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The Field and the ForgePopulation, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West$
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John Landers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.001.0001

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Introduction: Time, Space, and Population

Introduction: Time, Space, and Population

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: Time, Space, and Population
Source:
The Field and the Forge
Author(s):

John Landers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.003.0001

Time and space are intimately related in the world of human affairs no less than in the world of modern physics. The longest time scale is that of the so-called longue duree, a term that is associated with the work of the French historian Fernand Braudel and conventionally imported into English without translation. The structures of the longue duree defined a set of outer limits, but economic and demographic life was anything but static within these. The elements of economic and demographic life are situated in space as well as time. The historical nexus between energy and space in organic economies can be depicted in a pair of concrete symbols or ‘metonyms’: the field and the forge. The balance of power between core and periphery depended in the first instance on the relative military effectiveness of their inhabitants, which itself depended very much on the military technology at their command.

Keywords:   human affairs, modern physics, longue duree, Fernand Braudel, economics, metonyms, military effectiveness, military technology

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