Asia his discovery proved to be a failure, but for this there was more than compensation in the discovery of gold and silver in South America. In the early 1600s the French explorer Samuel Champlain thought he might find a route by water across Canada – up the St Lawrence, through the Great Lakes, and on.24 He carried Chinese court dress with him in his canoe in case he should meet Chinese agents coming from the East.

Richard Rorty) 42n Linnaeus 12n Lippershey, Hans 214 Littré, Émile 394 Lives of the Artists, The (Giorgio Vasari) 36, 167 Livorno 267 Livre du ciel et du monde (Nicholas of Oresme) 120, 148n Livy 78 Local Knowledge (Clifford Geertz) 515n Locke, John 419–23 see also Essay, An contemporary opinion of 11 CUDOS 425 degrees of knowledge 405 Earth defined by 230 empirical philosophy of 418 evidence, concept of 401 extraterrestrials 243 ‘hypothesis’, use of the word 387 inference, types of 410 microscope rejected by 236n primary and secondary qualities 366 properties and substance 397 sensory capacities 428 thinking matter 446, 462 Logic of Port-Royal, The (believed Antoine Arnauld) 289, 300, 301, 411–12, 465 Logic of Scientific Discovery, The (Karl Popper) 529n, 543 London 259, 261, 460 longitude 201, 202, 328, 480–2, 489 Lorenzetti, Ambrogio 167 Lorenzo the Magnificent 165 Louis XIV, King of France 493, 496 Louis XV, King of France 52 Lucasian professors of mathematics, Cambridge 32, 380, 460, 473, 499 Lucé, Pays de la Loire 301 Lucretius 7–9 atomism 432 Charleton and 435 corpuscular philosophy and 460 Descartes inspired by 378 indifference of gods 242 machinae mundi 435–6, 445 natural law and 371–3 objective and subjective 365 On the Nature of Things 558 picture of universe of 237 random swerve of creation 461 recovery of texts 50n vacuums 77n Luther, Martin 34 Maçao 205 Machiavelli, Niccolò 78, 315 machines 431–48 see also clocks animals as 438–9 Collingwood on 431–2 defining 432 engines and 438 hands-on experimenters 319 innovations leading to 484 mechanical philosophy 433–5, 441, 443, 445 Vitruvius on 435, 437 Madeira 62 Maelcote, Odo van 225 Maestlin, Michael 145, 192 Magdeburg hemispheres 342–3 Magellan, Ferdinand 111 magic 270–2 beliefs in pre-Scientific Revolution 6–7, 11, 268 function of 458–9 Wittgenstein on 577 Magini, Giovanni 145 Magnetical Philosophy, The (Niccolò Cabeo) 273, 338 magnetism 327–32 della Porta adds section on 276 Descartes on 366 Earth and 324 Gilbert on 8, 36, 157–8, 263, 346, 485 magnetic variation 482–3 sources 272–4 magnets, supposed effect of garlic on 268–70, 274–9, 282 Magni, Valerio 352 magnifying glasses 235 Maier, Annalise 575 maize 4 Malcolm, Noel 141 Malebranche, Nicolas 378 Malocello, Lancelotto 98 Malpighi, Marcello 238 Man in the Moone, The (Francis Godwin) 231, 232n Man the Machine (Julian Offray de La Mettrie) 439 Manardi, Giovanni 73 Manetti, Antonio 165, 166, 167, 169–70 Manhattan Project 544 manuscripts 306 maps see cartography Maricourt, Pierre de 327, 328–30 Marinus of Tyre 121 Marlowe, Christopher 155 Mars Kepler and 262, 265, 301, 305 orbits and geoheliocentrism 140, 224 perceived size of 148 Swift’s imaginary moons 11 Tycho Brahe’s measurements 193, 195 Marsigli, Count of Bologna 309 Marsilius of Inghen 117, 575 Marx, Karl 279n Marxism 17n, 330, 478 Masaccio 172, 177–8 Mathematical Collections and Translations (Thomas Salusbury) 295–6 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy see Principia (Isaac Newton) ‘Mathematical versus Experimental Traditions in the Development of Physical Science’ (Thomas Kuhn) 425 Mathematical Works (Gilles de Roberval) 97 mathematics God and 212, 213 history and progress 36 hypotheses in 386–7 knowledge and 321 matter and 203 metaphysics and 209 necessity and 586–7 perspective and 175–6 philosophy and 536 profession of 32 prosthaphaeresis 94 Renaissance 416 sublunary phenomena and 199–200 taking control of the Scientific Revolution 205, 445 theories 396–7 true science and 24 Matses 281n matter 366 Matthew, Gospel According to St 12n Maupertuis, Pierre Louis 238 Maurice of Nassau 203, 363 Maurolico, Francesco 192 Maximilian of Bavaria, Duke 361 Maxims (Francesco Guicciardini) 75 Mayer, Tom 545 ‘Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas’ (Quentin Skinner) 22n measurement Brunelleschi’s search for architectural forms 169, 171 distance, of 198 greater accuracy required 13 Kepler and Mars 262, 266, 268 longitude and latitude 201 necessary agreement on 518 new instruments for 209, 244 parallax 190–3, 195, 197, 303 surveying 190 Tycho Brahe 535 units of 234–5, 258–9 Measuring the Universe (Albert van Helden) 223n Mechanica (Gaspar Schott) 340 mechanical philosophy 433–5 Beeckmann and 148n depictable reality and 401n gravity and 466 invention of 445 terminology 441, 443 Medicean stars, the 96, 99 see also Jupiter, moons of Medici, Cosimo de’ 214 Medici, Lorenzo de (The Magnificent) 165 Medieval Theory of Authorship (Alastair Minnis) 102n Meditations, The (René Descartes) 379, 401n Meditations, The (Marcus Aurelius) 68n Mediterranean Sea 5, 524 Melanchthon, Philipp 128, 129 Meli, Bertolini 88n Melzi, Francesco 24 Menelaus of Alexandria 67, 100 Meno (Plato) 75 Mercator, Gerardus effect of projection 208 terminology of 125 various undertakings of 31, 205, 206n Mercurii, Girolamo 304 mercury (element) 311n Mercury (planet) 223n, 224, 226 Mersenne, Marin acceleration of falling bodies 52, 258–9 air guns 491 Beeckmann’s letter re Descartes 363–4 Columbus and others 81 Galileo viewed by 27n, 551 glass tubing for experiments 311–12, 335 informal community of 340–1, 348, 357 ‘Pascal’s barrel’ 318n publishes Galileo 432 Puys-de-Dôme experiment 339 replicating Galileo’s experiments 332 Roberval and 337 Merton, Robert 89–90, 96, 424, 478 meteorites 301 Meteorologica (Aristotle) 324n, 326 Method for the Easy Comprehension of History (Jean Bodin) 533 Michele, Agostino 132n Michelini, Famiano 486 Micrographia (Robert Hooke) 216, 240–1, 294, 389 Micromégas (Voltaire) 237 microscopes 74, 216, 235n, 236–7, 410 Middle Ages Archimedes and buoyancy 530 China 105n demonstration in 314 differences from later times 324 earth and water sphere views 111, 119 elements and their weights 530 experience as viewed by 81 experiments in 574–5 Grosseteste’s neo-Platonism 321 ‘hypothesis’, use of the word in 385 impetus theory 574 measuring mountains 257 receding objects getting smaller 169 spice trade 524 technological revolution 431 Middle Temple 9 Middleton, Conyers 471 Midgeley, Robert 279 Mignolo, Walter 208n Migrationes avium (Carl D. Ekmarck) 12n Milan 173 Miles, Henry 353 Milky Way 234n Mill, John Stuart 512 Milton, John 230, 454 Mind Has No Sex, The (Londa Schiebinger) 6 Mineralogia (Bernardo Cesi) 277 Minotaur, the 529 miracles Hume’s essay 465 Montaigne on 373 Newtonian effect 471 Protestant attitudes to 12, 379, 452 mirrors 169–71, 618n22 Modern Statesman, The (G.

