These were people who owned their land outright and

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Unformatted text preview: man (1977) The Economy of England 1450-1750, OUP. The Class Structure What is interesting about this table is the large proportion of freeholders. These were people who owned their land outright and lived from it. A big distinction was between those who held land of rental value of $2 per year who could vote, and those below this level. Farmers were people who lived o¤ their own land but did not hold freeholds. These people were typically the descendents of people with various types of feudal obligations (villeins), though by 1688 these had basically been transformed into rental payments. Cottagers were people who owned land but not enough to live on and so had to work for others. Labouring people would be landless. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis: L September 30, 2009 28 / 29 Summing Up Though the British industrial revolution was about technical and organizational change, in this lecture I argued that the reasons these changes took place is because the institutional environment changed. This is not to deny that the cumulation of previous inventions changed the possibilities. Economic incentives improved, monopolies were abolished and property rights security improved. Main reason for this was political change. The con‡ict over political institutions was won by people with interests in better economic institutions and they were unable (or unwilling) to create a new form of absolutism. The nature of this con‡ict and the outcome was heavily in‡uenced by structural changes in British society (Rise of the Gentry, impact of Atlantic trade). James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis: L September 30, 2009 29 / 29...
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This document was uploaded on 02/28/2014 for the course ECON 2328 at Harvard.

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