Rich and Poor: Economic Thought from Thomas Aquinas to John Locke and Adam Smith

Starting with the medieval poor/rich-topics in the Aquinian tradition of the theological economy of charity, following a relatively unknown line of thought. Introduction In pre-classical economics, division of income was traditionally represented as an antithesis of rich and poor. Specific income classes were only defined in “classical” economics: landed property owners drew rents, capital investors[…]

Safavid Trade during the 17th Century: Iran’s Transit Economy

Analyzing the role that the Safavid economy played within the rapidly developing global economic system. By Connor J. HamelCompetitive Intelligence AnalystAccenture Federal Services Introduction The seventeenth century ushered in a plethora of changes in global trade patterns. These fluctuating trade patterns began to generate nascent economic, political, and social trends the likes of which had[…]

Guilds: Drivers of Manufacturing and Commerce in the Middle Ages

Guilds dominated local politics and influenced national and international affairs. Introduction Guilds existed throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. Guilds were groups of individuals with common goals. The term guild probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon root geld which meant ‘to pay, contribute.’ The noun form of geld meant an association of persons contributing money for some common purpose. The root also[…]

The End of China’s Canton Trade System

Despite their common interests, relations between the foreigners and the Chinese community grew more tense during the early 19th century. Despite their common interests, relations between the foreigners and the Chinese community grew more tense during the early 19th century. The increasing amount of trade and larger number of ships inevitably brought more conflict. The[…]

The Canton Trade System in China in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Canton’s foreign quarter, sited between the city wall and the river, fit comfortably into the classic design of south Chinese cities. Canton Trade Introduction During the passage from Macau up the Pearl River foreigners passed through densely populated agricultural lands and market towns, but they never saw a major city until they reached Guangzhou. We[…]

The Midwest Farmers Movement That Challenged Gilded Age Capitalism

In the 19th century, the Grange was an agricultural brotherhood that sought to foster mutual self-reliance and free themselves from middlemen and monopolies. Perhaps you’ve seen them on a leisurely weekend drive through the countryside—small white structures with the sign “Grange Hall.” Although the Grange is now a mere shadow of its former self, its[…]

Economic Relations Between Europe and the World in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras

A vivid picture of the emergence of the global market and the beginnings of global competition. Introduction This article sketches the beginnings and central trends in the development of economic ties between Europe and regions outside Europe from 1450 to 1950. The focus is on the increasing diversity and volume of goods exchanged, and the[…]

America in the 1920s: Growth of the Middle Class and a Consumer Economy

The 1920s was a decade of increasing conveniences for the middle class. The 1920s was a decade of increasing conveniences for the middle class. New products made household chores easier and led to more leisure time. Products previously too expensive became affordable. New forms of financing allowed every family to spend beyond their current means.[…]

The Middle Classes in the 19th Century: Etiquette and Upward Mobility

Examining the expansion of the middle classes in the 19th century that led to a new emphasis on upward mobility, etiquette and conspicuous consumption. Introduction For centuries the aristocracy had been the most powerful section of British society. But from the last quarter of the 18th century, the middle classes began to grow in power[…]

Agricultural Markets and the Great Depression

Eighty years ago, the publication of John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath shocked the world with its description of starvation in the midst of plenty. By Dr. Rasheed SaleuddinPost-Doctoral Research FellowUniversity of Cambridge It took an estimated 2.3 billion metric tonnes of grain to feed the world in 2011 – that’s 6,300,000 tonnes per[…]