Vicenza) 76 Paine, Thomas 20 Palais Royal, Paris 436 Paley, William 419, 446 Panofsky, Erwin 201 Pantagruel (François Rabelais) 239 Papin, Denis 491–508, 645–8nn39–79 countries worked in 516 Newcomen and 499–508 North’s notebook and 494 placebo effect 569n Royal Society pays 32 Savery and 496–8 Paracelsus 198n, 294, 409 paradigms 585 parallax 190–5, 197, 303 parapsychology 463 Pardies, Ignatius 383–4 Paris 311 Parisian school 114, 120, 138, 140, 337 Parker, Bishop Samuel 40–1, 433 Parmenides 66, 91 Parsons, Robert 404–5, 409, 411 Pascal, Blaise announces to Mersenne 348 barometers and Torricellian tubes 335, 336, 352 Borges on 239 Boyle and 350–2 change of direction 310n eternal science of infinite spaces 448 evidence used by 415 experience, the authority of 417–18 ‘fact’, the word 291, 294, 295 first real experiment and 311–12, 315 Guiffart defends 77n imagining the earth from space 230 Jansenism, in defence of 290 liquid pressure study 317–18n micro-organisms 239 on the universe 243 practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge 395n Puy-de-Dôme see Puy-de-Dôme science and religion 358 theory and observation 394 Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids 338 types of knowledge 341 undermining respect for antiquity 346 vacuums 105, 297–8, 324, 439 weighing the air 52 works by 293 Pascal, Étienne 97, 101 Pascal’s barrel 318n Pascal’s Snail 97, 97 Passi, Pietro 278 patents 106 Pathologia hæreditaria generalis (Edmund O’Meara) 74 Patriarch of Antioch, the 353–4 Patrick, Simon 486 Patrizi, Francesco 25n Paul III, Pope 223n Paul of Burgos 113 Pecquet, Jean 338, 339–40 peer review 96 Peiresc, Nicolas-Claude Fabri de 306, 341 Peking 180, 182 Pemberton, John 473 pendulum clocks 305, 445, 446, 481 see also clocks penicillin 16 Pensées (Blaise Pascal) 310n Pereira, Duarte Pacheco 125n Périer, Florin 310, 340, 348, 352 perspective painting 164–80 Brunelleschi 58n, 165–72 Father Niceron 173, 174 Masaccio 172, 177–8 mathematics and 175–6, 200 mirrors 169–71 Pacioli 173, 175–6 surveying and 190 tiled floors 201 Vitruvius 251 Peter Martyr 121 Peter of Abano 72 Petit, Pierre 335, 349, 352 Petrarch 119, 146, 186n Petri, Franciscus 106 Petty, William 260, 412 Peuerbach, Georg 187, 228, 229, 246 Phalaris, letters of 466 ‘Phases of Venus before 1610’ (Roger Ariew) 228n phenomena 266 Philolaus the Pythagorean 78 Philosophia pia (Joseph Glanvill) 460 Philosophical Investigations (Ludwig Wittgenstein) 42 Philosophical Transactions (Royal Society) alchemy generally excluded from 357 book review in 347n ‘evidence’, use of word 417 first journal devoted to new science 341 intellectual property concept 337 Papin and 501, 502, 506 ‘theory’, first use of word by 383, 396 Philosophical Writings (René Descartes) 388n philosophy (use of term) 7–11, 25, 27–8, 36–7, 425, 536 see also corpuscular philosophy; mechanical philosophy Physica (Jacques Rohault) 473 physical world, the 457 Physico-Mechanical Lectures (John Theophilus Desaguliers) 475 Physico-Theology (William Derham) 473 Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charletonia (Walter Charleton) 296 Physiological Essays (Robert Boyle) 26, 280, 294 physiology 27 Piccolomini, Alessandro 71, 130, 230n, 414 Pickering, Andrew 517n, 589 Pierre, Georges 353–4 ‘Pierre Duhem and the History of Late-medieval Science’ (John Murdoch) 16n Pillars of Hercules ii, 79, 103, 119 pineal gland 377 Pinelli, Giovanni Vincenzo 273 Pinta (ship) 57, 89 Pisa 80, 335 placebo effect 569n plagiarism 101–2, 337 planets 223 Plato an innovator 66 book frontispiece 204 Charleton envisages 402 doubling the area of a square 100 knowledge and reminiscence 75 movement in the heavens 144 nominalism and 322 on experience 52 recovery of texts 50n Renaissance and 203 signatures, theory of 409 types of knowledge 321 Pliny see also Natural History distances 611n10 flood accounts 113 Madeira 62 magnets that repel iron 278 medieval view of 7 omissions in work of 67 reputation in decline 26 unreliability of 12 water levels 137 wine adulterated with water 272 Ziegler’s commentary 128 Plus ultra (Joseph Glanvill) 37–8, 358, 453 Plutarch Galileo and 216, 217 Madeira 62 on experience 268–9, 277–8, 282 Pluto 99 Pole Star 120, 188, 190n, 320 politeness 470–1 Politics (Aristotle) 61 Polybius 412 Pope, Alexander 361 Popper, Karl Open Society and Its Enemies, The 357n quoted 249, 556 refutation of belief systems 45n science and common sense 529, 543 science and free societies 360 showing limitation of argument from fact 289 three worlds of 96n Popular Errors (Laurent Joubert) 304 Porter, Roy 588–9 Portuguese (people) African coast 98 carracks 104 effect of voyages 61n equator 72, 73, 120 Maçao 205 Pillars of Hercules 103 spice trade 524 take lead in voyages of discovery 58 Portuguese language 29, 57, 408 Portuguese Voyages to America (Samuel Eliot Morison) 125n positivism 586 Postan, M. M. 15 postmodernism 257n, 309, 451, 554–5, 580 potential 70 Power, Henry advice on mercury 349 Descartes and 443 Experimental Philosophy 238n, 313 microscopes 237 quoted 1, 39 replicates Pecquet 340 vacuums 351, 352 Powers, John C. 355–6 pragmatism 17 preformationism 237–8 pressure cookers 504 pressure gauges 503 Priestley, Joseph 86, 91 Primerose, James 304 Primitive Origination of Mankind, The (Matthew Hale) 418 Principia (Isaac Newton) axiom and demonstration 417 Cambridge and 15 defiant title of 24 gravity 376, 378, 466 hypothesis in 390 Leibniz and 93 new scepticism after 429 Newton’s influence and 34n popular accounts of 474 ‘theory’, use of word in 396n Wotton and 457 writing of 108–9 Principles and Duties of Natural Religion (John Wilkins) 405 Principles of Philosophy, The (René Descartes) 362, 371, 375, 385 printing press 302–7 carrying news of discoveries 107 early publications 187 experience, facts and 282–3, 302 fundamental feature of Scientific Revolution, a 197–8 images alongside text 561 priority disputes and 95 Scientific Revolution and 197, 305 three inventions of modernity 60 transforming balance between evidence and theory 136 Printing Press as an Agent of Change, The (Elizabeth Eisenstein) 305n, 306 priority disputes 86, 93–7, 105 prisms 311, 380–3 probability theory 563 Problem of Certainty, The (Hendrik van Leeuwen) 406n ‘Problem of Mechanical Flight, The’ (Science journal) 552 Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century, The (Lucien Febvre) 595 Proclus 36, 67–8, 75, 100, 609–10n131 prodigies 469–70 professionals, scientists as 31 Prognostication Everlasting, A (Leonard and Thomas Digges) 78, 149–51, 156, 387 progress 511–13 assumption required for 61 Bacon on 36 Boyle on 37–8 conviction of unstoppability of 5 discovery of America and 84 history of humanity to be conceived as 4 history of science as 554 inconsistency of 542 new culture of 104 Pascal on 341, 346 projections (maps) 208 see also cartography proof 314–15, 407–8, 409 prosthaphaeresis 94 Protagoras 234 Protestants see also Christianity Catholics ban books of 128 civil war with Catholics 558 educated people 10 faith grounded in facts 463 in France 491, 493 less rigorous censorship 379 miracles, on 12, 452 publishing Montaigne 557 reformation and revolution 33 Provincial Letters (Blaise Pascal as Louis de Montalte) 290, 293 Pseudoxia epidemica (Vulgar Errors) (Thomas Browne) 254, 304, 387n Ptolemy Brunelleschi and 206 Columbus undermines 184 Copernicus and, a comparison 154 Copernicus’s advantages over 144 de’ Dondi and 436 demise of his astronomy 118 epicycles 413 Galileo teaches 209 Galileo’s frontispiece 267 Geography 115, 117, 120–1, 122–3, 183n Gerson criticizes 134n homocentric planetary systems 137n instrumentation of 244 latitude and longitude 201 limited knowledge of 125, 151–2 magnets rubbed with garlic 268 Mars and Earth 193 measurements of 262, 266 medieval opinions of 7 Menelaus’s Theorem 100 moon as a planet 198, 214 Petrus Ramus and 101 Polydore Vergil on 66 predictions of planetary movement 223 Regiomontanus criticizes 187, 188 sun and moon as planets 198 system fatally wounded 225–6, 227, 228, 229, 245–6 telescope and 229 three systems 97, 99 Venus and Earth 145, 222, 224 Waldseemüller on 59n public lectures 475 Puppet Clacks 503 Puritanism 478, 576 see also Christianity; Protestants Putnam, Hilary 568, 569 Puy-de-Dôme experiment Boyle and 311, 526 causal explanation and 391–2 crowd of onlookers 348, 352–3 described 310 Newton may be referencing 383 Pascal and 336, 339, 349n Pythagoras Polydore Vergil and 67 Robert Norman and 80 theorem 210, 609–10n131 three systems and 99 Vitruvius on 100–1 quadrants 188, 196, 209, 244, 262 qualities, primary and secondary 365–6 Quine, W.


pages: 659 words: 203,574

The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge by Vernor Vinge

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anthropic principle, back-to-the-land, dematerialisation, gravity well, invisible hand, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, spice trade, technological singularity, unbiased observer, Vernor Vinge

I made the situation just civilized enough so that its true brutality, shed of bloody drapery, can be seen. I see you don’t believe what I say. In this whole audience I suspect that only a Melmwn truly understands—and she better than I. Not one of you has ever been kicked in the teeth by these particular facts of life. Perhaps if I told you the story as it happened to me—I could make you feel the horror you hear me describe. Two centuries ago, the %wrlyg Spice & Trading Company completed the first interstellar flight. They were thirty years ahead of their nearest competitors. They had a whole planet at their disposal, except for one minor complication … . The natives were restless. My attention was unevenly divided between the beautiful girl who had just introduced herself, and the ancient city that shimmered in the hot air behind her. Mary Dahlmann. That was a hard name to pronounce, but I had studied Australian for almost two years, and I was damned if I couldn’t say a name.

But the underlying question was why they chose this weird governmental path at all. Were the Terrans essentially subhuman—or is it just luck that we Mikins discovered the True Way? The war didn’t discourage the Terrans from their fundamental errors. Three governments rose from the ashes of the war. The Australian, the Sudamérican, and the Zulunder. Even the smallest nation, Australia, had one thousand times as many people as the %wrlyg Spice & Trading Company. And remember that %wrlyg is already as big as a group can get without being slapped with an antitrust ruling by the Umpires. I forgot my surroundings as Dahlmann went on to explain the present power structure, the struggle of the two stronger nations to secure colonies in portions of the Northern Hemisphere where the war poisons had dissipated. This was a very dangerous situation, according to the Terran anthropologist, since there were many disease types dormant in the Northern Hemisphere.


pages: 263 words: 84,410

Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dash

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Ponzi scheme, random walk, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, trade route, tulip mania

Had the prices paid per ace for these three varieties remained unchanged, Bosch’s customers would have enjoyed returns varying from 330 percent to as much as 514 percent in a scant nine months. There was probably not another investment in the whole of the United Provinces that offered such spectacular results this quickly, and certainly none that all but guaranteed it. Some of the voyages undertaken by the Dutch East India Company, which enjoyed a monopoly on the lucrative spice trade, did deliver profits of 400 percent or more. Yet a single round-trip to the Indies took two years or so to complete, and while they were away, the company’s ships were exposed to the dangers of disease, shipwreck, piracy, and Spanish attack. Even the rich trades, then, exposed the privileged few who were permitted to invest in them to risks unknown to Holland’s florists. The earliest record of selling by the ace dates to the beginning of December 1634, when the Haarlem grower David de Mildt went with a linen worker named Jan Ocksz. to the garden owned by Jan van Damme on the Kleine Houtweg.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck

