This chapter recapitulates the most important conclusions reached in this study. First, it reconsiders the place of the non-European world prior to the colonial period. Rather than perceiving the period 1500–1800 as the European making of the modern world, it calls for a more balanced view of the period that integrates the roles played by other parts of the world. Second, it shows that the expansion in world trade touched many parts of the world. The European and ‘non-European’ worlds underwent similar processes as a result. The expansion of commercialization also touched Egypt, India, and Southeast Asia, affecting economy, society, and culture. As more people became involved in commercial activity, social and cultural barriers became more flexible. One consequence was that texts were written in more colloquial language, a phenomenon that seems to have spread over broad regions. Another widespread trend was the expansion of the textile trade. In Egypt, this brought the textile sector closer to world conditions. The third conclusion involves methodology. While most world histories are written from the macro level, this book shows that world history can be written as “history from below.” Thus, unnamed artisans and tradesmen can be seen as transformative agents and integrated into this history.
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