Wallerstein attributes the transition almost

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Wallerstein attributes the transition almost completely to the inflow of bullion and fuel and food from expansion, first within Europe and later into the new world. He sees the world in terms of economic systems. To him the feudal world was not a economic world system, it was too isolated, though he does, because of the overriding similarities, call it a civilisation. To him in the period before the expansion feudal Europe was unimportant. And in fact the world systems of the Mediterranean and Russia, or the insipient one in the Baltic was far more important. The generation of the surplus in the feudal system to him is marginal, because it is left unused. He explains the crisis as being the result of rise in population casing a drop in wages, and increase in rents, the 100 years war further complicated matters and caused a liquidity crisis which resulted in a further slowing down of the economy, and rents being made labour rents and hoarding in response to debasement. These cause a spiral which finally leads to stagnation. According to him the stagnation was not really the expected out come of the situation, because in an agricultural economy, with depopulation, only the better plots would remain in cultivation, and so productivity would in fact increase, and since population would be going down, demand would decrease, and surplus could be used for trade. But demand did not decrease, and even as the system was approaching stability, the inflow of bullion, to trade with dried up. This period was also one of considerable change in political structures and military structures. Because of the slow down of the economy, knights were becoming too expensive (because the knight had to maintain himself, or had be to given new land) and a cheaper infantry force was favoured, but this entailed a standing army, something to muster which, only the king or the state as a whole had the resources. With the slow down of the economy, and these changes the state was gaining more power. Through the bureaucracy and taxation the power base of the lord was eroded. The state finally was in a position to intercede in the conflict between the lord and the peasant, which is the situation Brenner refers to. Wallerstein pays great attention to [5]
the fact that states emerge here, not empires, despite the ambitions of a dynasty, the logistics did not allow states too large for effective centralisation. He sees three things as prerequisites for the coming transition to capitalism. The expansion of the world, first in the form land reclamation measures and control of new territories in the Mediterranean, what he calls internal Americas, and later into the new world; different methods of labour control for different products in different parts of the world, and lastly a strong state system in the core capitalist states. He explains Portugal’s expansion as a function of Italian City States’ ambition, as it was financed by Genoaese, who were competing with the Venetians. Italy, for him, was at the time the only truly colonial power. He sees the need for expansion, immediately being one primarily for bullion. The trade in the Mediterranean

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