Economic Growth In The 18th Century

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Chapter 15: Why was northwestern Europe the center of economic growth in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?
Northwestern Europe experienced strong economic growth for the following reasons: Population growth, increased agriculture productivity, enhanced trade and manufacturing practices and colonial expansion to other countries/continents. France and Britain opened up profitable trading routes to the Americas and the Caribbean. The political shift was from expansionism to international trade.
Population growth - There was a steady migration from the countryside to the city, and from small towns into very large cities. Larger cities were concentrated in northwestern Europe and population growth was huge in the largest cities, notably
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The amount of silver coming from Bolivian mines far exceeded the combined production of all European silver mines. The Dutch pushed into the Indian Ocean and on to the Pacific, bringing back exotic spices, tea, coffee, sugar, corn (maize), and tobacco for eager European consumers.
Chapter 17: What was the Enlightenment, and what role did the scientific revolution play in its creation?
The Enlightenment period in the 18th century was, first, the questioning by the educated class of traditional social values and practices ranging from law and punishment to education to the role of religion in government. This questioning led to the idea that human reasoning based on evidence could solve social and cultural issues more effectively than continuing a reliance on old practices and dogma. A good deal of Enlightenment work was translating, re-interpreting and publishing 17th century works by 17th century intellectuals like John Locke and Isaac Newton.
Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire and Beccaria focused more on solving practical social and cultural issues than on theoretical ideas. The thinkers organized available knowledge and developed new laws and social ideas like providing better access to education for the lower classes. These ideas were published for the masses to
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The elite chafed at the tyrannical rule of the monarchy and attempted to bring about social progress through peaceful means like changes to the law. The explosion of the French population and food shortages for the lower classes created famine conditions, exacerbated by the lavish lifestyles enjoyed by the upper class and royals. The lack of social mobility within French society crushed the hopes of millions of French commoners for a better life. Finally, the constant war with other countries drained away financial resources that were desperately needed at home for domestic

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