The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Development

by Adam Szirmai,





CHAPTER 2: Development of the International Economical Order, 1450-2015

The differences in income levels, which characterise the present-day international economic order, are not self-evident. In the past these differences used to be much smaller. Around 1450 by far the greater part of world population was employed in agriculture. Although some countries were richer than others, most people across the world lived close to subsistence levels. The distribution of world income by region was relatively equal. In the long run, growth accelerated in one part of the world, while the disparity of income levels increased dramatically. Chapter 2 of the book offers a rough outline of the history of European expansion and the development of the international economic order associated with this process of expansion.

Two tables in this chapter contain quantitative estimates of the Atlantic slave trade.

List of Tables



2.1: Slave Imports into America, 1500-1870


2.2: Slave exports from Africa to the Americas, by region of origin; 1500‑1870

Part of Paolo Forlani’s world map of 1571



copyright © 2004: Adam Szirmai - design: Rik Luiten - last update: 03/02/2015