On Wednesday 17th April, Manchester University was given the pleasure of listening to Boston College’s Dr. Prasannan Parthasarathi give a talk about his new publication, entitled Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not.
In his lecture, Dr. Parthasarathi explains that a lot of the economic divergence literature between these two sections of the Eurasian landmass has been dominated by China, but with the rise of the Indian economy in the twenty-first century, an interest in South Asia has risen in scholarship.
Mughal India was one of the world’s great civilisations, on par with Ming China, and Dr. Parthasarathi provided a wealth of evidence for proto-industrial culture in fifteenth and sixteenth century India. He largely attributes the rise of Britain to improvements within mechanisation and industry, particularly in speeding up the process of cotton spinning, while attributing the fall of India to their economic exploitation under Britain’s East India Company.
Though perhaps not convincing our staff with all his points, his book provides a valuable and interesting contribution to this ever important field of explaining the wealth reversal of Eurasia.