31 lack of heavy cavalry also meant less distinction

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Unformatted text preview: s also less “Gluckman has remarked of Zulu chiefship that one man can only eat a limited amount of porridge” (Goody, 1971, p. 31). Lack of heavy cavalry also meant less distinction between aristocracy and the rest of society. The picture emerges of a very di¤erent structure of society, though Goody does not relate this to di¤erences in economic development and doesn’ really explain why the plow and wheel were not used. t James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and5, 2009 October Historical Analysis 21 / 25 Means of Production and Destruction States built on trade not extraction from low productivity agriculture. (In Africa pastoralism preceded farming, which is the opposite of what appears to have happened elsewhere in the world). “There was usually little pro…t to be made out of landlordism or indeed any form of agricultural production ... The gains were to be made in trade and war, especially for slaves ... various political systems are correlated not so much with di¤erences in the ownership of the means of production (nor yet in the objects of production themselves) but rather in the ownership of the means of destruction and in the nature of those means” (Goody, 1971, pp. 42-43). James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and5, 2009 October Historical Analysis 22 / 25 Technology of Warfare Goody argues that di¤erent types of military technology are crucial for explaining variation in patterns of state formation. He contrasts West African states in the forest zone, like Asante and Dahomey, with those further north in the Savanna. In the forest zone states were more centralized with absolutist monarchies. In the savannah, they were less centralized with relatively large aristocracies which limited the consolidation of central power “What were the technological features that permitted the spectacular di¤erences .. Partly .. the nature of the sea-borne trade with foreigners, which made for relat...
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