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POL201Y1 (221)

Industrial Revolution

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Industrial Revolution o Britain; reading looks at precursor to industrial revolution o Transformation from a futile economytho a market economythook roughly 600 years from the 13 century to the 19 century; it started with bands of itinerant traders o It culminates in the industrial revolution o Reading three ways for organizing the production of goods Traditional economy Do it the exact same way it was done historically; sons go into the same trades as their fathers; trade gills organizations that govern the work of artisans; we do things in the same way that theyve always been done; you know it works because it worked in the previous generation and the one before that; it functions because its functioned before; this is a way of organizing an economy thats specifically resistant to change Market economy Command economy Central planning; Soviet Union for example five year plans; bureaucrats make decisions about production and distribution; once the plan is made, you stick to it and it determines the scope of production, distribution and consumption for five years th o Up until the 19 century, the production and distribution of goods was organized primarily by tradition and command o There was no separate economic sphere it was governed by the social and political organization of life o Article is telling about the gradual evolution of a field of economics; the idea that economics, production and distribution should have its own sphere of organization o This is a big change from the pre-19 thcentury to the 19 thcentury o One of the transformations thats most relevant to consider is the feudal system o Feudal system is emblematic of the way that goods and services were traded o Feudal system needed to be overcome and undermined in order to generate the possibility of the market; standing in the way of the market o Feudal system is a system of hierarchy; inherited privilege and social relations that is based on historical obligations o Feudal system is static and rigid; lords ruled over the manner and the serfs attached to the manner; the lord owed protection to the serfs o They were tied to a piece of land and to a particular lord for generations www.notesolution.como What this is demonstrating is that the relationship between lords and serfs was one of social obligation; it wasnt primarily an economic interaction; they were socially obliged to be in a relationship of dependency on one other Feudal System o Labor is not a commodity Serfs could not move; could not sell their labor and they didnt receive wages in return for their labor They werent able to alienate their labor, to sell their labors, so it was not a commodity; it wasnt something that they could exchange o Land is not a commodity Social context; it was where people lived, where they grew their food, where their families with It was a piece of territory that they were attached to socially It was your land, you lived there it was not a source of wealth o Property is not a commodity It wasnt that people didnt accumulate wealth, but wealth was spent on jewels and other things that didnt have any productive value; wealth was not turned into capital Wealth was spend on jewels, spices, products, but it wasnt invested as capital o The transformation from the feudal system to the market system involves thinking of all three of these things as commodities o These are the main reasons that the breakdown of the feudal system is an inevitable precondition of the rise of the market system o Specifically, how does this happen? How do we have the breakdown of the feudal system? o Before the 18 th century, agriculture had been much the same across Europe; manors used the open field system o A share went to the lord, the rest was shared among the serfs; subsistence farming at fairly low levels of productivity o Manors also included tracts of land that were used in common by the serfs the commons; owned by the lord of the manor but they were open to common use; they were commonly available and everybody was able to use them for whatever they needed them for o Agricultural innovation would change the entire system that existed for thousands of years th o The enclosure process was slow and irregular; itthtarted in the 13 century and it was not complete until the 19 century
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