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ECON 3R03 (26)
Jack Leach (26)


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McMaster University
Jack Leach

Course: ECON 3R03 - The History of Economic Growth Section: CO1 Instructor: J. Leach Date: 23-01-13 Feudalism Most of the growth that took place in this era was extensive growth so we are studying it only to set the stage for the institutional changes that were necessary to bring about accelerated economic growth. Thin Population Almost 9 out of 10 people were engaged in food production, the standard of living was so low almost everyone had to produce food in order to survive. This is in stark constrast to the present day where only 5% of the population is engaged in food production. Wealth has always been associated with trade and access to goods that are not locally produced. A thinner population meant that there were more empty roads with an increased chance of mugging, this led to trade lessening and cities becoming more isolated. At this time everyone is engaged in autarky, they are just trying to stay alive. In comparison to the Muslims and the Chinese, Europe was very primitive and relatively poor at this time. Most of the land in Europe at the time was very heavy and could not be ploughed with a scratch plough as was possible on the Mediterranean shores. The slash and burn technique of farming allowed good crops for a few years only to realize the ground was depleted of nutrients and then move on to another area. This could not lead to any sort of permanent settlement. This changed with the introduction of the heavy plough in Europe, they could now plough the heavy soil much better. Overturning the soil buries the weeds and brings up all the nutrients from deeper down. 1 Insecurity Once Spain was occupied by the Muslims there was occasional raiding into the centre of Europe. While from the North the Vikings were a people who lived by pillage and attacked the British and French continuously for hundreds of years. This same principle applies to the Magyars, present day Hungarians. In the interior of Europe the thin population led to banditry outside of the safety of a manor mostly because bandits were fairly certain they wouldn’t be apprehended after their attacks. Lack of Markets This follows
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