Peace Dividends and Land Booms
Mason Gaffney, August 2005
Many standard sources are used.
A valuable and
generally underutilized source is Levasseur, M.E., 1892.
Aperçu de l'Histoire Économique de la Valeur et
du Revenue de la Terre en France.
Extrait des Mémoires de la Société Nationale d'Agriculture
Tome 135, 1893.
Paris: Typographie Chamerot et
Over several centuries we can observe that major peace
and disarmament treaties have kicked off land booms by
lowering taxes - all kinds of taxes. We also often observe
that the booms lead to busts, after periods ranging from 4
years (1815-19), 7 years (1713-20, 1865-73) to 11 years
A few examples
1095, Pope Urban II kicks off the First Crusade
1259, Louis IX (St. Louis) gives up warfare, makes
peace all around by compromising with James I of
Aragon, and Henry III of England.
arbitrator, he also brings peace to Flanders,
Hainault, and Navarre.
Stands in well with the Pope,
who gives him Sicily.
Previously, 1229, France had
made honorable peace with Raymond VII of Toulouse,
ending Albigensian “crusade” (or perhaps coopting
Raymond into it, for Louis cooperated in the papal
Louis is a skilled administrator,
brings to France unprecedented peace and unity.
”prosperity,” he raised land values; yet the
quarrelsome city-states of northern Italy, Flanders,
and southern Germany forged ahead in trade, industry,
banking, art, science, and letters.
1431, French under Jeanne d’Arc lift siege of Orleans.
Land values there rise from 16 to 92 francs per
hectare (converted from ancient units in use then).
1509-29, Cardinal Wolsey, counselor to young Henry
VIII of England, advised “Greatness through Peace.”
This held down taxes, and raised English land values
and so helped kick off the enclosure movement.
of land speculation: era of Peace and Poverty -
inducing some emigration