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POL201Y1 (221)

Feudal System

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Monday September 20 2010th [email protected] Head TA 3 ways of organizing economy Tradition: do things the same way its always been done (previous generations), no innovation Command: central planning, bureaucratic decisions are made (Soviet Union 5 years plan), no room for change Market: Up until the 19 century, tradition and command were the two common Feudal System is in the way of the market. System of hierarchy that determines that the relationship between the lords and serfs were social obligation. 3 things that are important about the Feudal System: 1) Labour is not a commodity - Serfs couldnt leave, exchange and didnt receive wages 2) Land is not a commodity - Outside of its social context, where they lived, where they grew their food, they attached to it socially and politically, couldnt sell it, not a source of wealth 3) Property is not a commodity - Wealth was not turned into capital, not invested, spent on jewels spices products th Before the 18 century, open-field systems (low productivity) General Enclosure Act of 1801: Lord takes land and privatizes it. Transforms birth right into productive unit. 1) Land has to be privatized 2) Does not happen through the market, government passes laws that sides with the Lords, government is instrumental secures private property Why does this happen? Main reason is that it hasnt been relevant to have extra surplus. Main incentive was increased land productivity (many inventions that made land more productive), concentrated on very few people that continued to invest the land. Inventions: seed drill, threshing machine, Rotherham plough Selective breeding: crossing seeds to produce more strains.
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