As Trollope later so nicely put it in The Way We Live Now, trade purchases rank by re-gilding its splendour. That is to say, rich bankers and merchants married off their daughters to aristocrats. Anti-money snobbery nonetheless proved exceptionally durable. One of the greatest putdowns in history was François I of France’s description of King Manuel I of Portugal as the Grocer King, a devastating snub that no doubt reflected envy of the vast riches amassed by the Portuguese crown from the spice trade in the Orient. That anti-business prejudice survived in France until the revolution and beyond, in a society where hierarchy was more rigidly maintained than in more libertarian countries such as England. Yet even in England, anti-money prejudice was part of the culture. Alexander Pope reflected this in his ‘Epistle to Bathurst’, the satirical poem that discusses ‘whether the invention of Money has been more commodious, or pernicious to Mankind’ and illustrates Pope’s conviction that ‘we may see the small value God has for riches by the people he gives them to’.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

(tailors of Savile Row) 220–21, 220n population figures/density 4, 5, 10, 17, 20–21, 25, 26, 45, 105–6, 200, 200n, 218, 308 depopulation 12, 23, 25, 44 life expectancy 5, 10, 24, 147–8, 205, 208; in Africa 168, 171, 190–91 Muslims 290 young people 244 pornography 273, 274 Portugal 4, 9, 14, 202n China and 35 exploration, voyages of 33–5, 39, 53, 130 India and 34, 35, 39 Portuguese empire 97, 144, 176 Pottier, Eugène: ‘The Internationale’ 208 Priestley, Joseph 201 printing 27, 60 impact/spread of 60–63, 67, 77, 263 Islamic attitude to 68, 86 Pritchard, Jack 136 property rights 13, 97, 99, 111, 125, 152, 288 in British North American colonies 106–7, 106n, 109–12, 115–16, 117, 124–5, 138; headright system 111 John Locke on 111, 112 slaves as property 132, 135–6 in Spanish South American colonies 102, 113–14, 119, 124, 128 Protestantism 106, 107, 114, 259, 264 British North American colonies as Protestant 106, 114 in China 277–80, 282–8; radical sects 285–6 evangelical, in US 273–4 missionaries 263–4; in China 277–80, 282–3 Max Weber on 259, 260–64, 276, 283 see also Christianity Protestant work ethic see work ethic Prussia 144, 159, 214 Berlin 75–6, 86 the Enlightenment 76–9, 81 under Frederick the Great 71, 73–85 Islamic envoys in 86 political system 73, 80 Potsdam 81–8; Sanssouci palace 73–4, 79 religious toleration 76, 78 Silesia, invasion of 74–5 Prussian Academy of Science and Belle-Lettres 79, 80, 81 Prussian army 74–5, 81–2, 91 public health 147, 148, 177, 205 in French West Africa 171–2 see also health issues Puerto Rico 144 Punch 169 Quebec Act (1774) 116 Quesnay, François, on China 46 Quigley, Carroll 3, 297–8 his ‘Rhodes–Milner group’ theory 298n Tragedy and Hope … 298n racial issues in French West Africa 174–5 in German colonies 176, 177–8 interbreeding (miscegenation) 133–6; in French colonies (métissage) 164 in South America 119, 120, 125–6, 133, 135 in US 129, 133, 134–6, 137–9; Civil Rights movement 245; segregation 137–8, 177 racial theory see eugenics railways 170, 171, 204, 215, 218, 224 Reagan, Ronald 252 Reche, Otto 189 Redhouse, James 89 Reformation 9, 38, 60–62, 67, 259 see also Luther, Martin religious issues 3, 8, 17, 266–7 atheism 8, 289 Christianity see Christianity Freud on 270–71, 273 Islam see Islam science/technology and 67–8 Adam Smith on 276 religious toleration 76, 78, 114 religious tracts/publications 61–3 see also individual authors religious wars/conflict 9, 12, 38–9 French revolution as 151, 152, 153, 154 Islamic 71 Resmi Efendî, Ahmed 86–7 revolution 162–3, 164, 227–8, 244, 246, 251–2 by students/young people 245–9 see also individual revolutions Rhodes, Cecil 298n Ricardo, David, his comparative advantage doctrine 202, 202n Ricci, Matteo, SJ, in China 41 Richard II, King of England 23–4 Richard, Timothy 282 Richard of Wallingford 41 Richardson, Lewis Fry 301–2, 301n Rivera, Diego: The Arsenal (painting) 162n Roberts, Richard 200 Robespierre, Maximilien 156 Robins, Benjamin 83–4 New Principles of Gunnery 83 on rifled gun barrels 84 rock and roll/ popular music 230, 243–4, 246, 249–50, 273, 274 Rohrbach, Paul von 181 German Colonial Economics 176 Roman Catholicism see Catholicism Roman Empire 16–17, 296 Gibbon on 257–9, 291–2 Romania 251 Roosevelt, President Franklin Delano xxiv, 230 Rosa, Salvator: L’umana fragilatà (painting) 26 Rosenberg, Alfred 193 Ross, Ronald 169–70 Rothschild, Nathan 161 Roume, Ernest, Governor of French West Africa 170–71 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 155, 156 Social Contract 78, 151–2 Royal Observatory, Greenwich 70 Royal Society of London 69–70, 80, 83, 84 Copley Medal 84 Ruiz-Linares, Andrés 133 Russia/Soviet Union 7, 83, 156, 303 economic growth 231–2 expansion of 144 exploration of 36 France and 160 Germany and 192, 194, 231–2: in Second World War 233–4 under Gorbachev 250 Japan and 226 legal system 244 Napoleon Bonaparte and 160 nationalism in 182, 227–8 US and 236; Cold War 236–9, 250 as a Western civilization 15 Russian army 234 Russian Revolution (1917–18) 182, 227–8 Russo-Japanese War (1904) 226 Safavid empire 9 St Alban’s Abbey 27, 41 Saint-Domingue (island) 160 Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de: The Little Prince 90 Sandys, George 283 sanitation 23, 147, 179 see also health issues Schacht, Hjalmar 231 Schaudinn, Fritz 175–6 Schiller, Friedrich 77, 79 Schubert, Franz xxiii Schubert, Helmut 194 Schularick, Moritz xvii Schumpeter, Joseph 205 science/technology 7, 10–11, 12, 14, 50–95, 257, 287 advances in/spread of 41–2, 47, 57, 60–71, 216–18, 317–18; chronology of 65–6; as Eurocentric 67 astronomy 64, 65, 66; Islamic 68–9 ballistics 83–5 Chinese 11, 27–8 definition 13 in East Asia 4, 11 gravity, law of 70 Industrial Revolution see Industrial Revolution Islamic see Islamic science/technology in Israel 93–4 military 37, 41, 57, 65n, 233, 235–6 nuclear 94–5 optics 51–2, 64, 70 religious issues in 67–8 royal patronage of 70; by Frederick the Great 71, 79–80, 84 scientific institutions 69–70, 79, 89 scientific method 60, 64–5, 67, 70 collaborative 70 Scotland 263 England and 24, 105, 107, 213 Industrial Revolution 199 see also Britain Scott, Sarah 289 Second World War (1939–45) 192, 233–6 casualty figures 193; civilian 233, 234 causes of 233 Germany in 189–90, 191–5, 231–4; see also Hitler, Adolf Italy in 233–4 Japan in 233–5 Seven Years’ War (1756–63) 115, 116, 116n sexual revolution 246 Shakespeare, William 23, 62n, 324n Shark Island concentration camp, German South-West Africa 179–80 Sharp, Granville 133 Shaw, George Bernard, on Western medicine 148 Shays, Daniel 117 Sherrington, Charles 300 shipbuilding industry 22, 28–9, 37, 48 Sibutus, George 62 siege warfare 52, 54–7 Siegert, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin 121n Sierra Leone 168 silver, from South America 101–2 Singapore 240, 306–7 Singer sewing machines 216–18, 220 Sivasi Efendi 71 slave revolts 131–2, 136, 160 slavery/slave trade 97, 120, 125, 129–36 abolition of 129, 131, 132–3; in British colonies 177; in French colonies 163, 177 in Africa 176, 177 slaves as property 132, 135–6 in Spanish South American colonies 129, 130–32, 133, 135, 136 in US 129, 130, 132–3, 134–6 Smith, Adam 7, 78, 301 on China 19, 20, 46, 78 on religion 276 Theory of Moral Sentiments xxiv–xxv The Wealth of Nations 297 Smith, Abraham (English migrant to South Carolina) 103, 106, 111–12 Sobieski, Jan III, King of Poland 55–6 socialism 208–9 Sorokin, Pitrim 297 Soviet Union see Russia/Soviet Union Spain exploration, voyages of 35–6 France and 119 Spanish Civil War (1936–9) 231, 233 Spanish empire 144 in America see America, South, Spanish colonies in Spengler, Oswald: The Decline of the West 297 spice trade 33, 34, 36 Spinoza, Benedict (Baruch) xxiii, 65 Spurgeon, Charles Haddon 282 Stead, William T. 298n steam engines 70, 200, 204, 218 Stendhal (Henri Marie Beyle): The Red and the Black 162 Stevens, John Lloyd 298–9 Stevenson, Robert Louis xxvi Stott, George 282, 284 Strauss, Levi 241 Suez Canal 219 suffrage, male 210 in French colonies 163 sugar/sugar production 10, 45, 129, 131–2, 160 Suleiman the Magnificent 52–3, 52n, 56–7, 72 Sun Yat-sen 283 Switzerland 41, 159 syphilis 176 Taiping Rebellion, China 211, 279–90, 285 Takiyüddīn al-Rāsid (Taqi al-Din) 68–9 Taleb, Nassim 301 Tamani, Hüseyin Rifki 69 Tang Yi 286 Tanweer, Shehzad 291 tariffs see trade tariffs Tawney, R.