Guns & Sails in the Early Phase of European Expansion1400-1700
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Guns & Sails miniture

Guns & Sails

in the Early Phase of European Expansion


by Carlo M. Cipolla

First published 1965 by Collins, London

A blue cloth bound book in Very Good condition. The top edge of the page block dyed matching blue and a few of the page edges show signs of foxing beginning. In a Very Good condition unclipped dust wrapper


The expansion of Europe has dominated four centuries of the world's history. The disappearance in the last twenty years of the great colonial empires seems to mark the end of a long and remarkable period. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is why it ever took place at all. We have come to tike the superiority of the Western world so much for granted in all the arts and sciences of life, and above all in military and political matters, that we forget that throughout the middle ages Europe was not stronger than her neighbours but weaker: not reaching after fresh conquests, but almost consistently on the defensive.
What brought about this sudden and tremendous change in the history of Europe and the world? It was, Professor Cipolla argues in this lucid, witty and original work, the simultaneous technological development of guns and sailing ships, and the fusing of the two into a weapon that swept all before it—the gun-carrying ocean-going sailing ship. Flow, why, where, when and by whom were these developments achieved? This brief and fascinating study sheds brilliant light on a subject which ranges from bell-casting to Jesuit missions, from the weald of Sussex to the Imperial Court of China. With a deceptive lightness of touch Professor Cipolla has made in this book a notable contribution to economic history. He shows how the resources of capital and skilled labour were deployed to make the most of the new advances that were to shape four hundred years of history and to cast their shadow over the world we know to-day.

The author

Carlo M. Cipolla was born at Pavia in 1922. In 1944 he graduated from the University of Pavia with a thesis on the History of Farming in the Po valley. From 1946 to 1949 he studied in Paris and London. Since 1949 he has lectured on Economic History at many universities in Belgium, England, France, Italy, Sweden and the U.S.A. At present he is Professor of Economic History both at the University of Pavia and at the University of California (Berkeley). He is also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Turin, where he held the Chair of Economic History until this year.
Among his books and articles in various languages his English publications include Money, Prices and Civilization (Princeton 1957) and The Economic History of World Population (Penguin Books, 1962).


i The European Scene
ii Guns and Sails Overseas

List of Illustrations

The gun of the Millimete manuscript
The Florentine manuscript
Mons Meg
The Dardanelles guns
A Moghul gun
Tudor guns
The foundries at Julita
The Vasa
Eighteenth-century cannon merchants
A Swedish field-piece
The embarkation of Henry VIII
Mediterranean and Atlantic views of naval warfare
Chinese guns
A Chinese war junk
An Elizabethan warship
A Chinese dream

Guns & Sails DWSpine
Guns & Sails front
Guns and sails book spine


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