Das Abdriften Südosteuropas vom Dominierenden Europäischen Entwicklungsweg seit dem 11. Jahrhundert

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Karl Kaser


The object of the present survey is to investigate when and why the once
dominant south of Europe gave way and came to be dominated by the north. 

The question also arises of when the south-eastern part of the continent began
to lag behind the rest. The author broadly discusses the theories of Fernand
Braudel and Immanuel Wallerstein.
The basic conclusion reached is that until the eleventh century, the Byzantine
Empire, which also sheltered south-eastern Europe, was in many
ways the most developed area of the whole of Europe. The south-north divide,
however, did not have a negative influence on the northern parts of the continent,
because economic relations between the Byzantine Empire and northern
Europe were not strong. International European and internal Byzantine
developments were the determining factors in the north’s gradual coming
to supremacy. Venice, and later Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London, became
the new centres of development, and while the Byzantine Empire was losing
its position as a world power, the “European world economy” was coming
into being (Braudel, Wallerstein). Only the coastal regions of south-eastern
Europe were integrated into this new economic development, not the inland
areas, and south-eastern Europe was therefore left behind by the developing
dominant Europe. The results of these different rates of development were
not evident until the sixteenth century, but the basic structures began to arise
in the eleventh century.

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