A Singular Case: Debating China's Political Economy in the European Enlightenment by Ashley Eva MillarA Singular Case: Debating China's Political Economy in the European Enlightenment by Ashley Eva Millar

A Singular Case: Debating China's Political Economy in the European Enlightenment

byAshley Eva Millar

Paperback | March 22, 2017

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China held a unique place in European thought during the eighteenth century. Considered a relatively unknown but advanced agrarian and commercial civilization, the Chinese Empire represented the apex of an economic system that was only beginning to be supplanted. Europeans did not assume their superiority and were drawn to study the nature and organization of China's economy. Analyzing the writings of early modern European travellers, missionaries, merchants, geographers, and philosophers, including Charles de Secondat, Denis Diderot, David Hume, François Quesnay, Abbé Raynal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, and Voltaire, A Singular Case evaluates the circulation of information about the Chinese political economy that fed European imaginations. Ashley Millar examines perceptions of China's science, technology, and moral and behavioural foundations, foreign trade policies, and the form and function of China's government in order to question the extent to which consensus emerged on China's successes and failures and to assess how knowledge of the Chinese system influenced the Enlightenment Shedding light on contemporary debates on the rise of the west and the Great Divergence from a historical vantage point, A Singular Case offers striking observations on Western views of early modern China.
Ashley Eva Millar is a research associate in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town.
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Title:A Singular Case: Debating China's Political Economy in the European EnlightenmentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:March 22, 2017Publisher:McGill-Queen's University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0773549188

ISBN - 13:9780773549180

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Editorial Reviews

"Given the breadth of its coverage and the author's encyclopedic knowledge, this comprehensive account of English and French perceptions of China in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will become a standard work in the field." Robert Markley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign