Economics History

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  1. Around 1400 the social classes in the more advanced regions can be thought of as the landowners, the king or emperor and his immediate advisors, the religious authorities, the merchants, the craftsmen, and the peasants. This question asks you to compare the political institutions in the following places.
  2. Who had political power in China?
  3. Who had political power in the Islamic sultanates?
  4. Who had political power in France and England?
  5. Who had political power in Venice and Genoa?

In each case, describe the political institutions, that is, the patterns of behavior of political actors. How were the political leaders selected?  What were the constraints on their actions?


  1. In medieval Europe, woolen cloth was made in towns in the Low Countries, glass products and silk were made in Venice and Milan in Italy, crossbows were made in Barcelona in Spain, and other towns were specialized in various craft goods. Many towns were quite small and served only as locations for local food markets. In these small towns labor was cheaper than in the larger towns mentioned above.  Why was it not profitable to set up industries for cloth, glass, silk, or crossbows in  some of these small towns, where labor was cheap?
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