A century is only a conventional period of time. Even with the most approxi­ mate limits it can barely serve as a suitable pigeon-hole for most historical phenomena. The artificiality would be still more obvious if one remembers that economic and social movements on the supra-national scale occur in the form of waves, rather than simultaneously everywhere. It is easy to see how processes like capitalism, colonialism, or socialism cannot be put in neat timeperiods, applicable to all zones, despite their world-wide sweep. The eighteenth century may have had a certain significance for England as the classic period of enclosures and the early phase of the Industrial Revolution, for France (till 1789) as the period of the long crisis of the ancien regime, and for colonialism, generally, as the phase when colonial primary accumulation reached its maximum levels. But it is difficult to see how the century would have a definite significance in the same manner for other countries.