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Modelling the Middle AgesThe History and Theory of England's Economic Development$
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John Hatcher and Mark Bailey

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199244119.001.0001

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Class Power and Property Relations

Class Power and Property Relations

(p.66) 3 Class Power and Property Relations
Modelling the Middle Ages

John Hatcher

Mark Bailey

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the explanation that the key to economic development is in the social relations and political and legal institutions of society. Whereas population and resources models concentrate on such matters as the density of settlement, soil quality, agricultural yields, rents, prices, wages, standards of living, and population trends, the models discussed in this chapter stress the leading roles played by the contrasting lifestyles and priorities of lords and peasants, the conflictive relations between landlords and tenants, and the institutions of feudalism, vassalage, and villeinage in determining the pace and direction of economic change. The last part of the chapter presents some general remarks about the strengths and weaknesses of Marxist models of economic and social development. It assesses the main Marxist models as they relate to the periods before and after the Black Death.

Keywords:   economic development, Karl Marx, class power, property relations, social relations, Black Death, feudalism, vassalage, villeinage, social development

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