The fact that England, the home of the Industrial Revolution and modern economic growth, was also a leading shipping and trading nation, at one time prompted the notion that flourishing overseas trade and modern economic growth are somehow related. There are, of course, plenty of examples in European history of once flourishing trading nations which failed to industrialize. Spain, Portugal, the Hanseatic ports, and the Italian trading cities never became centres of industry. Moreover, such comparatively industrialized areas as Czechoslovakia and Prussia were not leading trading centres.

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