The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World

24 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2010

See all articles by Jan De Vries

Jan De Vries

University of California, Berkeley


This article reviews the ways in which historians and economists have applied the term ‘globalization’ to the early modern era. It distinguishes a soft and a hard definition, and goes on to test the claims made about the driving forces shaping the growth and character of long-distance trade between Europe and Asia in the age of the European trading companies. On the basis of new estimates of the volume and value of European trade with Asia, the article concludes by identifying the factors limiting the growth of trade in this period.

Suggested Citation

De Vries, Jan, The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World. The Economic History Review, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 710-733, August 2010, Available at SSRN: or

Jan De Vries (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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