Interconnected synchronicities: the production of Bombay and Glasgow as modern global ports c.1850–1880.
Journal of Global History, 4(1) pp. 7–31.
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Cain and Hopkins' influential theory of British imperialism opted for a metropolitan-based model of explanation, rooted in the interests of a City-of-London-based class of ‘gentlemanly capitalists’, and discounting in the process events and experiences in the colonies and the significance of industrialization. By focusing on the simultaneous emergence of Bombay and Glasgow as modern, global ports in the second half of the nineteenth century, this article argues, in diametrical opposition, for a fresh perspective on the relationship between metropole and periphery, based on the concept of ‘interconnected synchronicity‘. This proposes that ‘imperial’ causation be viewed, at least from this period, as occurring in both arenas, based on a set of related and mutually transformative processes generated by the ‘globalizing’, commodity-driven imperatives of industrial capitalism.
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