Economy refers to the management, distribution, usage, and affairs of resources related to a particular group of people, or entities. Questions about economies, or economic history will cover the how and why a particular resource, or state of production occurred in a certain way.

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Was slavery economically most efficient system in the ancient/agricultural era? [closed]

I mean slavery in ancient civilizations, for example Greece, Rome, Egypt. Not considering moral aspects at all, but considering economic reasons and agricultural nature of economic activity.
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42 views

Why did overestimated coins led to inflation and well-estimated coins to deflation?

It is said in Debt, the first 5,000 years by David Graeber (chapter 4, note 2) that when the value of metal coins represented exactly their weight, the result was deflation. The author says that when ...
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Ratio of commerce to residence in preindustrial towns

Is there any research that has attempted to estimate the ratio of commerce to residence, or of shopkeepers to residents in other trades, for preindustrial towns? Or are there old census sources where ...
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162 views

Why only in the last few hundred year has science and technology progressed like it has [closed]

Man has been on the Earth for millions of years. But in only the last few hundred years, science has made major advances: the average life expectancy expanded, electronics, transistors, ...
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154 views

Are there instances where collective farming has actually brought benefit to the population

I was reading a few articles about population growth and famines and thereby discovered that some of the recent famines where caused by government policies, among which I read at least twice (USSR and ...
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100 views

How did an input of resources in 16th century Spain contribute to inflation?

My history book claims that the flow of Silver from the New World to Spain in the 16th century contributed to an inflation. However, that seems very unintuitive. How could gaining resources lead to a ...
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102 views

Was COMECON involved in economic imperialism and if so, to what extent?

Disclaimer: I am not 100% sure if it was COMECON, it might be another Soviet apparatus. I recall reading about how the Soviet Union forced her Eastern European satellites into very lucrative and ...
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2answers
230 views

Were soldiers in the World Wars paid?

There have always been professional soldiers however during the world wards there were vast conscription to encourage young men to join up for "King and Country". Presumably there was some sort of ...
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145 views

What containers were used for food prior to the industrial era?

Today, when you go shopping, most of the food are kept in plastic or paper containers (or tin can). What types of containers were used to sell, transport and keep the food before plastic ? and ...
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107 views

What were the business models of real estate development in ancient Rome?

I just watched Mary Beard's documentary about the Romans. One thing I'm curious about is that some of the models of living of the Romans seemed to be quite similar to today's: e.g. that there were ...
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36 views

Evidence of Aztecs using Quetzal feathers as commodity money?

I found some webpages on the internet stating that on Aztecs barter-based economy, the remainder of value between two goods (if any) was settled with, among others, Quetzal feathers. Is there any ...
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692 views

What did Germany do after World War II to recover so successfully that it became more prosperous than its WW2 victors?

Germany lost in World War II. Being the loser, its economy started at a disadvantage compared to her World War II victors in the aftermath of WW2. However, Germany managed to recover more ...
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127 views

What were the factors that aided Margaret Thatcher in her victory against the trade unions when her predecessors failed?

Industrial strife has often been cited as a major reason for weakness in the British economy during the 1970s. For much of the 1970s, UK politics appeared to be a battle between the government and the ...
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142 views

Historical examples of energy wars

Energy sources and resources like oil and coal are vital for the survival of modern civilizations. Are there any good historical examples of wars, or low intensity armed conflicts, over the control ...
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67 views

What were the reasons for the Federal Art Project?

From August 29, 1935, until June 30, 1943 United States promote what they called Federal Art Project. Reputed to have created more than 200,000 separate works, FAP artists created posters, ...
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111 views

What is the meaning of “£10 per cent” in the early 19th century in relation to a wage (30/- fortnight)

Reading Hammond and Hammond (1919) The Skilled labourer I came across the expression of £10% in the quoted primary sources, ie, at 34: The Duke of Northumberland wrote to the H.O. on May 26 that work ...
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3answers
242 views

How did sugar go from a luxury to a necessity in 18th century?

The only thing I came up with is slavery. This would be due to the wage differences between slave and free man. If plantations were manned by indentured labor, then wages would have been higher. ...
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1answer
93 views

Relative merits of oligarchy and democracy [closed]

It's being presumed in a few Q&A and discussions here that democracy is the most optimal political system. I'd like to see whether this assertion can be substantiated or refuted here. Are their ...
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67 views

Does the cost of creating a naval fleet grow over time? [closed]

Is it harder to build a naval fleet today than two-three centuries ago? Do we spend more or less % of GDP to build the complete fleet from scratch? Do we spend more or less % of GDP per ship, or per ...
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450 views

How rich were carpenters in the Roman province of Iudaea in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). Apparently carpenters were not among the wealthy. Be that as it may, how rich could a ...
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353 views

Does History confirm that prosperity, capitalism, and some form “democracy” or representative republican form of government always go hand in hand?

Many historians, politicians and economists find a link between the economic success of a nation and its form of government. For example, the idea that the USA's form of government was responsible ...
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1answer
146 views

During World War II, in the U.S., were diapers available?

As is well known, during World War II many consumer goods became difficult to find and with regard to the situation in the United States, after some searches, I observed that, among others: U.S. ...
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209 views

Why did pastorial people from central Asia migrate to Europe?

Alans, Huns, Magyars, Mongols. They were all pastoralists whose material culture and economic life seems more suited to the Asian steppes. Yet for some reason they migrated into the European land ...
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1answer
110 views

Where can I find detailed accounts of cash-less payment in medevial and ancient times?

In his book "Debt: The first 5000 Years" David Graeber writes that during most of the middle ages and antiquity coins were seldom used in day-to-day dealings, at least of the more rural population. He ...
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238 views

Were natural resources a primary reason for invading Romania during the middle ages-present?

