Economic History of the Middle Ages - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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End of Roman society, feudalism, rise of religious power, beginnings of the nation-state, renaissance (476 - 1492 CE).
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#13476899
Anyone know of any recent books on the economy of the Medieval Era, Middle Ages, whatever you want to call it. I've read everything by Miskimin and Spufford, but I was wondering if there was anything more recent, as in not from the 60's.
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By Le Rouge
#13476942
The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. Good writing--terrible conclusions and posturing. Niall's Ferguson two goals as a historian are to revive the Tory perspective and defend imperial Britain.

I personally own a copy of The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China and highly recommend it. It is an economic history of the Ming dynasty and offers an interesting insight in Chinese economic development and its parallels to Mediterranean developments at the same time and in some aspects develops economic structures that would come into existence later in Europe.

And while not recent, I've always wanted to read Polany's The Great Transformation which is about the transition from a feudal economic mode to a capitalist economic mode in England. Which brings up the opportunity for this question: does anyone have a recommendation on the role and history of feudal economic structures in post-feudal capitalist Europe or the role and history of slave-based economic structures in post-1868 capitalism in the United States?
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By lovertothemoon
#13476998
I only read half of Ferguson. His chapter on Medieval money was entirely too short and his treatment of the fascinating monetary developments of the time was half hearted at best. While it was an easy read, the stuff I knew really well was greatly simplified to the point of being almost wrong, so I figured I couldn't trust the rest of it.

I'll try the other two, though. They both look very interesting. Thanks :)
#14117635
I don't know of any books, but I do know that it ran on a system known as 'Feudalism', which was something along the lines of the king having supreme power.

A flick through Wikipedia tells me that it was the exchange of "holding of land in exchange for labour or service".
I think this means that, if you work on the land, you own it. Or something along those lines.

That seems to be largely economic.
#14117664
I don't know of any books, but I do know that it ran on a system known as 'Feudalism', which was something along the lines of the king having supreme power


Its the exact opposite actually. Feudalism has a system of vassals that pay homage to the King. Vassals have absolute power within their estates and are only required to provide troops for the king. And even that is not certain. The Duke of Acquitaine or the Duke of Burgundy for example where much more powerful than the king of France they held more territory more troops and where much richer. Hence, they constantly supported the English over the French king in war. This started changing after the hundred years war however. When a monarch has absolute centralized power its called "Absolutism" and that only happened in the 17th century.
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