Kotayk Travel on In the important historical account of Fernand Braudel (1979), such market expansion involves a gradual scaling up of economic activities from the small market town to regional, provincial, and eventually national markets such as that which emerged in England during the eighteenth century. But the national market was not easily achieved. It was a network of irregular weave, often constructed against all odds: against the over-powerful cities with their own policies, against the provinces which resisted centralization, against foreign intervention which breached frontiers, not to mention the divergent interests of production and exchange (Braudel 1979, 287). To this must be added the factor of long-distance trade, which was most often the business of powerful cities (sometimes connected in wide-ranging networks, as in the case of the Hanseatic League), and the international markets to which it gave rise.
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Braudel goes so far as to speculate that as a rule, a measure of expansion in foreign trade preceded the laborious unification of the national market (277)- Indeed, the interplay between national and international markets, which was essential to the emergence of the world market that we already traced, proved central to the evolution of the concept of the division of labor in the works of classical political economy. At the risk of oversimplification, we can say that the evolution of this con- cept across the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries involved recognizing that the division of labor not only is limited by the extent of the market but is also a key factor in determining the market's expanse. This realization, which accompanied and prompted the industrial organization of labor and its technical division for the purposes of manufacture, is most clearly articulated by Adam Smith in the late eighteenth century (Zanini 2008).
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