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The Economics Revolution - Essay Example

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Heilbroner in this chapter Economics Revolution argues that the field of economics has evolved over time beginning in the early eighteenth century. He argues that in the Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Ages, economics was a foreign concept as the society relied…
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The Economics Revolution
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The Economics Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... Though people engaged in work, it was for their subsistence hence work was an end in itself and not a means to an end. The serfs tilled the land to get food for themselves and also worked for the lords as a responsibility and not to get paid. There was also no capital accumulation and those merchants who sold and bought goods to gain wealth were viewed with disdain especially by churches and for pilgrims, the idea of gain was perceived as “the doctrine of the devil” (Heilbroner, 1999, p. 25). Land was for farming and used communally; there was no buying or selling of land. Land existed in form of estates, manors and principalities and not as real estate like in modern times. Though people exchanged goods in the market; for example, gold and war chariots were exchanged for slaves and horses there was no gain envisaged. As such, up to seventeenth century, the factors of production which include land, labor and capital did not exist thus there was no market system.
Heilbroner argues that economic revolution took place when the society resulted to the third solution to their survival problem which was: “allowing each individual to do exactly as he saw fit but follow a central guiding rule” (1999, p. 20). This is when the idea of gain or profit motive was born and the market system began its work which was to allocate resources. Market system in this case refers to a “mechanism for sustaining and maintaining an entire society” (p. 27). It was based on the idea that men are self-centered hence pursue own interests and in the process serve the interests of others. Since custom and command had taken root, a revolution was needed to move to a market system. During this time, only a few people (merchants and kings) were concerned with gaining wealth and merchants were considered immoral or outcasts in society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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