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Kung people 44, 135, 136–7 Kuznets curve 106 Kwakiutl people 92 Lagos 322 Lagrange Point 346 lakes, acidification of 305–6 Lamalera people 87 Lancashire 214, 217, 232, 263 Landes, David 223, 406 Lang, Tim 392 language: and exchange 58; genes for 55; Indo-European 129; and isolationism 73; Neanderthals 4, 55; numbers of languages 73; as unique human development 4 Laos 209 lapis lazuli 162, 164 Lascaux caves, France 6 lasers 272 Lassa fever 307 Laurion, Attica 171 Law, John 29, 259 Lawson, Nigel, Baron 331 Lay, Ken 29, 385 Layard, Richard 25 lead 167, 174, 177, 213 Leadbetter, Charles 290 Leahy, Michael 92 leather 70, 122, 167, 176 Lebanon 167 LeBlanc, Steven 137 LEDs (light-emitting diodes) 21–2 lentils 129 Leonardo da Vinci 196, 251 Levy, Stephen 355 Liang Ying (farm worker) 220 liberalism 108, 109–110, 290 Liberia 14, 316 libertarianism 106 Libya 171 lice 68 lichen 75 life expectancy: in Africa 14, 316, 422; in Britain 13, 15, 284; improvements in 12, 14, 15, 17–18, 205, 284, 287, 298, 316; in United States 298; world averages 47 Life (magazine) 304 light, artificial 13, 16, 17, 20–22, 37, 233, 234, 240, 245, 272, 368 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) 21–2 Limits to Growth (report) 303–4, 420 Lindsey, Brink 102, 109 linen 216, 218 lions 43, 87 literacy 106, 201, 290, 353, 396 Liverpool 62, 283 local sourcing (of goods) 35, 41–2, 149, 392; see also food miles Locke, John 96 Lodygin, Alexander 272 Lombardy 178, 196 Lomborg, Björn 280 London 12, 116, 186, 199, 218, 222, 282; as financial centre 259 longitude, measurement of 261 Longshan culture 397 Los Angeles 17, 142 Lothal, Indus valley 162, 164 Louis XI, King of France 184 Louis XIV, King of France 36, 37, 38, 184, 259 Lowell, Francis Cabot 263 Lübeck 180 Lucca 178, 179 Lunar Society 256 Luther, Martin 102 Luxembourg 331 Lyon 184 Macao 183 MacArthur, General Douglas 141 Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 1st Baron 11, 285–7, 359 McCloskey, Deirdre 109, 366–7 Mace, Ruth 73 McEwan, Ian 47 Machiguenga people 87 MacKay, David 342 McKendrick, Neil 224 McKibben, Bill 293 Macmillan, Harold, 1st Earl of Stockton 16 McNamara, Robert 203 mad-cow disease (vCJD) 280, 308 Madagascar 70, 299 Maddison, Angus 180 Maddox, John 207 Madoff, Bernard 28–9 Maghribis 178, 180 magnesium 213 maize 126, 146–7, 153, 155, 156, 163; for biofuel 240, 241 malaria 135, 157, 275, 299, 310, 318, 319, 331, 336, 353, 428, 429 Malawi 40–41, 132, 316, 318 Malawi, Lake 54 Malay Peninsula 66 Malaysia 35, 89, 242, 332 Mali 316, 326 Malinowski, Bronislaw 134 malnutrition 154, 156, 337 Maltese Falcon, The (film) 86 Malthus, Robert 139, 140, 146, 191, 249, 303 Malthusianism 141, 193, 196, 200, 202, 401 mammoths 68, 69, 71, 73, 302 Manchester 214, 218, 283 Mandell, Lewis 254 manganese 150, 213 mangoes 156, 327, 392 Manhattan 83 manure 147, 150, 198, 200, 282 Mao Zedong 16, 187, 262, 296, 311 Marchetti, Cesare 345–6 Marcuse, Herbert 291 Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France 199 markets (in capital and assets) 9, 258–60 markets (in goods and services): and collective betterment 9–10, 36–9, 103–110, 115–16, 281; disdain for 102–3, 104, 291–2, 358; etiquette and ritual of 133–4; and generosity 86–7; global interdependence 42–3; market failure 182, 250; ‘perfect markets’ 249–50; and population control 210–211; and preindustrial economies 133–4; and trust 98–100, 103; and virtue 100–104, 105; see also bartering; exchange; trade Marne, River 234 Martu aborigines 62 Marx, Karl 102, 104, 107–8, 291, 406 Marxism 101, 217–18, 319, 356 Maskelyne, Nevil 221 Maudslay, Henry 221 Mauritius 187, 316 Mauryan empire 172–3, 201, 357 Maxwell, James Clerk 412 measles 14, 135, 310 meat eating 51, 60, 62, 68–9, 126, 147, 156, 241, 376 Mecca 177 Mediterranean Sea: prehistoric settlements 56, 68–9, 159; trade 89, 164, 167–8, 169, 171, 176, 178 meerkats 87 Mehrgarh, Baluchistan 162 Mehta, Suketa 189 Meissen 185 memes 5 Menes, Pharaoh of Egypt 161 mercury 183, 213, 237 Mersey, River 62 Merzbach valley, Germany 138 Mesopotamia 38, 115, 158–61, 163, 177, 193, 251, 357; see also Assyrian empire; Iraq metal prices, reductions in 213 Metaxas, Ioannis 186 methane 140, 329, 345 Mexico: agriculture 14, 123, 126, 142, 387; emigration to United States 117; hurricanes 335; life expectancy 15; nature conservation 324; swine flu 309 Mexico City 190 Meyer, Warren 281 Mezherich, Ukraine 71 mice 55, 125 Michelangelo 115 Microsoft (corporation) 24, 260, 268, 273 migrations: early human 66–70, 82; rural to urban 158, 188–9, 210, 219–20, 226–7, 231, 406; see also emigration Milan 178, 184 Miletus 170–71 milk 22, 55, 97, 135 Mill, John Stuart 34, 103–4, 108, 249, 274, 276, 279 Millennium Development goals 316 Miller, Geoffrey 44, 274 millet 126 Mills, Mark 244 Ming empire 117, 181–4, 260, 311 Minoan civilisation 166 Mississippi Company 29 Mittal, Lakshmi 268 mobile phones 37, 252, 257, 261, 265, 267, 297, 326–7 Mohamed (prophet) 176 Mohawk Indians 138–9 Mohenjo-Daro, Indus valley 161–2 Mojave Desert 69 Mokyr, Joel 197, 252, 257, 411, 412 monarchies 118, 162, 172, 222 monasteries 176, 194, 215, 252 Monbiot, George 291, 311, 426 money: development of 71, 132, 392; ‘trust inscribed’ 85 Mongolia 230 Mongols 161, 181, 182 monkeys 3, 57, 59, 88; capuchins 96–7, 375 monopolies 107, 111, 166, 172, 182 monsoon 174 Montesquieu, Charles, Baron de 103 moon landing 268–9, 275 Moore, Gordon 221, 405 Moore, Michael 291 Morgan, J.P. 100 Mormonism 205 Morocco 53, 209 Morse, Samuel 272 mortgages 25, 29, 30, 323; sub-prime 296 Moses 138 mosquito nets 318 ‘most favoured nation’ principle 186 Moyo, Dambisa 318 Mozambique 132, 316 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 267 Mugabe, Robert 262 Mumbai 189, 190 murder 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201 Murrays’ Mills, Manchester 214 music 70, 115, 266–7, 326 Myceneans 166 Nairobi 322 Namibia 209, 324 Napoleon I 184 NASA 269 Nashville 326 Nassarius shells 53, 56, 65 National Food Service 268 National Health Service 111, 261 nationalisation (of industry) 166, 182 nationalism 357 native Americans 62, 92–3, 138–9 Natufians 125 natural selection 5–6, 27, 49–50, 350 nature conservation 324, 339; see also wilderness land, expansion of Neanderthals 3, 4, 53, 55, 64, 65, 68, 71, 79, 373, 378 Nebuchadnezzar 169 needles 43, 70 Nehru, Jawaharlal 187 Nelson, Richard 5 Nepal 15, 209 Netscape (corporation) 259 New Deal 109 New Guinea: agriculture 123, 126, 387; languages 73; malaria 336; prehistoric 66, 123, 126; tribes 87, 92, 138 New York 12, 16, 83, 169, 190 New York Times 23, 295, 305 New Zealand 17, 35, 42, 70 Newcomen, Thomas 244, 256 newspapers 270, 295; licensing copyrights 267 Newsweek (magazine) 329 Newton, Sir Isaac 116, 256 nickel 34, 213 Niger 208–9, 210, 324 Nigeria 15, 31, 99, 117, 210, 236, 316 Nike (corporation) 115, 188 Nile, River 161, 164, 167, 171 nitrogen fertlisers 140, 146, 147, 149–50, 155, 305 nitrous oxide 155 Nobel Peace Prize 143, 280 ‘noble savage’ 43–4, 135–8 Norberg, Johann 187 Nordau, Max 288 Nordhaus, William 331 Norte Chico civilisation 162–3 North, Douglass 324, 397 North Carolina 219–20 North Korea 15, 116–17, 187, 333 North Sea 180, 185 North Sentinel islanders 67 Northern Rock (bank) 9 Northumberland 407 Norton, Seth 211 Norway 97–8, 332, 344 Norwich 225 nostalgia 12–13, 44, 135, 189, 284–5, 292 Novgorod 180 Noyce, Robert 221, 405 nuclear accidents 283, 293–4, 308, 345, 421 nuclear power 37, 236, 238, 239, 245, 246, 343, 344, 345 nuclear war, threat of 280, 290, 299–300, 333 Obama, Barack 203 obesity 8, 156, 296, 337 obsidian 53, 92, 127 occupational safety 106–7 ocean acidification 280, 340–41 ochre 52, 53, 54, 92 octopi 3 Oersted, Hans Christian 272 Oetzi (mummified ‘iceman’) 122–3, 132–3, 137 Ofek, Haim 131 Ohalo II (archaeological site) 124 oil: and ‘curse of resources’ 31, 320; drilling and refining 242, 343; and generation of electricity 239; manufacture of plastics and synthetics 237, 240; pollution 293–4, 385; prices 23, 238; supplies 149, 237–8, 280, 281, 282, 296, 302–3 old age, quality of life in 18 olive oil 167, 169, 171 Olson, Ken 282 Omidyar, Pierre 99 onchoceriasis 310 open-source software 99, 272–3, 356 Orang Asli people 66 orang-utans 60, 239, 339 organic farming 147, 149–52, 393 Orinoco tar shales, Venezuela 238 Orma people 87 ornament, personal 43, 52, 53, 54, 70, 71, 73 O’Rourke, P.J. 157 Orwell, George 253, 290, 354 Ostia 174 otters 297, 299 Otto I, Holy Roman emperor 178 Ottoman empire 161 Oued Djebanna, Algeria 53 oxen 130, 136, 195, 197, 214–15 oxytocin (hormone) 94–5, 97–8 ozone layer 280, 296 Paarlberg, Robert 154 Pacific islanders 134 Pacific Ocean 184 Paddock, William and Paul 301 Padgett, John 103 Page, Larry 114 Pagel, Mark 73 Pakistan 142–3, 204, 300 palm oil 57–8, 239, 240, 242, 339 Pan Am (airline) 24 paper 282, 304 Papin, Denis 256 papyrus 171, 175 Paraguay 61 Pareto, Vilfredo 249 Paris 215, 358; electric lighting 233; restaurants 264 parrots 3 Parsons, Sir Charles 234 Parthian empire 161 Pasadena 17 Pataliputra 173 patents 223, 263, 264–6, 269, 271, 413–14 patriarchy 136 Paul, St 102 PayPal (e-commerce business) 262 peacocks 174 peanuts 126 peat 215–16 Peel, Sir Robert 185 Pemberton, John 263 pencils 38 penicillin 258 