The development of the family-based handicraft industry in the Yangzi delta provided supplementary income and employment opportunities to auxiliary family members. But it did not replace subsistence farming as the primary method in which peasants made their living, and more importantly, it did not allow China to close the gap in the great divergence with the West. So why didn't the cotton-based handicraft industry catapult the Yangzi delta region into the modern era of industrialization? Why did the handicraf…
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