HIST 124 Lecture Notes - Global Trade Exchange, Grand Banks Of Newfoundland, Mercantilism

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Published on 22 Nov 2012
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Week 7- Merchant Capital and the Empires of Fish and Fur 22 October, 2012
I. Meet Marie-Joanne and Charles Renaut
-to be given to Charles Renaut st the habitation of Scatterie on Cape Breton
-written by Marie-Joanne Renaut, been left alone in her village by her husband to fish in the
Grand Banks (maritimes)
-to Louisburg -> Scatterie-> voyaged to New World to take part in the great merchant empire
-every spring he’d go to fish until the fall and do it over again
-he went over to fish but decided not to come back this year
-“Nothing has gone right since you’ve been gone”
II. The Four Great Social Formations in Canadian History: A Recap
-Native social formation
-seigneurial social formation
-history of the present: look at the present, then work our way forward through history to find out
how things came to be the way they are
-not following a linear timeline, social formations overlap, events overlap
III. The Merchant Capital Social Formation: Historical Background
-merchant empires emerged as product of two big historical influences
-rise of the merchant, absolutist state
-Europe completes economic transformation that will affect the world, before this seems like
unlikely spot for world domination, lacked in technology and science
A. Hybrid Social Formation
-simultaneously premodern and modern
-conservative impulses and revolutionary impulses
B. The Rise of the European Merchant
-if towns in medieval Europe were their own self-governing bodies, and you lived
in that town, you weren’t governed by other government, merchants could
organize themselves by their own interests
-highly ambiguous, one hand merchants starting to think in terms of possessive
individualism (modern) beginning to think of maximizing profits for themselves
(modern too), at same time merchants didn’t revolutionize means of production,
no new way of making stuff (use existing ways of producing) made use of kin
ordered social formation
-rather than introducing new way of making stuff, merchants were more interested
in trade
-wanted control over trade, more trade you can set terms for, more power you
have to set the terms in your favour
-detested competition
-wanted monopolies, try to get it from the state:
C. The Absolutist State
-feudalism entering its last stages
-peasants starting to revolt
-to protect themselves, come up with absolutism (absolute control over the state)
-put peasants down, can’t put merchants down so they try to appease them by
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