Pennington, Hugh 308 pensions 29, 40, 106 Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, The 174 Persia 89, 161, 171, 177 Persian Gulf 66, 164, 340, 429 Peru 97–8, 126, 162–3, 320, 387; silver 31, 132, 183–4 pessimism: and belief in turning points in history 287–9, 301, 311; natural pessimism of human nature 294–5; in nineteenth century 283–8; in twentieth century 281, 282, 288–91, 292–4, 296–308, 328–9; in twenty-first century 8–9, 17, 28, 281–2, 291–2, 308–311, 314–15; ubiquity of 280–85, 291–2, 294–7, 341, 352 pesticides 151–2, 154, 155, 336; DDT 297–8, 299; natural 298–9 Peto, Richard 298 Petty, Sir William 185, 199, 254, 256 pharmaceutical industry 260, 266 philanthropy 92, 105, 106, 295, 318–19, 356 Philip II, King of Spain 30–31 Philip II of Macedon 171 Philippines 61–2, 89, 234 Philistines 166, 170, 396 Phillips, Adam 103, 292 Phoenicians 166–70, 177 photography 114, 283, 386 physiocrats 42 pi, calculation of 173 pig farming 135, 145, 148, 197 Pinnacle Point, South Africa 52, 83 Pisa 115, 178 plagues 135, 176, 195–6, 197; forecasts of 280, 284, 307–310; see also Black Death plastics 237, 240, 270 Plate, River 186 platinum 213 Plato 292 Plautus 44 ploughing 129–30, 136, 145, 150, 195, 197, 198, 215 pneumonia 13, 353 Polanyi, Karl 164–5 polar bears 338–9 polio 261, 275, 310 political fragmentation 170–73, 180–81, 184, 185 pollution: effects on wildlife 17, 297, 299, 339; and industrialisation 218; pessimism about 293–4, 304–6; reduction in 17, 106, 148, 279, 293–4, 297, 299 polygamy 136 Pomeranz, Kenneth 201–2 Ponzi, Charles 29 Ponzi schemes 28–9 population control policies 202–4, 210–211 population growth: and food supply 139, 141, 143–4, 146–7, 192, 206, 208–9; global population totals 3, 12, 14, 191, 206, 332; and industrialisation 201–2; and innovation 252; pessimism about 190, 193, 202–3, 281, 290, 293, 300–302, 314; population explosions 8, 139, 141, 202, 206, 281; and specialisation 192–3, 351; see also birth rates; demographic transition; infant mortality; life expectancy porcelain 181, 183, 184–5, 225, 251 Porritt, Jonathan 314 Portugal 75, 183, 184, 317, 331 Post-it notes 261 Postrel, Virginia 290–91 potatoes 199 Potrykus, Ingo 154 pottery 77, 158, 159, 163, 168, 177, 225, 251 Pound, Ezra 289 poverty: and charitable giving 106; current levels 12, 15, 16–17, 41, 316, 353–4; and industrialisation 217–20; pessimism about 280, 290, 314–15; reduction in 12, 15, 16–17, 290; and self-sufficiency 42, 132, 200, 202, 226–7; solutions to 8, 187–8, 316–17, 322, 326–8, 353–4 Prebisch, Raul 187 preservatives (in food) 145 Presley, Elvis 110 Priestley, Joseph 256 printing: on paper 181, 251, 252, 253, 272; on textiles 225, 232 prisoner’s dilemma game 96 property rights 130, 223, 226, 320, 321, 323–5 protectionism 186–7, 226 Ptolemy III 171 Pusu-Ken (Assyrian merchant) 165–6 putting out system 226, 227, 230 pygmy people 54, 67 Pythagoras 171 Quarterly Review 284 quasars 275 Quesnay, François 42 racial segregation 108 racism 104, 415 radioactivity 293–4, 345 radios 264–5, 271 railways 252; and agriculture 139, 140–41; opposition to 283–4; speed of 283, 286; travel costs 23 rainforests 144, 149, 150, 240, 243, 250–51, 338 Rajan, Raghuram 317 Rajasthan 162, 164 Ramsay, Gordon 392 rape seed 240 Ratnagar, Shereen 162 ravens 69 Rawls, John 96 Read, Leonard 38 recession, economic 10, 28, 113, 311 reciprocity 57–9, 87, 95, 133 Red Sea 66, 82, 127, 170, 174, 177 Rees, Martin 294 Reformation 253 refrigeration 139 regress, technological 78–84, 125, 181–2, 197–200, 351, 380 Reiter, Paul 336, 428 religion 4, 104, 106, 170, 357, 358, 396; and population control 205, 207–8, 211; see also Buddhism; Christianity; Islam Rembrandt 116 Renaissance 196 research and development budgets, corporate 260, 262, 269 Research in Motion (company) 265 respiratory disease 18, 307, 310 restaurants 17, 37, 61, 254, 264 Rhine, River 265–6 rhinoceroses 2, 43, 51, 68, 73 Rhodes, Cecil 322 Ricardo, David 75, 169, 187, 193, 196, 249, 274 rice 32, 126, 143, 146–7, 153, 154, 156, 198 Rifkin, Jeremy 306 Riis, Jacob 16 Rio de Janeiro, UN conference (1992) 290 risk aversion 294–5 Rivers, W.H.R. 81 Rivoli, Pietra 220, 228 ‘robber-barons’ 23–4, 100, 265–6 Rockefeller, John D. 23, 281 Rocky Mountains 238 Rogers, Alex 340 Roman empire 161, 166, 172, 173–5, 184, 214, 215, 259–60, 357 Rome 158, 175 Romer, Paul 269, 276–7, 328, 354 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 109 Roosevelt, Theodore 288 Rosling, Hans 368 Rothschild, Nathan 89 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 43, 96, 104, 137 Royal Institution 221 rubber 220 rule of law 116–18, 325 Rumford, Benjamin Thompson, Count 221 rural to urban migration 158, 188–9, 210, 219–20, 226–7, 231, 406 Ruskin, John 104 Russia, post-Soviet 14; oil and gas production 31, 37; population decline 205 Russia, prehistoric 71, 73 Russia, Tsarist 216, 229, 324 Rwanda 14, 316 rye 124, 125, 199, 224, 286 Sachs, Jeffrey 208 Saddam Hussein 161 Sahel region 123, 334 Sahlins, Marshall 133, 135 Sahul (landmass) 66, 67 Salisbury, Wiltshire 194 Salk, Jonas 38, 261 salmon 297 Salmon, Cecil 142 saltpetre 140 Sanger, Frederick 412 Sanskrit 129 São Paulo 190, 315 Sargon of Akkad 164 SARS virus 307, 310 satellites 252, 253 satnav (satellite navigation systems) 268 Saudi Arabia 238 Saunders, Peter 102 Schumpeter, Joseph 113–14, 227, 260, 276, 302 science, and innovation 255–8, 412 Scientific American 280 Scotland 103, 199–200, 227, 263, 315 scrub jays 87 scurvy 14, 258 sea level, changes in 128, 314, 333–4 Seabright, Paul 93, 138 seals (for denoting property) 130 search engines 245, 256, 267 Second World War 289 segregation, racial 108 Seine, River 215 self-sufficiency 8, 33–5, 39, 82, 90, 133, 192, 193, 351; and poverty 41–2, 132, 200, 202, 226–7 selfishness 86, 87, 93–4, 96, 102, 103, 104, 106, 292 Sematech (non-profit consortium) 267–8 Sentinelese people 67 serendipity 257, 346 serfs 181–2, 222 serotonin 156, 294 sexism 104, 136 sexual division of labour 61–5, 136, 376 sexual reproduction 2, 6, 7, 45, 56, 271; of ideas 6–7, 270–72 Sforza, house of 184 Shady, Ruth 162 Shakespeare, William 2; The Merchant of Venice 101, 102 Shang dynasty 166 Shapiro, Carl 265 sheep 97, 176, 194, 197 Shell (corporation) 111 shellfish 52, 53, 62, 64, 79, 92, 93, 127, 163, 167 Shennan, Stephen 83, 133 Shermer, Michael 101, 106, 118 ship-building 185, 229; see also boat-building shipping, container 113, 253, 386 Shirky, Clay 356 Shiva, Vandana 156 Siberia 145 Sicily 171, 173, 178 Sidon 167, 170 Siemens, William 234 Sierra Leone 14, 316 Silesia 222 silicon chips 245, 263, 267–8 Silicon Valley 221–2, 224, 257, 258, 259, 268 silk 37, 46, 172, 175, 178, 179, 184, 187, 225 Silk Road 182 silver 31, 132, 164, 165, 167, 168, 169, 171, 177, 183–4, 213 Silver, Lee 122–3 Simon, Julian 83, 280, 303 Singapore 31, 160, 187 Skhul, Israel 53 slash-and-burn farming 87, 130 slave trade 167, 170, 177, 229, 319, 380; abolition 214, 221 slavery 34, 214–15, 216, 407; ancient Greece 171; hunter-gatherer societies 45, 92; Mesopotamia 160; Roman empire 174, 176, 214; United States 216, 228–9, 415; see also anti-slavery sleeping sickness 310, 319 Slovakia 136 smallpox 13, 14, 135, 310; vaccine 221 smelting 131–2, 160, 230 smiling 2, 94 Smith, Adam 8, 80, 96, 101, 104, 199, 249, 272, 350; Das Adam Smith Problem 93–4; Theory of Moral Sentiments 93; The Wealth of Nations vii, 37–8, 39, 56, 57, 93, 123, 236, 283 Smith, Vernon 9, 90, 192 smoke, indoor 13, 338, 342, 353, 429 smoking 297, 298 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act 186 soap 176, 215 social networking websites 262, 268, 356 socialism 106, 115, 357, 406 software, computer 99, 257, 272–3, 304, 356 solar energy 216, 243, 244 solar power 234–5, 238, 239, 245–6, 343, 344–5, 408 solar wind 346 solid-state electronics 257 Solomon, Robert 94 Solow, Robert 276 Somalia 14, 316, 337, 353 songbirds 55 Sony (corporation) 261 sorghum 126, 156 South Africa: agriculture 154; economy 316, 322; life expectancy 316; pre-historic 52, 53, 54, 83 South Korea 15, 31, 116–17, 187, 212, 322 South Sea Company 29 Southey, Robert 284–5 Soviet Union 16, 107, 109, 289, 299, 318, 324 soybeans 147, 148, 155, 156, 242 space travel 268–9, 275, 282 Spain: agriculture 129; climate 334; Franco regime 186, 289; Peruvian silver 30–31, 183–4; tariffs 222 spears 6, 43, 48, 50, 52, 70, 80, 81, 91 specialisation: by sex 61–5, 136, 376; and division of labour 7, 33, 38, 46, 61–5, 175; and exchange 7, 10, 33, 35, 37–8, 46, 56, 58, 75, 90, 132–3, 350–52, 355, 358–9; and innovation 56, 71–2, 73–4, 76–7, 119, 251; and population growth 192–3, 351; and rule of law 116, 117–18 speech 2, 55; see also language Spencer, Herbert 108 Spengler, Oswald 289 sperm counts 280, 293, 329 spice trade 167, 175, 176, 177, 179, 185 Spinoza, Baruch de 116 Sputnik 282 squashes (vegetables) 126, 163 Sri Lanka 35, 38, 66, 205, 208, 299 Stalin, Joseph 16, 262 