LECTURE 04 - OCTOBER 03 - 2012
Industrialization and theories of inequality
Toucqueville article.. important thoughts for the midterm... end of article...
authour states... this social/economic structure which we see in quebec at the
time.. it looks like feudalism, but it wouldn't be fair to classify it that way.. if a
question were to appear.. one thing you would do would be to explain what are
the key aspects to this regime? it was a tool for colonization.. there were 3 key
players or social groups..
1 - people that worked the land, the habitant..
2 - the people that managed the land, the lords..
3 - the state or monarchy which was back in europe..
in feudalism, there is constant downward pressure.. from the monarchy all the
way down to the peasantry.. especially for production and economic
responsibility.. in quebec france, it could not be totally considered feudal..
there were obligations for the lord and for the habitants of the land..
there could be a short answer question on the midterm regarding this.. show
the key structures of feudalism and what was happening in quebec at the time
and the differences between the two..
HISTORICAL CHANGES: CAPITALISM
The introduction of an urban population who have to sell their labour.. Wool
had become an important commodity. Land owners would combine parcels of
land to create larger farms that the sheep live on. This would make the most
out of ones land. This booted peasants off of land which they once lived on.
Peasants would tend to relocate into newly formed towns and cities = urban
population. They now have to find a way to support themselves.. They can no
longer live off the land. They must sell their labour for money.
Institutions must be established to ensure that social relations allow the
economy to function. In feudal times, market questions (how much to
produce/sell) fell on feudal obligations (how much did people owe to the
vassals/monarchy/church). In a free market, all economic decisions are made
by the market alone (how much to produce, where to produce, etc). For a free
market to exist, certain social institutions need to be in place. Social
institutions that would allow a free market to function properly.
Travel, manufacturing, communication.. Goods, products can be delivered from
far nations.. The invention of the printing press, which allowed people to
communicate with each other about goods and demands with people in distant
countries.. The printing press was also responsible for the rise of global literacy
rates. SEEKING SOCIAL ORDER AMONG INSTABILITY
- The bourgeois were energized but intellectual, literary, and artistic purposes
- they were also energized by the though of a constitution that made their
- they were a new economic social group
- this was a group trying to fight the order of feudal times.
- they wanted equality, maternity, and liberty
- seeked a particular right to property
- the freedom of property becomes a universal desire
- there was a need to legitimate the existence and probliem of inequality. The
feudal explanation for inequality is constantly being broken down. overworked
populace, child labour, and poor housing and sanitary conditions existed for
- there is massive social instability. people living in disease prone conditions.
civil outrage was occuring.
- Social differences were highly visible
TOCQUEVILLE: DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
Why is America democratic?
- Unique geography
- Lack of hsitorical classes
What does democracy imply?
- Right to property
- No great classes
What are the possible consequences of democracy?
- Tyranny of the majority
- Despotism - rule by absolute authority. (group or individual or state)
Tocqueville compares aristocratic France to democratic America. He wants to
know why America is democratic. The nature of inheritance in America is
different than aristocratic France. More specifically, there is a certain lack of
inheritance in America, in particular to land ownership. This breaks down the
historical family ownership of land. Historically, America lacks great historical
classes of landowners/peasantry/monarchy. People don't identify themselves in
a specific class in America as they do in