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Salvador, Chelzea Louise A.

History of Economic Development

1. Primative Society
A characteristic of a primitive culture is that it regards itself as highly advanced.
I heard this somewhere and I think it puts nicely the point which we seldom stop to think. If we
look into past we can feel superiority to past centuries and generations. They were not as
advanced in technology and wisdom and they had more struggle with everyday life as we do
today. Still putting into aside the material side of living are we more developed and better
human beings after all?
The outset is different. We look more nicely dressed and cleaner. We have better houses and
means of transportation. More knowledge and better working conditions. Sure things are better
now than in the past. More drugs, better healthcare and education system, less tyranny and so
on. But are we more than a primitive civilization who thinks too high of oneself?
Despite all the great knowledge and wisdom we are still killing people. Others are starving to
death and most of the human population on earth is barely coping with the ordinary life. A great
minority of people is ruling and possessing most of the power and richness in the world. Most of
the wealth seems to be distributed purely by chance. Some happen to live in an area of natural
resources or has born to a country with great wealth. Personal talents or own hard work do not
guarantee success in live. It is not what you know but who you know, still.
Today people are after beauty, wealth, power and possessions. They get kicks by consuming and
thinking about their own happiness and pleasures. The society is build in a way that supports
and sometimes encourages individualism and egoism. We encourage and sustain behaviour that
can even harm other human beings and more importantly our nature. How many animals are
making a mess in their own nest and destroying their own surroundings?
What could be the characteristics of a developed civilization? My answers are as good as yours.
Here are some for a starters:
First of all they would not kill each other. Also they would appreciate the environment from
which their existence is dependent on. They would try to improve the surroundings and hence
leave it in a better shape than they got it from the previous generation. Individuals would not
focus on their own good but for the well-being of others. The greatest heroes would be those
who help and encourage others to success and achieve in life. Everyone would be recognised by
their talents and capabilities and supported in developing those. One would not need to be
supervised by a government or collegial entity everyone would understand the common good
and behave accordingly. The focus would be in the positive development of individuals and
would concentrate on progress and not on failures and set backs. A behaviour based on pure
power or submission in any form would not be tolerated (against animals as well).
The above items have nothing to do with our knowledge, technology or wisdom. They are more
related to the very existence and life itself. More information does not necessarily mean that we
are developing to the right direction. Or even mean that we are developing at all. More data and
details of more issues do not necessarily mean that we have progressed in thinking and in the
basic fundamentals. It almost seems that less people are considerate and firmly having their feet
on the ground. More accurate description of the surroundings do not count as creative thinking,
and thats what most of our sciences are about. In the school we are taught pieces of information,
descriptive details. Seldom anyone is encouraged to raise question and develop own thinking.
Our children are not taught anything really useful how to live and become better as human
beings. How could they because their parents dont know anything better: Panem et Circenses.

