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The Modern World-System IV

The Modern World-System IV: Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789–1914

Immanuel Wallerstein
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 396
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  • Book Info
    The Modern World-System IV
    Book Description:

    Immanuel Wallerstein's highly influential, multi-volume opus,The Modern World-System,is one of this century's greatest works of social science. An innovative, panoramic reinterpretation of global history, it traces the emergence and development of the modern world from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. This new volume encompasses the nineteenth century from the revolutionary era of 1789 to the First World War. In this crucial period, three great ideologies-conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism-emerged in response to the worldwide cultural transformation that came about when the French Revolution legitimized the sovereignty of the people. Wallerstein tells how capitalists, and Great Britain, brought relative order to the world and how liberalism triumphed as the dominant ideology.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94860-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-ix)
    (pp. xi-xvii)
  5. 1 Centrist Liberalism as Ideology
    (pp. 1-19)

    In 1815, the most important new political reality for Great Britain, France, and the world-system was the fact that, in the spirit of the times, political change had become normal. “With the French Revolution, parliamentary reform became a doctrine as distinct from an expedient” (White, 1973, 73). Furthermore, the locus of sovereignty had shifted in the minds of more and more persons from the monarch or even the legislature to something much more elusive, the “people” (Billington, 1980, 160–166; also 57–71). These were undoubtedly the principal geocultural legacies of the revolutionary-Napoleonic period. Consequently, the fundamental political problem that...

  6. 2 Constructing the Liberal State, 1815–1830
    (pp. 21-75)

    Great Britain and France fought a long battle for hegemony within the capitalist world-economy from 1651 to 1815.¹ It was only in 1815 that Great Britain at last won its definitive victory. At once, and with a celerity that is remarkable, the two countries entered into a tacit but very profound alliance in the effort to institutionalize a new political model for states located in the core zones (or aspiring to locate there). This model was that of the liberal state, which was a key element in the legitimation of the capitalist world-economy in the era of popular sovereignty.


  7. 3 The Liberal State and Class Conflict, 1830–1875
    (pp. 77-141)

    During the first half of the nineteenth century, socialism as a concept was still not separate from “bourgeois democracy” as a concept or, as Labrousse (1949b, 7) says, “Jacobinism and socialism remained muddled in political life.” In some sense, it probably remained for at least a century thereafter that a full distinction of the two concepts did not exist. Nonetheless, liberalism (which seems to me a better locution than “bourgeois democracy”) and socialism began to have diverging trajectories as political options after 1830. Indeed, as Hobsbawm (1962, 284) argues:

    Practical liberals . . . shied away from political democracy. ....

  8. 4 The Citizen in a Liberal State
    (pp. 143-217)

    Inequality is a fundamental reality of the modern world-system, as it has been of every known historical system. What is different, what is particular to historical capitalism, is that equality has been proclaimed as its objective (and indeed as its achievement)—equality in the marketplace, equality before the law, the fundamental social equality of all individuals endowed with equal rights. The great political question of the modern world, the great cultural question, has been how to reconcile the theoretical embrace of equality with the continuing and increasingly acute polarization of real-life opportunities and satisfactions that has been its outcome.


  9. 5 Liberalism as Social Science
    (pp. 219-273)

    The French Revolution, as we have been arguing, had enormous consequences for the realities of the capitalist world-economy. It led to the construction of the three modern ideologies—conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism—and then to the triumph of centrist liberalism as the basis of the world-system’s geoculture. It led to the construction of the liberal state in the core zones of the world-economy. It led to the emergence of the antisystemic movements and then to their containment. And it led to the creation of a whole new knowledge sector: the historical social sciences. Hayek sums up (1941, 14) the impact...

  10. 6 The Argument Restated
    (pp. 275-278)

    This book is about the modern world-system in the long nineteenth century, which conventionally runs from 1789 to 1914. There are endless numbers of books that have discussed the basic characteristics of this period. There exists what we may think of as a conventional view, shared by scholars of varying ideological and/or scholarly views.

    It is seen as the century of multiple revolutions—the industrial revolution, the scientific-technological revolution, the popular revolutions (and notably the French Revolution). The usual view is that the combination of all these revolutions is what created, or was labeled as, modernity. Begun in the long...

    (pp. 279-358)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 359-377)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 378-378)