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The Politics of Backwardness in Continental Europe, 1780-1945

Andrew C. Janos
World Politics
Vol. 41, No. 3 (Apr., 1989), pp. 325-358
DOI: 10.2307/2010503
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2010503
Page Count: 34
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The Politics of Backwardness in Continental Europe, 1780-1945
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Abstract

Between the late eighteenth century and 1945, the economic and political differentiation of the European continent has followed a neatly regressive geographical pattern. The origin of this pattern goes back to the agricultural revolutions of the early modern age, and to the diffusion of agricultural technology along the Northwest-Southeast axis. It was subsequently reproduced by both market and political forces operating within the context of material aspirations, themselves the product of the economic revolutions of the Northwest. The experience suggests a potential model for peripheral societies in the Third World, though the relevance of the historical analogy may be limited by currently unfolding changes in the nature of technology and in the terms of exchange between core and peripheral regions in the contemporary world.

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