2. Slave Society
A society where the fundamental class conflict is based on the division of people into masters
and slaves, with slaves being the dominant producing class, and ownership over this complete
commodification of the human being controlled by masters.
Historical Development: Slavery has been practiced throughout the world at various times, but
only in exceptional circumstances have there been attempts to create actual "slave societies";
notably in the Americas (1492 - 1865) or during the Roman Empire (150 BCE 350 CE).
The first known example of slavery comes from Athens in around 600 BCE, after Solon had
abolished the holding of citizens in bondage (in 594 BCE). When fellow citizens could no longer
be used for indebted labour, foriegners became a more "perfect" solution -- laws governing thier
treatment were not applicable. Slaves were thus captured primarily through a slave trade that
stole people from distant tribal societies, and also were aquired through prisoners of war. At the
height of Athens slavery, around one third of the population were slaves.
The Roman Empire attempted to create a slave society for over 500 years. Rome had been a
large semi-feudal empire with many peasant/farmers whose skills were needed to plant crops,
and whose loyalty to the Empire was necessary for waging war as soldiers. The process of
expansion was based on a simple formula: peasants became soldiers who captured enemies to
enslave for the purpose of replacing the labour lost on the farm to the war. Generations later, the
first peasants would become part of a master class, the loyalty of slaves captured generations
previous would suffice as soldiers, and the process would repeat itself. In this way, for centuries
Rome was able to maintain a slave population of one third across its empire, but this became
more and more difficult under the stresses of continual expansion and fighting proxy wars. Many
heroic slave revolts eventually helped bring an end to Roman despotism.
With the fall of the Roman empire fell also the notion of a slave society for centuries to come.
Regardless, a few parts of the Ottoman Empire found it useful to establish a limited slave trade,
at it's peak slaves numbered to about one fifth the population of Istanbul. In Sudan, from around
1200 to 1900, one to two thirds the population in some areas were slaves. In Ghana, between
1076 and 1600, about a third of the population were slaves. A small slave society existed in the
Crimean Khanate, from around 1475 to 1783, with the Tatars raiding their neighbors, using the
captives for the slave trade. As a result, around 75 percent of the Crimean population were
slaves or engaged in the slave trade. In 1783, Russian Empress Catherine the Great ruthlessly
crushed the Crimean Khanate, and incorporated its lands and peoples into the Russian Empire.
The slave societies in the Americas were the most thorough going and repressive in history.
While the Middle American Incans, Mayans, Aztecs, and others practiced slavery to certain
limited extents, the arrival of white Europeans brought with it a combination of mass genocide,
terror, and slavery on a scale humanity has not seen since. In the United States of America, the
first slaves were captured in Africa and carried over the Atlantic in the most barbarous
conditions in 1619. Only half of the people imprisoned in slave ships survived the journey. The
slave population of the American South varied form one third to two thirds of the total
population until the end of legalized slavery came in the US Civil War, in 1865. Meanwhile, in the
1700s, Jamaica, Antigua, and Grenada were over 90 per cent slaves, while the more
industrialised island of Cuba enslaved a comparatively modest one third of its population [the
native populations of these islands were thus nearly completely exterminated in mass genocide
by Europeans]. In Brazil, over half the population were slaves primarily working on coffee
plantations in around 1800.
3. Feudalism Society
The Feudal Society of the Middle Ages
Society in much of medieval Europe was organised into a "feudal" system, which was based on
allocation of land in return for services to the king. The king gave grants of land or fiefs, to his
most important noblemen (barons and bishops) and in return each noble promised to supply the
king with soldiers in time of war. A noble pledged himself to be the king's servant or vassal, at a
special ceremony kneeling before the king he swore an oath of loyalty with the words, "Sire I
have become your man." The great nobles often divided their lands among lower lords, or
knights, who in turn became their vassals. In this way feudalism stretched from the very top of
the society to the very bottom. At the lowest rung of the society ladder were the peasants who
worked the land itself. They had few rights, little property and no vassals.

The King
Few kings had enough wealth to keep a standing army and depended on their barons to provide
knights and soldiers. Kings had to work hard however to keep the barons under control. In many
cases, especially in France and Germany, the barons grew very powerful and governed their fiefs
as independent states.

The Bishops
Bishops could wield as much power as the barons. They ruled over areas called dioceses and all
the priests and monasteries within them. The regular collection of tithes and other taxes from
their dioceses made many bishops extremely wealthy.

The Barons
Barons were the most powerful and wealthy noblemen, who received their fiefs directly from the
king. When William of Normandy conquered England in 1066, he had about 120 barons. Each
provided the king with a possible army of 5,000 men.

The Lords
Lords ruled over fiefs or manors, renting out most of the land to the peasants who worked for
them. They were also the warriors of medieval society. As trained knights, they were bound by
oath to serve the great nobles who granted them their fiefs, and could be called to battle at any

The Peasants
The peasants were at the bottom of the feudal tree. They were the workers who farmed the land
to provide food for everyone else. Most peasants worked for a lord who let them farm a piece of
land for themselves in return for their labour.

4. Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major
changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transport, and technology had a profound effect
on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions starting in the United Kingdom, then subsequently
spreading throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world.

The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in human history; almost every
aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way. Most notably, average income and
population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth. In the two centuries following
1800, the world's average per capita income increased over 10-fold, while the world's
population increased over 6-fold.
In the words of Nobel Prize winning Robert, "For the first
time in history, the living standards of the masses of ordinary people have begun to undergo
sustained growth. ... Nothing remotely like this economic behavior has happened before."

Starting in the later part of the 18th century, there began a transition in parts of Great Britain's
previously manual labour and draft-animalbased economy towards machine-based
manufacturing. It started with theme chanisation of the textile industries, the development
of making techniques and the increased use of refined coal. Trade expansion was enabled by the
introduction of canals, improved roads and railways.

The introduction of steam power fuelled primarily by coal, wider utilization of water
wheels and powered machinery (mainly in textile manufacturing) underpinned the dramatic
increases in production capacity.
The development of all-metal machine tools in the first two
decades of the 19th century facilitated the manufacture of more production machines for
manufacturing in other industries. The effects spread throughout Western Europe and North
America during the 19th century, eventually affecting most of the world, a process that continues
as industrialization. The impact of this change on society was enormous.

The first Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century, merged into
the Second Industrial Revolution around 1850, when technological and economic progress
gained momentum with the development of steam-powered ships, railways, and later in the 19th
century with the internal combustion engine and electrical power generation. The period of time
covered by the Industrial Revolution varies with different historians. Eric Hobsbawm held that it
'broke out' in Britain in the 1780s and was not fully felt until the 1830s or 1840s, while T. S.
Ashton held that it occurred roughly between 1760 and 1830.

