Abstract: Kenneth pomeranz argues that ``the great divergence’’ between development and involution in Europe and China did not occur until after 1800. Until then, Europe and China were comparable in population history, agriculture, handicraft industry, income, and consumption. Europe before 1800, in other words, was much less developed than the last two decades of scholarship have led us to believe, while China before 1800 was much less involuted. To make his case, Pomeranz spotlights England, the most advanced part of Europe, and the Yangzi delta area, the most advanced part of China. They diverged only after 1800, mainly because of the lucky availability of coal resources for England, and also of other raw materials from the New World.