October3rd, 2011.doc

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22 Apr 2012
LEC #4
Agriculture Manufacturing Foreign Commerce
Farmers Manufacturers Merchants
Country City International
Without inhibition, human beings with naturally move toward commercial society
Natural Progress of Opulence (Being rich)
Natural way that society should develop, if nothing was getting in the way
Although, most of the time it does not go that way because of inhibitors
Subsistence comes before convenience and luxury
Moral Argument: the life of a farmer is the best life and if anyone had the opportunity, they would
choose the life of the farmer - independent,
A town and countryside reciprocity
Towns develop as agriculture develops
Although, it never went the way it was supposed to, it moved backwards ; from foreign commerce to
manufacturing to agriculture
1. Fall of Rome
Rome fell around the end of 1400s
Was the peak of human civilization ; large cities, hundreds of thousands of people; modern and
Trades stopped, roads were all gone and were dangerous and filled with dangerous highway men
Literacy more or less disappeared and people forgot how to read
Stopped knowing how to make complex advanced technologies
Uncertain and dangerous world
2. Warlord Landgrab
These are the people who became the European nobility
Known as the barons
Land was not primarily a means of economic development ; it was there for power and protection from
other warlords
Key Laws of the period
Primogeniture (First born son gets everything)
Entails (Illegal to sell your land out of your family or break it up into smaller pieces)
Economically, it was better to break up the land into smaller pieces; impossible for a family to
work a whole land
Became “petty princes”
Society became patron - client or clientelist society
3. Hurts Agriculture
Baron personality structure
The type of people who end up becoming barons have a certain psychological make-up
What they care about most is their reputation and cred
Very unlikely for them to be doing agriculturally things during their leisure time
Basically put their money into huge houses and parties and feasts
The peasants are very unproductive in their work ; basically slaves and don’t own the land at all, don’t
get to keep anything they produce and only get to keep what keeps them alive
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