A (rather piecemeal) study guide of first semester concepts

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18 Apr 2011

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Week 1 – sept 13
Movie Clip, history of development in thirty years. Developing countries remained stagnant
and some other countries GDPs exponentially increased
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Week 2 Heilbroner – sept 20
1. Tradition
Resistant to innovation. Trade passed through generations with little or no change.
2. Command
Central planning – bureaucratic decision makers decide how much and where it will go
Tradition and command were the most common
Heilbronner – production and distribution were tied to social and political life
Feudal System: System of hierarchy, based around inherited privileges.
Needed to be overcome and undermined in order to generate the possibility of the Market
Important considerations:
Labour is not a commodity
Serf could not sell their labour – no wages
Land is not a commodity
not considered outside of its social context.
Property is not a commodity
Wealth not turned into capital
The movement from feudal to market society hinges on these three things collapsing.
Starting in 17th century, complete in 19th century with General Enclosure Act of 1801
Land is privatized/commodified, transforming a birth rite to a unit of economic production
Doesn't happen through the market alone – government intervention necessary.
Before enclosure, there was no need to have land – no use for surplus.
Agricultural Revolution – leads to a massive increase in the production of food.
1. Mechanization of agriculture: seed drill, threshing machine, steam engine etc.
2. Crop rotation
3. Selective breeding
Social/economic effect of enclosure
Forces people off land, creating a labour force
People flock to factories and new industrial centres – people free and compelled to sell
Increased food production
Generates a food surplus, majority of people don't have to produce food they eat
Can be used to feed factory workers
Industrial Revolution
Production of goods becomes mechanized, surplus produced and used as capital.
Urbanization, selling of labour for wages, buying instead of producing one's own goods,
transformed the landscape and space of human life.
First innovations were in textiles. Flying shuttle. Jenny. Water frame. Water-powered
factory. Steam engines for coal mining and transportation.
Forward and backward linkages
The Role of Government
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Britain was the first to create the patent systemcategorizing intellectual property,
allowing people to capitalize off inventions
Changes in the world of labour
Machines now located in factories, generally located around rivers or other bodies of
water, replacing smaller mills
Employed women and children – cheaper than men
Factory is responsible for urbanization, which gives rise to the city.
Canals & Rivers
used as a means of internal transportation
Financial backing came from merchants and industrialists who wanted to expand
England's extensive internal rivers into navigable canals
By 1800 there were 200 miles of tramways serving coal mines.
Engineers looking to tie steam engines to railways for transportation.
New wealth grows from Industrial Revolution
Two kinds of capital are needed
1. Long-term capital – expand present operations
2. Short-term capital – purchase materials, pay wages
Trying to find short-term capital to pay their employees was a major problem, which
gave rise to the Banking System
Private banks spring up, funded by people who have mae money in manufacturing
Impact on human life
Conditions in cities were bad, but work conditions were worse
Poorly ventilated, noisy, dirty, dangerous, unhealthy
workers put in 12-14 hours a day, and overtime during busy periods.
Machines dangerous and untrained workers incurred accidents and deaths with no
Population Growth
18th century saw the highest growth ever
Decline in death. increase in birth, elimination of plague, increase in food
Industry provided higher wages than in villages – young people were able to marry early,
producing more children.
Cities provided better clothing and housing, but terrible living conditions.
Social Reform
Terrible conditions lead quite quickly to social reform in Britain, number of laws were
enacted to combat these humanitarian problems.
Unionization becomes important – has the power to cease production if demands aren't met.
However, it is easy to replace unskilled workers. Some of the most successful unions were of
skilled workers.
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