Class Notes (808,131)
Canada (493,086)
Geography (749)
GEOG 216 (241)

The Diffusion of the World Economy

4 Pages
Unlock Document

McGill University
GEOG 216
Geraldine Akman

The Diffusion of the World Economy Where did capitalism come from? th - 1) Italian city states, 11-16 century - Devel merchant capitalism, banking sys  Produc being done in tradit way, not a lot of innovation  Trade + banking = being done in capitalist way  rational accumulation  Instead of mili going out + attacking neighbor, merchants calc that if pay certain amount $ to have goods produced, transport costs, borrow $ interest rate, worthwhile venture…? - 2) Cities in Medieval NW Eur - Rom Empire collapsed ~400AD, knit Eur together w/roads, sophis techs, rational sys organis - Middle Ages: Eur shrunk into itself, stopped being connected, no empire to hold together - 1000AD – Crusades, start to have trade again, ppl rediscover cities  Take advantage of city walls, use as protection  Certain cities on trade routes, loc near natural habours/rivers become interesting to emerging merchant class  Arrange protectionist agreement w/various feudal lords + take over cities  Cities = space outside feudalism  Feudalism = sys holding land done in tradit way, overlapping sovereignty  Slaves hold land, land also belongs to their lord, also king  Can’t just buy/sell land, tied to land + relationship to lord  Static sys, not a lot of tech innovation  As trade gets going, ppl start moving to cities  Inheritance laws: 2 /3 sons not inherit land + econ prospects  go to city  “city air makes you free”  If can live in city year + day, free fr/feudal bonds  Germ of capitalism begins to emerge  Cities have own charters + rules outside of feudal order  Cities = places foster innovation, exchange of ideas - Debate among scholars: whether merchant capitalism is really capitalism  Produc still being done traditional way  Guilds in cities = prevent tech innovation  Rules about which tools to use, who does which work - 3) England 16 -18 century - Capitalism as a mode of production  S/1 own land, tools, hires workers, commodities belong to person who puts capital out  Built in: drive to grow, accumulate, innovate, expand - Aristocrat class interested consuming exotic goods (fr/E)  Pushing for increased productivity, trying grab hold of land to buy goods - Enclosure of the Commons  privatization  Common land = pasture land, forest land to hunt/collect firewood  Feudal lords take control of common land  Land = source of wealth, growth, accumulation  Fences up, land tradit used by many now owned (graze sheep – wool imp commodit)  Forest land cleared to let sheep graze, to grow wheat  Ppl being pushed out of agricul + countryside  Land rented out to tenants: larger plots of land, econs of scale  Crop rotation: divide land 3 parts (wheat, root crops, fallow), use ploughs  Increase in productivity means need less ppl in agricul - Ppl start gravitating towards cities  Cities = innovation in tech  textiles  wool  Wool being processed in countryside  Dramatic tech innovations in spinning + weaving st  1 innovations meant that you can put 10 spindles on 1 machine  Take same productivity + put it in a factory, attach to water power, steam  Need less ppl tend to machines, ppl less skilled - Capitalism = tendency push wages to bottom (not always true)  Ppl earn good wages (depends on period) in cities  Incomes to consume goods of countryside  As price of agricul goods pushed down by innovations + productivity  Goods cheaper for consump for ppl in city  Ppl in countryside earning incomes to consume indus goods - Coercive laws of compet  Incentive for ppl to come up with next innovation How did Europe come to dominate the world? - Knox: population, land, inheritance laws, innovation in navigation, finance - Dense pops w/lim amount of land, ppl need to go s/where - Inheritance laws: ppl pushed off land due to way laws are structured - Diamond: guns, germs, steel? - Eur: came up w/guns, had steel - B/c dense populations, when disease spread develop immunity  Explored, devastated pops b/c not exposed to diseases Eur carried - Simple answer: b/c Eur had capitalism  drive that forced Eur to
More Less

Related notes for GEOG 216

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.