Growth is a modern phenomenon

Societys ability to feed itself is the ultimate fight

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Unformatted text preview: ina is almost completely still agricultural, peasant society, operating under feudal principles. Conventional wisdom: Prior to 16th century, civilizations with agriculture, metalworking, and complex social organization hit the “Malthusian” wall (population growth vs. society’s ability to feed itself is the ultimate fight that keeps our population in check) Population growth and lack of resources kept standards of living low in spite of sophisticated but non- mechanical technology Elites in Europe focused more on grabbing the surplus from the people rather than on enlarging the surplus through further investment or innovation 1500 Europe begun to outpace China: this is due to revolution in ideas in Europe that did not occur in China: Renaissance, secular humanism, scientific discovery, laid basis for England’s eventual industrialization Scientific and technological progress ! industrialization ! CHECK SLIDES Western Europe vs. China: currency indicates western Europe currency doubles from 1000- 1800 but after 1800, you go to 6 fold increase in a matter of a century...
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This document was uploaded on 03/28/2014 for the course INAF 252 at Georgetown.

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