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142440605
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1918 edition. Excerpt: ... chapter xxi introduction While we have already found some instances of quite remarkable commercial expansion in certain progressive countries, the commercial development of the world as a whole was comparatively slow up to the beginning of the Age of Steam. Of course all statistics of world trade prior to about 1840 are largely guesswork, but a sufficiently close approximation can be given to show fairly well the progress already made. It has been estimated that the total international trade of the commercial countries of the world in 1750 was about $250,000,000, which was 100 % greater than in 1700. During the next fifty years there was nearly a sixfold increase, but this brought the total up to only 1.4 billions in 1800, a mere bagatelle compared with present figures. During the remainder of the Age of Steam, however, the growth was very great, bringing the total up to 10.6 billions in 1870. Per capita trade did not increase as rapidly as total trade, but it rose from $2.31 in 1800 to $8.14 in 1870. Moreover, it must be remembered that these figures include all the backward nations. As we shall see in subsequent chapters, the development of the more progressive nations was much more rapid than the average growth. This rapid growth of international trade was caused largely (1) by numerous technical improvements in manufacturing, (2) by great developments in the means of transportation and communication. The chief basis of all the most important technical progress in manufactures and transportation was the increased production and use of coal. In 1800 the world mined 11,600,000 tons; in 1870, 230,400,000. Moreover, the improvements in the steam engine were so great that each ton of coal could produce about three times as much steam power...
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