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Jack Leach

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Course: ECON 3R03 - The History of Economic Growth Section: CO1 Instructor: J. Leach Date: 28-01-13 Farming Technology You would expect the three-field system to almost immediately replace the two-field system but alas it did not. This demonstrates that no one technology is the killer technology, one technology alone can’t bring about sustained economic growth, which technology you use depends on relative input scarcity. The kind of innovations that occurred in the Industrial Revolution were possible because of the relative factor prices. The Rest of the World Spain Spain had characteristics very much like many Arab/Middle Eastern nations including climate and culture. Islamic peoples had brought silkworms from China to the Sierra Nevada mountains and for a while Spain was a major world producer of silk. Despite the constant battles between the Christians and the Muslims there was a robust trade between the groups. The Islamics captured Chinese paper makers and as a result paper making technology spread throughout the Islamic world. The collapse of the caliphate ruling Spain allowed both the Christians and the Berbers to attack Spain from North and South, respectively. By 1350 the Christians managed to defeat the Arabs and the Berbers and control most of Spain. It takes until 1492 for the Europeans to capture the last Islamic foothold in Europe. 1 Spain’s Decline One of the causes of Spain’s economic decline was the failure of trading in two main goods: furs and slaves. It was considered unethical to make a slave out of a person who was the same religion as you but since the Slavics had no religion they made perfect slaves for both the Muslims and Christians. Now that the Slavics had been conquered and converted to Christianity they could no longer be taken as slaves by Europeans and this causes a decline in trade in Spain. Ultimately the Norsemen discovered they could reach the Middle East by moving across the rivers in the interior of Europe. Once they figured out this route they had no need for Spanish intermediaries as they could now trade directly with the Arabs. This cut down on the size of the fur trade that went through Spain and also greatly cut into their trade volumes and wealth. Spain’s
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