stamp seals 130 Stangler, Dane 294 steam engines 126, 214, 221, 228, 231–2, 244, 256, 258, 270, 271, 413–14 steamships 139, 253, 283 Stein, Gil 159 Stein, Herb 281 stem-cell research 358 Stephenson, George 256, 412 Steptoe, Patrick 306 sterilisation, coerced 203–4 Stern (magazine) 304 Stern, Nicholas, Baron 330–31, 332, 425 Stiner, Mary 64, 69 storms 314, 333, 335 Strabo 174 string 70 strokes (cerebral accidents) 18 Strong, Maurice 311 Subramanian, Arvind 317 subsidies: farming 188, 328; renewable energy supplies 344 subsistence farming 87, 138, 175–6, 189, 192, 199–200 substantivism 164–5 suburbia 108, 110, 190 Sudan 316 suffrage, universal 107 sugar 179, 202, 215 sugar beet 243 sugar cane 240, 241, 242 Sun Microsystems (corporation) 259 Sunda (landmass) 66 sunflowers 126 Sungir, Russia 71, 73 superconductivity, high-temperature 257 Superior, Lake 131 supermarkets 36, 112, 148, 268, 292, 297 surfboards 273 Sussex 285 Swan, Sir Joseph 234, 272 Swaziland 14 Sweden 17, 184, 229, 305, 340, 344 Swift, Jonathan 121, 240 Switzerland 264 swords, Japanese 198–9 Sybaris 170–71 symbiosis 75, 351 synergy 6, 101 Syria 124, 130, 164, 174 Szilard, Leo 412 Tahiti 169 Taiwan 31, 187, 219, 322 Talheim, Germany 138 Tanzania 316, 325, 327–8; Hadza people 61, 63, 87 Tapscott, Don 262 Tarde, Gabriel 5 tariffs 185–7, 188, 222–3 taro (vegetable plant) 126 Tartessians 169 Tasman, Abel 80 Tasmania 78–81, 83–4 Tattersall, Ian 73 Taverne, Dick, Baron 103 taxation: carbon taxes 346; and charitable giving 319; and consumption 27; and declining birth rates 211; early development of 160; and housing 25; and innovation 255; and intergenerational transfer 30; Mauryan empire 172; Roman empire 184; United States 25 Taylor, Barbara 103 tea 181, 182, 183, 202, 327, 392 telegraph 252–3, 257, 272, 412 telephones 252, 261; charges 22–3, 253; mobile 37, 252, 257, 261, 265, 267, 297, 326–7 television 38, 234, 252, 268 Telford, Thomas 221 Tennessee Valley Authority 326 termites 75–6 terrorism 8, 28, 296, 358 Tesco (retail corporation) 112 Tesla, Nikola 234 text messaging 292, 356 Thailand 320, 322 Thales of Miletus 171 Thames, River 17 thermodynamics 3, 244, 256 Thiel, Peter 262 Thiele, Bob 349 Thoreau, Henry David 33, 190 3M (corporation) 261, 263 threshing 124, 125, 130, 153, 198; machines 139, 283 thumbs, opposable 4, 51–2 Thwaites, Thomas 34–5 Tiberius, Roman emperor 174, 259 tidal and wave power 246, 343, 344 Tierra del Fuego 45, 62, 81–2, 91–2, 137 tigers 146, 240 timber 167, 216, 229; trade 158, 159, 180, 202 time saving 7, 22–4, 34–5, 123 Timurid empire 161 tin 132, 165, 167, 168, 213, 223, 303 ‘tipping points’ 287–9, 290, 291, 293, 301–2, 311, 329 Tiwi people 81 Tokyo 190, 198 Tol, Richard 331 Tooby, John 57 tool making: early Homo sapiens 53, 70, 71; machine tools 211, 221; Mesopotamian 159, 160; Neanderthals 55, 71, 378; Palaeolithic hominids 2, 4, 7, 48–51; technological regress 80 Torres Strait islanders 63–4, 81 tortoises 64, 68, 69, 376 totalitarianism 104, 109, 181–2, 290 toucans 146 Toulouse 222 Townes, Charles 272 ‘toy trade’ 223 Toynbee, Arnold 102–3 tractors 140, 153, 242 trade: and agriculture 123, 126, 127–33, 159, 163–4; early human development of 70–75, 89–93, 133–4, 159–60, 165; female-centred 88–9; and industrialisation 224–6; and innovation 168, 171; and property rights 324–5; and trust 98–100, 103; and urbanisation 158–61, 163–4, 167; see also bartering; exchange; markets trade unions and guilds 113, 115, 223, 226 trademarks 264 traffic congestion 296 tragedy of the commons 203, 324 Trajan, Roman Emperor 161 transistors 271 transport costs 22, 23, 24, 37, 229, 230, 253, 297, 408 transport speeds 22, 252, 253, 270, 283–4, 286, 287, 296 trebuchets 275 Tressell, Robert 288 Trevithick, Richard 221, 256 Trippe, Juan 24 Trobriand islands 58 trust: between strangers 88–9, 93, 94–8, 104; and trade 98–100, 103, 104; within families 87–8, 89, 91 Tswana people 321, 322 tungsten 213 Turchin, Peter 182 Turkey 69, 130, 137 Turnbull, William (farm worker) 219 Turner, Adair, Baron 411 turning points in history, belief in 287–9, 290, 291, 293, 301–2, 311, 329 Tuscany 178 Tyneside 231 typhoid 14, 157, 310 typhus 14, 299, 310 Tyre 167, 168–9, 170, 328 Ubaid period 158–9, 160 Uganda 154, 187, 316 Ukraine 71, 129 Ulrich, Bernd 304 Ultimatum Game 86–7 unemployment 8, 28, 114, 186, 289, 296 United Nations (UN) 15, 40, 205, 206, 290, 402, 429 United States: affluence 12, 16–17, 113, 117; agriculture 139, 140–41, 142, 219–20; biofuel production 240, 241, 242; birth rates 211, 212; civil rights movement 108, 109; copyright and patent systems 265, 266; credit crunch (2008) 9, 28–9; energy use 239, 245; GDP, per capita 23, 31; Great Depression (1930s) 31, 109, 192; happiness 26–7; immigration 108, 199–200, 202, 259; income equality 18–19; industrialisation 219; life expectancy 298; New Deal 109; oil supplies 237–8; pollution levels 17, 279, 304–5; poverty 16–17, 315, 326; productivity 112–13, 117; property rights 323; rural to urban migration 219; slavery 216, 228–9, 415; tax system 25, 111, 241; trade 186, 201, 228 Upper Palaeolithic Revolution 73, 83, 235 urbanisation: and development of agriculture 128, 158–9, 163–4; global urban population totals 158, 189, 190; and population growth 209–210; and trade 158–61, 163–4, 167, 189–90; see also rural to urban migration Uruguay 186 Uruk, Mesopotamia 159–61, 216 vaccines 17, 287, 310; polio 261, 275; smallpox 221 Vandals 175 Vanderbilt, Cornelius 17, 23, 24 vCJD (mad-cow disease) 280, 308 Veblen, Thorstein 102 Veenhoven, Ruut 28 vegetarianism 83, 126, 147, 376 Venezuela 31, 61, 238 Venice 115, 178–9 venture capitalists 223, 258, 259 Veron, Charlie 339–40 Victoria, Lake 250 Victoria, Queen 322 Vienna exhibition (1873) 233–4 Vietnam 15, 183, 188 Vikings 176 violence: decline in 14, 106, 201; homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201; in pre-industrial societies 44–5, 136, 137–9; random 104 Visby, Gotland 180 vitamin A 353 vitamin C 258 vitamin D 129 Vivaldi, Antonio 115 Vladimir, Russia 71 Vogel, Orville 142 Vogelherd, Germany 70 voles 97 Voltaire 96, 103, 104, 256 Wagner, Charles 288 Wal-Mart (retail corporation) 21, 112–14, 263 Wales 132 Wall Street (film) 101 Walton, Sam 112–13, 263 Wambugu, Florence 154 war: in Africa 316; in hunter-gatherer societies 44–5; threat of nuclear war 280, 290, 299–300; twentieth-century world wars 289, 309; unilateral declarations of 104 water: contaminated 338, 353, 429; pricing of 148; supplies 147, 280, 281, 324, 334–5; see also droughts; irrigation water snakes 17 watermills 176, 194, 198, 215, 216–17, 234 Watson, Thomas 282 Watt, James 221, 244, 256, 271, 411, 413–14 wave and tidal power 246, 343, 344 weather forecasting 3, 4, 335 weather-related death rates 335–6 Wedgwood, Josiah 105, 114, 225, 256 Wedgwood, Sarah 105 weed control 145, 152 Weiss, George David 349 Weitzman, Martin 332–3 Welch, Jack 261 welfare benefits 16, 106 Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of 89 Wells, H.G. 65, 313, 352, 354 West Germany 289–90 West Indies 202, 216, 310 Western Union (company) 261 Westinghouse, George 234 whales 6, 281, 302 whaling 87, 185, 281 wheat 42, 71, 124, 125, 129, 139, 140, 146–7, 149, 153, 156, 158, 161, 167, 300–301; new varieties 141–3 Wheeler, Sir Mortimer 162 wheels, invention of 176, 274 Whitehead, Alfred North 255 Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) 99, 115, 273, 356 Wilberforce, William 105, 214 Wilder, Thornton 359 wilderness land, expansion of 144, 147, 148, 239, 337–8, 347, 359 wildlife conservation 324, 329 William III, King 223 Williams, Anthony 262 Williams, Joseph 254 Williams, Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury 102 Wilson, Bart 90, 324 Wilson, E.O. 243, 293 Wiltshire 194 wind power 239, 246, 343–4, 346, 408 wolves 87, 137 women’s liberation 108–9 wool 37, 149, 158, 167, 178, 179, 194, 224 working conditions, improvements in 106–7, 114, 115, 188, 219–20, 227, 285 World Bank 117, 203, 317 World Health Organisation 336–7, 421 World Wide Web 273, 356 World3 (computer model) 302–3 Wrangham, Richard 59, 60 Wright brothers 261, 264 Wright, Robert 101, 175 Wrigley, Tony 231 Y2K computer bug 280, 290, 341 Yahgan Indians 62 Yahoo (corporation) 268 Yangtze river 181, 199, 230 Yeats, W.B. 289 yellow fever 310 Yellow river 161, 167 Yemen 207, 209 Yir Yoront aborigines 90–91 Yong-Le, Chinese emperor 183, 184, 185 Yorkshire 285 Young, Allyn 276 young people, pessimism about 292 Young, Thomas 221 Younger Dryas (climatic period) 125 Yucatan 335 Zak, Paul 94–5, 97 Zambia 28, 154, 316, 317, 318, 331 zero, invention of 173, 251 zero-sum thinking 101 Zimbabwe 14, 28, 117, 302, 316 zinc 213, 303 Zuckerberg, Mark 262 Acknowledgements It is one of the central arguments of this book that the special feature of human intelligence is that it is collective, not individual – thanks to the invention of exchange and specialisation.


