It is often assumed that manufacturing is a recent element in the economic structure of the Third World. This overlooks long established craft traditions in many developing countries, such that they have been described as predeveloped rather than underdeveloped, having acquired significant technical skills before the coming of European colonial powers. Important technical innovations such as gunpowder, paper and clocks appear to have originated in the Orient, while Indian craft textiles found markets in eighteenth-century Britain. But as British manufacturers sought to expand, import duties closed that market and severely affected Indian production. Similar competition from domestic production against imports from the metropolitan powers led Portugal to ban the manufacture of all but the coarsest cloth in Brazil between 1785–1808. In the nineteenth century the intrusion of the colonial powers and the European Industrial Revolution had a profound and destructive effect on such Third World domestic industries.
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