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Economic History of Europe - Essay Example

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Prior to the 18th century, the economy of England can be statistically be described as poor as the economy was characterized or dominated by agriculture (Allen, 1999). However, the economy experienced accelerated growth during the 12th and 13th centuries due to population growth…
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Economic History of Europe
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Download file to see previous pages However, in the late 13 century the economy started to decline due to land shortages, overpopulation and depleted soils for food production and other agricultural activities. Conversely, the vast famine of the 1315-17 contributed immensely to the decline in economic growth and development resulting in stoppage of population growth. Agriculture also shrank further; profits declined as prices reduced in 1348 due to the Black Death outbreak in which almost half of the population of England was killed, thus plaguing the gains the economy had achieved further.
England faced similar economic challenges just like the rest of Europe that were characterized by rapid inflation as a result of loss of real wages and an increase in New World golds. To understand further the how stagnant the economy of England was during the pre-industrial revolution era, the Malthusian theory of income determination cannot be ignored. In England, during the pre-industrial era, which was between 1200 -1640, living standards were dictated by the population (Nicholas and Steckel, 1991). According to Malthusian, decrease in population led to the increase in the per capita income in England. Malthusian also stated that the tradeoff between mortality rate and fertility rate determined the income in the pre-industrial economy. The model shows how the economy of England was, thus stagnant by the following assumptions developed by Malthusian (Galor and Wepl, 1999).
The birth rate, mortality rate and the living standards among the ancient people were the three assumptions that Malthusian used to explain why the economy was stagnant. Birth rate increased the population in England, which in return led to the decrease in the living standards among the people (Galor and Weil, 1999). On the other hand, the death rate that resulted in the decrease in population, led to the increase and improvement in the living standards among the people in England. The three assumptions, which are also referred to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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