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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deglobalization, diversification, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, iterative process, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, pension reform, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

They had also reformed their currency by creating what was arguably the world’s first central bank, the Amsterdam Exchange Bank (Wisselbank), which solved the problem of debased coinage by creating a reliable form of bank money (see Chapter 1). But perhaps the single greatest Dutch invention of all was the joint-stock company. The story of the company had begun a century before Law’s arrival and had its origins in the efforts of Dutch merchants to wrest control of the lucrative Asian spice trade from Portugal and Spain. Europeans craved spices like cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg and pepper not merely to flavour their food but also to preserve it. For centuries, these commodities had come overland from Asia to Europe along the Spice Road. But with the Portuguese discovery of the sea route to the East Indies via the Cape of Good Hope, new and irresistibly attractive business opportunities opened up.


pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, life extension, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open borders, out of africa, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

THE AGE OF EXPLORATiON Gunpowder Expeditions Only decades after the Ming rulers terminated Zhang He's great voyages, the increasingly lucrative seafaring trade from Europe helped to fund exploratory journeys across the Atlantic. Bankers and merchants derived financial rewards from Portuguese contact with and increasing control of gold-and slave-trading West African ports, and the idea of finding the source of the spice trade was sufficiently enticing for some to fund open-ended voyages.4 Christopher Columbus's discovery that there was gold in the Americas and the suggestion that indigenous people could be evangelized encouraged the support of both Church and State for continued European journeys. Less than thirty years after Columbus's voyage, Hernán Cortés led an expedition into the Mexican highlands to bring about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec civilization.


pages: 404 words: 131,034

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, germ theory of disease, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, spice trade, Tunguska event

It is hardly anything at all. On the other hand, suppose our time traveler had persuaded Queen Isabella that Columbus’ geography was faulty, that from Eratosthenes’ estimate of the circumference of the Earth, Columbus could never reach Asia. Almost certainly some other European would have come along within a few decades and sailed west to the New World. Improvements in navigation, the lure of the spice trade and competition among rival European powers made the discovery of America around 1500 more or less inevitable. Of course, there would today be no nation of Colombia, or District of Columbia or Columbus, Ohio, or Columbia University in the Americas. But the overall course of history might have turned out more or less the same. In order to affect the future profoundly, a time traveler would probably have to intervene in a number of carefully chosen events, to change the weave of history.


pages: 537 words: 135,099

The Rough Guide to Amsterdam by Martin Dunford, Phil Lee, Karoline Thomas

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banking crisis, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spice trade, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, young professional

Due to the popularity of the Anne Frank Huis, the queues can be on the long side; try to come early or late to avoid the crush – or book a slot online and skip the queue altogether. The Grachtengordel | Grachtengordel west | The Anne Frank Huis | The story of Anne Frank The story of Anne, author of The Diary of a Young Girl, her sister, parents and their friends, is well known. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, was a well-to-do Jewish businessman who fled Germany in December 1933 after Hitler came to power, moving to Amsterdam, where he established a spice-trading business on the Prinsengracht. After the German occupation of the Netherlands, Otto – along with many other Jews – felt he could avoid trouble by keeping his head down. However, by 1942 it was clear that this would not be possible; Amsterdam’s Jews were isolated and conspicuous, confined to certain parts of the city and forced to wear a yellow star, and roundups were increasingly common. In desperation, Otto Frank decided to move the family into the unused back rooms of their Prinsengracht premises, first asking some of his Dutch office staff if they would help him with the subterfuge – they bravely agreed.


pages: 331 words: 60,536

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income

Mandeville conveys delightful and often fanciful details about life around the globe, including the suggestion that many Ethiopians have only one foot: "[T]he foot is so large that it shadoweth all the body against the sun when they will lie and rest them." 3 Clearly, few of Mandeville's contemporaries who read his popular story were likely to have known that his Ethiopian "Bigfoot" did not exist. Not until the modern age began with the journeys of exploration at the very end of the fifteenth century were there sustained contacts between the continents. Intrepid captains like Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama who set out to capture the spice trade were extraordinary enough to be remembered in every literate household for the better part of five centuries. From the advent of farming until recent generations, life was characterized by its immobility. This is all but forgotten today, particularly in the European settlement colonies of the "New World," where movement is more fluid and everyone tends to draw his perspective from the vantage point of an immigrant.


pages: 1,249 words: 207,227

The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread-From Every Kind of Machine by Beth Hensperger

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back-to-the-land, Louis Pasteur, Silicon Valley, spice trade

Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack. The Baker’s Glossary of Sugars and Other Sweeteners Sugar has been a coveted ingredient for centuries. Sugarcane is native to the South Pacific island of New Guinea, from there it spread to India, and then to the Middle East with the mariner spice trade. The ever ingenious Arabian apothecaries were the first to refine sugar in 700 A.D. It was then shipped to Venice, and the wealthy and the royal had an alternative sweetener to honey. It became an important ingredient in chocolate and coffee drinks in the coffeehouse explosion of the 1600s and has been popular ever since. Ordinary sugar is pure sucrose and is the most common sweetener in baking.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

It seized a worldwide monopoly of cinnamon at gunpoint, later adding coffee, cloves, and nutmeg to its portfolio. Like the Big Three, however, it grew fat and sluggish on its profits, gradually ceding market share to the nimbler, more aggressive English East India Company—the Toyota of its day. The Amsterdam exchange made markets in 360 commodities, none of which were tulips. Fueled by the gross margins of the spice trades, bulb auctions devolved into speculative frenzies. At the peak of tulipomania in the 1630s, a single bulb could fetch a row house along Amsterdam’s canals. The tulip bubble set the pattern for all that followed—from the South Seas Bubble in 1720 to the railroad bust of 1847 and on through the Roaring Twenties and subsequent Depression. Every bubble, at its core, was a bet on greater global integration—whether by trade or trains or effervescent auto and radio stocks.


pages: 650 words: 203,191

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin

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agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade

By the 1550s they had some fifty forts from Sofala in Mozambique to Macao in southern China, and ‘Golden Goa’ had become the capital of their Estado da India. The Estado was neither a territorial nor a commercial empire. In part it was an attempt to force a monopoly over the trade in pepper, the most lucrative spice exported to Europe. But the Portuguese lacked the power to do this, and much of the spice trade remained outside their control.7 Instead, the Estado became a system for extorting protection money from the seaborne trade between South East Asia, western India, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Asian merchants had to buy a cartaz or safe conduct at one of the Portuguese ‘factories’ – Goa, Diu or Hormuz – or run the risk of plunder by the Estado’s sea captains. In the Indian Ocean, after a crushing victory over the Egyptian navy at Diu, the Estado met no serious opposition, although it was not strong enough to block the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and rule the Red Sea.


pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

As the great cubes of Portland stone began to be shipped from the Dorset quarries for Wren’s buildings, so there was an even more urgent sort of construction taking place: ship building. While London had struggled with the plague and then with the fire, Charles II and his ministers had sent England to war. As London buried its dead, the admirals and sea generals fought the Dutch. They fought them in the Far East over possessions and the lucrative spice trades. They fought them off West Africa as trade was used to grab possessions. At home, they fought them off Lowestoft with a victory down to English artillerymen rather than good sea tactics. In June 1666 when the Dutch and British fleets engaged off North Foreland, the sound of battle reached London. This time the Dutch were the victors but within two months the fleet was refitted, put to sea and triumphed.


pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus

Senior Mamluks bought the loyalty of junior recruits, who then expected their patrons to reward them through their ability to extract rents from the state or from the civilian population. The sultan was simply the first among equals; several had been assassinated or removed by Mamluk cliques, and all of the later sultans had to watch their backs for conspiracies. In addition to political instability, the regime faced a fiscal crisis in the late fifteenth century. As a result of disruption of the spice trade by Portuguese naval primacy in the Indian Ocean, the sultan’s revenues began to decline toward the end of the fourteenth century and he turned to increasingly higher rates of taxation. This then compelled economic agents—farmers, traders, and craftsmen—to hone their skills in hiding assets and evading taxes. The civilian bureaucrats who administered the tax system lowered tax rates in return for kickbacks; the result was that higher attempted tax rates yielded lower actual levels of tax revenues.


Bali & Lombok Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, first-past-the-post, global village, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, spice trade, sustainable-tourism

At that time, Balinese prosperity and artistic activity, at least among the royalty, was at a peak, and the king who befriended de Houtman had 200 wives and a chariot pulled by two white buffalo, not to mention a retinue of 50 dwarfs, whose bodies had been bent to resemble the handle of a kris (traditional dagger). By the early 1600s, the Dutch had established trade treaties with Javanese princes and controlled much of the spice trade, but they were interested in profit, not culture, and barely gave Bali a second glance. In 1710, the 'capital' of the Gelgel kingdom was shifted to nearby Klungkung (now called Semarapura), but local discontent was growing; lesser rulers were breaking away, and the Dutch began to move in, using the old strategy of divide and conquer. In 1846, the Dutch used Balinese salvage claims over shipwrecks as a pretext to land military forces in northern Bali, bringing the kingdoms of Buleleng and Jembrana under their control.


pages: 1,364 words: 272,257

Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag-Montefiore

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, California gold rush, Etonian, facts on the ground, haute couture, Khartoum Gordon, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spice trade, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, Yom Kippur War

This Idumean potentate* was the future. His son would become King Herod. Their talented and depraved family would dominate Jerusalem for over a century and essentially create the Temple Mount and Western Wall as they are today. Antipater helped Hyrcanus flee to Petra, the 'rose red city half as old as time', the Nabataean Arab capital. King Aretas (Harith in Arabic), fabulously rich from the Indian spice trade and related to Antipater's Arab wife, helped them defeat King Aristobulos, who fled back to Jerusalem. The Arab king gave chase, besieging Aristobulos in the fortified Temple Mount. But all this sound and fury signified nothing, because to the north Pompey was setting up headquarters in Damascus. Gnaeus Pompeius, the most powerful man in Rome, was a maverick commander who without official position had led his private army to victory in the Roman civil wars in Italy, Sicily and North Africa.


pages: 1,088 words: 297,362

The London Compendium by Ed Glinert

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1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, Nick Leeson, price stability, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket

Every 17 October the Lion Sermon is read, commemorating the deliverance of Sir John Gayer, Lord Mayor of London in 1646, from a lion in the Arabian desert. south side: Fenchurch Street to Gracechurch Street East India House, junction with Lime Street The East India Company, which became the City’s most powerful company, was established here in 1600 to challenge the Dutch–Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade in the Orient, and gained its first foothold in the East some ten years later when it seized control of the nutmeg-producing island of Puloroon, a feat that so impressed James I that, on hearing the news, he styled himself ‘King of England, Scotland, Ireland, France… and Puloroon’. After tussling with the Dutch, Portuguese and French for control of trade routes in the area over the next 100 years, the company began to establish itself as a major force, opening up Hong Kong and Singapore to the West, introducing tea to Britain, spices to the West Indies, opium to China, porcelain to Russia and coffee to Arabia and establishing trading posts in Madras and Calcutta.


pages: 1,072 words: 297,437

Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

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agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, illegal immigration, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, new economy, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, surplus humans, the market place, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Their instructions were to discover whatever they could of Prester John, East Africa, and the route to India and report back to the king. The intelligence clearly would have been helpful to Portugal's seaborne expeditions. The two agents travelled safely through Alexandria, Cairo and Suez to Aden, where they parted. Paiva crossed the Red Sea en route back to Portugal while Covilhã sailed to India, where he collected details of the spice trade before taking a ship to Sofala on the East African coast. Believing that Paiva had by then returned to Portugal, Covilhã too began to make his way home. In Cairo he was contacted by two Jewish agents of King John who told him that Paiva had failed to reach Portugal and was believed to be dead. Covilhã sent one of the agents back to Portugal with his report on India and East Africa, and returned to Aden with the other.


pages: 2,020 words: 267,411

Lonely Planet Morocco (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Paul Clammer, Paula Hardy

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air freight, Airbnb, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, illegal immigration, place-making, Skype, spice trade, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

Traditional Life The varied terrain may inform your dreams, but it shapes the very lives of Morocco’s Berbers, Arabs and Saharawis. Despite encroaching modernity, with motorways joining mosques and kasbahs as features of the landscape, Moroccan people remain closely connected to the environment. Nomadic southern ‘Blue Men’ brave the desert’s burning expanses in robes and turbans, mobile phones in hand. Traditional life continues – with tweaks – in the techniques of Berber carpet makers, in date cooperatives, in medina spice trading, and in the lifestyles in mountain hamlets and ports like Essaouira. Moroccan Activities Meeting the Moroccan people involves nothing more than sitting in a cafe and waiting for your mint tea to brew. The trick is to leave enough time to watch the world go by with the locals when there’s so much else to fit in: hiking up North Africa’s highest peak, learning to roll couscous, camel trekking, shopping in the souqs, getting lost in the medina, and sweating in the hammam.


pages: 1,020 words: 339,564

The confusion by Neal Stephenson

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correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, out of africa, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, spice trade, urban planning, web of trust

“Of all the enterprises to which a man can devote his energies,” van Hoek began grudgingly, raising his voice, “long-distance trade is the most profitable. It is what every Jew, Puritan, Dutchman, Huguenot, Armenian, and Banyan aspires to—it is what built the Navies and palaces of Europe, the Court of the Great Mogul in Shahjahanabad, and many other prodigies besides. And yet in the world of trade, it is common knowledge that no circuit—not the slave trade of the Caribbean, not the spice trade of the Indies—exceeds the Manila-to-Acapulco run in sheer profit. The wealthiest Banyans in Surat and bankers in Genoa lay their perfumed heads on silken pillows at night, and dream of sending a few bales of cargo across the Pacific on the Manila Galleon. Even with all the dangers, and the swingeing duty that must be shelled out to the Viceroy, the profits never fall below four hundred percent.


Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

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active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, large denomination, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Meanwhile, the influential trading kingdoms of Melaka (on the Malay peninsula) and Makassar (in southern Sulawesi) were also embracing Islam, sowing the seeds that would later make modern Indonesia the most populous Muslim nation on earth. European Expansion Melaka fell to the Portuguese in 1511 and European eyes were soon settling on the archipelago’s riches, prompting two centuries of unrest as the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and British wrestled for control. By 1700 the Dutch held most of the trump cards, with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) controlling the region’s lucrative spice trade and becoming the world’s first multinational company. Following the VOC’s bankruptcy, however, the British governed Java under Sir Stamford Raffles between 1811 and 1816, only to relinquish control again to the Dutch after the end of the Napoleonic wars, who then held control of Indonesia until its independence 129 years later. It was not, however, a trouble-free tenancy and the Dutch had to face numerous rebellions: Javan Prince Diponegoro’s five-year guerrilla war was finally put down in 1830, costing the lives of 8000 Dutch troops.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

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biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

Food Marketing Institute (“Dinnertime USA,” and “The Food Keeper,” developed in cooperation with the Cornell University Institute of Food Science, Cornell Cooperative Extension). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (Louise A. Berner, “Heterocyclic Amines in Foods and Their Implications to Health: A Special Report of Current Status”). Soap and Detergent Association (“Understanding Automatic Dishwashing” and “Automatic Dishwashing Procedures”). American Spice Trade Association (“Spice Questions Consumers Often Ask”). Tea Council of the U.S.A. I have also relied on many exceptionally well-informed books, notably: M. R. Adams and M. O. Moss, Food Microbiology (Royal Society of Chemistry, 1995; Ronald M. Atlas, Microorganisms in Our World (Mosby, 1994); Janet Baily, Keeping Food Fresh (Doubleday, 1985); Paul D. Ellner and Harold C. Neu, Understanding Infectious Disease (Mosby, 1992); Stanley Gershoff, with Catherine Whitney and the editorial advisory board of the Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter, The Tufts University Guide to Total Nutrition (HarperCollins, 1996); Julie Miller Jones, Food Safety (Eagan Press, 1992); Corby Kummer, The Joy of Coffee (Houghton Mifflin, 1995); Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking (Macmillan, 1984) and The Curious Cook (Macmillan, 1990); Jack Murdich, Buying Produce: A Greengrocer’s Guide to Selecting and Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Hearst, 1986); James Peterson, Fish and Shellfish: The Cook’s Indispensable Companion (Morrow, 1996); Jancis Robinson, Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course (Abbeville Press, 1996); Joel, David, and Karl Schapira, The Book of Coffee and Tea, (St.