This chapter examines the rapid rise to dominance of the seven European cities and discusses their historical importance. It explains that these cities played many different, intrinsically transforming industrial tasks over the period of Europe’s greatest manufacturing growth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and came to dominate national economies as a result of their prolific output. The chapter discusses how these cities lost their core economic rationale, prominence, and political weight over the thirty-year period up to 2000.
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