Lecture 14

This led to far fewer rents from holding power fewer

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Unformatted text preview: tributed. This led to far fewer rents from holding power, fewer power struggles, greater stability. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and28, 2009 Analysis October Historical 2 / 12 Structural Change The political settlement of 1688 in Britain could not endure for ever. It was more like an elite pact, but until then it was the elites who had struggled over the rents (modulo the odd popular uprising like in 1381 in England). Industrialization led to large structural changes in society and urbanization and the factory system concentrated large numbers of politically disenfranchised people in the same place where it was much easier to solve the collective action problem. Leaving these people outside the system risked revolution, but incorporating them risked destabilizing property rights (threat of populism, etc.). These di¤erent perspectives were intensively debated and the First Reform Act of 1832 in Britain was a compromise - to generate political stability with the smallest possible concession (by weakening property and wealth restrictions it doubled the number of adult males who had the vote to...
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