When I was in school in Romania I remember my history teacher saying that historically Romania has seen a lot of invaders (referring mainly from the middle ages-present) because it used to have a lot ...
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271 views

Did the Great Society programs ameliorate poverty or exacerbate it?

Once time ago Martin Luther King Jr., in his "I Have a Dream" speech, said: We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of ...
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80 views

Effects of land reforms in the 20th and 21st centuries [closed]

As Wikipedia clearly shows, there have been many different land reforms in many different times and places. It seems there is enough data for research about the consequences of land reforms. I am ...
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332 views

Did Roosevelt's New Deal lift the U.S. out of the depression or did it actually prolong the Depression and cripple American capitalism? [closed]

While the New Deal did much to lessen the worst affects of the Great Depression, its measures were not sweeping enough to restore the nation to full employment. Critics of FDR's policies, on ...
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2answers
173 views

During 1790-1800, was it legal to pay workers using whiskey?

As is well known, in frontier regions whiskey was regarded as an indispensable necessity to life, health and happiness, at the point that it usually had to substute for specie as a medium of exchange: ...
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2answers
146 views

Were railroads indispensable to American economic development?

In "Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History", 1964, Robert W. Fogel, the father of modern econometric history, found that railroads were not indispensable to American's ...
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181 views

How much of an impact did the Roman emperors' civil wars have on their decision to debase the coinage?

From Adrian Goldsworthy's How Rome Fell: "Civil war remained a common event, ...the economy collapsed, as successive emperors massively devalued the coinage to pay for their wars." Other sources say ...
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3answers
137 views

Parable of the broken window and 1929 crisis

I've read that, in 1938, economic crisis was taking back, and that it's the war effort that finally closed the 1929 crisis. Is it not a version of the parable of the broken window ? How a war effort ...
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39 views

Origin of land-lottery system

A report from 1894 describes the Musha'a land tenure system in the Arab villages of Palestine: the agricultural lands of the village are considered common property, and they are divided each year ...
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290 views

The economic prosperity of former colonies and their demographic make up

Most former colonies are now developing or poor countries, such as many countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Some exceptions are Australia, the United States, Canada. Interestingly they are ...
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263 views

Has scholarship shown that persecuted religious minorities have tended to be financially successful?

In this interview with Neal Stephenson, talking about the historical basis for his Baroque Cycle series of novels, he makes the remark that ... persecuted religious minorities, if they’re not ...
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324 views

Was the N.E.P. of Russia successful in terms of economics?

The Soviet's New Economic Plan was indeed a successful plan in establishing a comparatively strong postwar economy for the Soviet Union, but there were many imperfections: food prices fluctuated ...
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597 views

What was Lenin's “New Economic Policy” and what complications did it have?

I have recently read an article on Lenin's New Economic Policy, and I was wondering if there were two sides to the story. What were some of the complications of this policy? In addition to this, was ...
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1answer
57 views

Inflation After Executive Order 6102 (FDR Leaving GoldStandard)

I'm looking at this image which implies that the US leaving the Gold Standard started revival after the Great Depression. I'm thinking that it could all be explained with rapid inflation due to the ...
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135 views

What were some of the complications of Marshall Plan?

What were some of the complications that were revolved around the Marshall Plan? Were the Soviets involved in any way?
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209 views

Examples of censorship causing economic decline

I am writing a blog post about knowledge banning, either by state censorship or by self-imposed censorship, like the US Comics Code Authority of the 20th century. My focus is moral censorship, ...
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63 views

Which are the most economic and military based civilizations [closed]

I've been working on an MMOSG game and wanted your opinions about which were the most economic and militarily powerful civilizations in history.
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1k views

How has Chinese GDP as a percentage of world GDP changed over time and why?

I've heard it's 33% during the Qing dinasty. 4% during cultural revolution. Now it's climbing up steadily to 11%. Where can I see the table of those actually tracking those numbers? What were the ...
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5answers
668 views

Has a state ever “attacked” another one by printing fake money?

Has any state ever performed an "economic attack" against another state, by printing fake money of the victim's currency? Or, is it known if someone ever considered doing it, and which were the ...
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5answers
245 views

Is there a link between national debt/trade deficit and starting a war?

I saw in an article mentioning that there is a link between national debt and starting wars I don't recall where I've seen it mentioned to look for further references on the matter. Are there known ...
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1answer
81 views

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? [duplicate]

Has a country gone to war to seek payment of a debt since 1900? Expansionist policies don't count although use of debt as a justification would be interesting.
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1answer
144 views

What is so special about the location of Mexico City?

Since 1325, the area we know today as Mexico City has held some sort of cultural or historical bond. The bond is so strong that, no matter what, no matter how bad a shape the country gets, they ...
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3answers
207 views

How did shells, bones, and other trinkets work as currency?

One often hears stories about civilised and pre-civilised societies using shells, bones, and other trinkets as currency. How exactly did this system work? Taking the example of shells, did they have ...
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501 views

What is the purpose of the bridge to the Russkiy island? [closed]

Russky bridge is a bridge to a sparsely populated Russky island in the Far East whose construction started in 2008 and completed in 2012. It is the world's largest cable-stayed bridge, the 1104 m long ...
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1answer
122 views

How easy one could start an artel in USSR after WW2 1945-1956?

During 1956-1960 all artels (cooperative enterprises) were nationalized in USSR. It was a large amount of artels. How easy was it to organize an artel before that, in the post-war period of ...
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131 views

What surface area per person is required for hunter-gatherers?

I am sure I have read it somewhere, but I can't figure out in which book anymore (I think Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works) Most of human (pre-)history (and evolution) has happened in a foraging ...