chapter
The centripetal metageography of industrial modernity
Pages 11

The Industrial Revolution in North-West Europe changed the balance of power between world regions, thereby generating a metageographical transition. New production, armaments and wealth meant that militarily and economically, Europeans could take over and restructure the world to suit their own ends. In effect, the Atlantic triangular pattern from the topological metageography was writ large to produce worldwide European control. The victory of the British over imperial China in the First Opium War (1841) is the symbolic event that confirms the overturning of the traditional world hierarchy of East over West. The world is no longer a wondrous cornucopia; it now becomes a practical place to be redesigned for new industrial needs.