Some 20th century historians such as John Clapham and Nicholas Craftshave argued
that the process of economic and social change took place gradually and the term revolution is a
misnomer. This is still a subject of debate among historians. GDP per capita was broadly stable
before the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the modern capitalisteconomy. The
Industrial Revolution began an era of per-capita economic growth in capitalist
Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is
the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and

6. Capitalism

Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of
production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits. Central
characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets and wage labor.
In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which
assets, goods, and services are exchanged.

The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of public
ownership varies across different models of capitalism.

Economists, political economists,
and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized
various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire capitalism, welfare capitalism and state
capitalism; each highlighting varying degrees of dependency on markets, public ownership, and
inclusion of social policies. The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules
defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy.

Many states have what are termed capitalist mixed economies, referring to a mix
between planned and market-driven elements. Crony capitalism is a state of affairs in which
insider corruption, nepotism and cartels dominate the system. In Marxian economics this is
considered to be the normal state of mature capitalism, while inanarcho-capitalist theory it is
considered a political distortion of capital and markets. Capitalism has existed under many forms
of government, in many different times, places, and cultures. Following the demise of feudalism,
capitalism became the dominant economic system in the Western world.

Capitalism was carried across the world by broader processes of globalization such as
imperialism and, by the end of the nineteenth century, became the dominant global economic
system, in turn intensifying processes of economic and other globalization. Later, in the 20th
century, capitalism overcame a challenge by centrally-planned economies and is
now the encompassing system worldwide, with the mixed economy being its dominant form in
the industrialized Western world. Barry Gills and Paul James write:

The process remains uneven, but notwithstanding the continuing importance of national
and regional economies today, global capitalism is undoubtedly the dominant framework
of economics in the world. There are many debates about what this means, but across the
political spectrum capitalism has become the taken-for-granted way of naming the
economic pattern that weaves together the current dominant modes of production and

Different economic perspectives emphasize specific elements of capitalism in their
preferred definition. Laissez-faire and liberal economists emphasize the degree to
which government does not have control over markets and the importance of property
rights. Neoclassical and Keynesian macro-economists emphasize the need for government
regulation to prevent monopolies and to soften the effects of the boom and bust cycle. Marxian
economists emphasize the role of capital accumulation, exploitation and wage labor. Most
political economists emphasize private property as well, in addition to power relations, wage
labor, class, and the uniqueness of capitalism as a historical formation.

Proponents of capitalism argue that it creates more prosperity than any other economic
system, and that its benefits are mainly to the ordinary person. Critics of capitalism variously
associate it with economic instability, an inability to provide for the well-being of all people, and
an unsustainable danger to the natural environment. Socialists maintain that, although
capitalism is superior to all previously existing economic systems (such as feudalism or slavery),
the contradiction between class interests will only be resolved by advancing into a completely
social system of production and distribution in which all persons have an equal relationship to
the means of production.

The term capitalism, in its modern sense, is often attributed to Karl Marx. In
his magnum opus Capital, Marx analyzed the "capitalist mode of production" using a method of
understanding today known as Marxism. However, Marx himself rarely used the term
"capitalism", while it was used twice in the more political interpretations of his work, primarily
authored by his collaborator Friedrich Engels. In the 20th century defenders of the capitalist
system often replaced the term capitalism with phrases such as free enterprise and private
enterprise and replaced capitalist with rentier and investor in reaction to the negative
connotations associated with capitalism.

7. Socialism and Communism

Most generally, socialism refers to state ownership of common property, or state
ownership of the means of production. A purely socialist state would be one in which the state
owns and operates the means of production. However, nearly all modern capitalist countries
combine socialism and capitalism.
The University of Idaho, and any other public school or university, is a socialist institutions, and
those who attend it or work for it are partaking in socialism, because it is owned and operated by
the state of Idaho. The same is true of federal and state highways, federal and state parks,
harbors etc.

Most generally, communism refers to community ownership of property, with the end
goal being complete social equality via economic equality. Communism is generally seen by
communist countries as an idealized utopian economic and social state that the country as a
whole is working toward; that is to say that pure communism is the ideal that the Peoples
Republic of China is (was?) working toward. Such an ideal often justifies means (such as
authoritarianism or totalitariansim) that are not themselves communist ideals.
Fundamentally, communism argues that all labor belongs to the individual laborer; no man
can own another man's body, and therefore each man owns his own labor. In this model all
"profit" actually belongs in part to the laborer, not, or not just, those who control the means of
production, such as the business or factory owner. Profit that is not shared with the laborer,
therefore, is considered inherently exploitive.