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A History of the Global Economy.

During the 1500-1700 period many fundamental economic changes occurred, which paved the way to the industrial revolution. Especially after 1600, the North Sea region took over the role of the leading economic centre of Europe from the Mediterranean, which prior to this date, particularly in northern Italy, had been the most highly developed part of Europe. Great Britain, together with the Low Countries, profited more in the long run from the expansion of trade in the Atlantic and Asia than the pioneers of this trade, Spain and Portugal, fundamentally because of the success of the mainly privately owned enterprises in these two Northern countries in contrast to the arguably less successful state-owned economic systems in Iberia.[4]

Following the Black Death in the mid 14th century, and the agricultural depression of the late 15th century, the population began to increase. The export of woollen products resulted in an economic upturn with products exported to mainland Europe. Henry VII negotiated the favourable Intercursus Magnus treaty in 1496.[5]

The high wages and abundance of available land seen in the late 15th century and early 16th century were temporary. When the population recovered low wages and a land shortage returned. Historians in the early 20th century characterized the economic in terms of general decline, manorial reorganization, and agricultural contraction. Later historians dropped those themes and stressed the transitions between medieval forms and Tudor progress