Professor of History, University of Rochester
“Mercantilist European States and Market Development in the Atlantic World: Western Africa, 1450-1900”
February 21, 2017 | 5pm-6:30pm | SSRB 122 (1126 E. 59th Street)
From the last centuries of the first millennium C.E. to the mid-centuries of the second, the pace of market development in societies still dominated by non-market oriented production in Western Europe and Western Africa began to increase. The main drivers of the development were population growth and international/inter-continental trade. The Americas were isolated from these early market processes; hence, they had the lowest level of market development in the Atlantic World by the mid-fifteenth century. But, by the mid-nineteenth century, the Americas had achieved a much higher level of market development than Western Africa that now had the lowest level of market development in the Atlantic World. The main focus of this lecture is to show the role of European mercantilist states in this reversal of fortune between Western Africa and the Americas.
JOSEPH E. INIKORI is Professor of History, University of Rochester. He was previously Chairman of the Department of History, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. One of the pioneers of Atlantic World history, he has published extensively on Atlantic World economic history. His most recent book in the field, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A Study in International Trade and Economic Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), won the 2003 American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award for “the most outstanding work in English on any aspect of the field of 17th- and 18th-century western European history,” and also the 2003 African Studies Association’s Herskovits Award. The book has been entered in the American Council of Learned Societies Ebook Project “dedicated to selecting and creating an electronic collection of important scholarly monographs that are expected to have continuing relevance in the field of history.”