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The Modern World-System IV

Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789–1914

Immanuel Wallerstein

Publication Year: 2011

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.

Published by: University of California Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface: On Writing about the Modern World-System

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pp. xi-xviii

This is the fourth volume in a series whose first volume was published in 1974. The overall work was conceived as a multivolume analysis of the historical and structural development of the modern world-system. Each volume was designed to stand by itself but was also intended simultaneously to be part of the singular larger work. ...

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Chapter 1: Centrist Liberalism as Ideology

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pp. 1-20

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). ...

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Chapter 2: Constructing the Liberal State, 1815–1830

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pp. 21-76

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 ...

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Chapter 3: The Liberal State and Class Conflict, 1830–1875

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pp. 77-142

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. ...

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Chapter 4: The Citizen in a Liberal State

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pp. 143-218

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, ...

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Chapter 5: Liberalism as Social Science

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pp. 219-274

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. ...

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Chapter 6: The Argument Restated

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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. ...


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pp. 279-358


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pp. 359-377

Production Notes

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p. 397-397

E-ISBN-13: 9780520948600
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520267619

Page Count: 396
Publication Year: 2011