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In the century before the Black Death swept across the world, economic relations flourished between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, interacting on essentially equal terms. Before European Hegemony uses a wide-ranging geographical analysis to examine the fall of this thriving global economy built around interlocking sub-systems with the major world cities and towns playing a crucial role. As economic activity spread across borders, so did the Black Death. In the East, its catastrophic impact was exacerbated by the disintegration of the Mongol Empire and the collapse of the Asia-wide trading system, enabling the West to rise from the ruins and dominate the modern capitalist world-system.