Lecture 2 - been at the height of the Roman empire, around...

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Lecture 2. Understanding pre-industrial society This lecture will discuss the main forms of production in pre-industrial societies, their social organization, and their relation to the environment, including hunting and gathering societies, pastoralism, and agriculture, as a background to the industrial revolution which I will be discussing from next week on. 1. In pre-industrial society, generally populations were small and mortality rates high. Generally half the children died before the age of five, and most adults died before the got to 60 years of age. Death rates were highest in the towns and cities, which generally appeared comparatively recently. This is one reason why very few really large cities (over 1,000,000) developed before the industrial revolution. Around 1800, London, Beijing, Istanbul and Tokyo were the four largest cities in the world, with populations of about 1,000,000, about the same size as Rome had
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Unformatted text preview: been at the height of the Roman empire, around 100-200 AD. 2. There were various types of pre-industrial economic systems. Apart from intensive farming, their impact on the environment was limited: ecosystems were self-sustaining. (a) hunters and gatherers (foragers) -- now very few are left, though until recently they were to be found in marginal areas like the Kalahari desert in southern Africa, the Congo forest basin, Australia and the Arctic. (c) pastoralists looking after livestock (camels, cows sheep, goats) -- often lived alongside farmers (b) shifting cultivators -- still to be found in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and less populated parts of Southeast Asia (d) intensive agriculture permanent cultivation involving modification of the environment through irrigation, and/or the use of organic fertilizers, such as human or animal manure and plant waste...
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