Questions which concern the historical management, distribution, and usage of resources; why a particular resource, or state of production, occurred in a certain way.

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10
votes
2answers
125 views

Were US exports in the early 1800s paid for with metal or with paper?

In the early 1800s, when people in the US exported goods to Europe, how were those goods paid for? What did the buyers actually send back on ships crossing the Atlantic to pay for the goods? I can ...
5
votes
0answers
48 views

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule in Anatolia?

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule (1300-1450) in Anatolia? How was social surplus extracted from peasants, by who, with what ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Have economic sanctions prevented or inhibited wars? [closed]

The current escalation of armed conflicts and the complex geopolitical landscape keeps me thinking on how to avoid future wars. The only long term definitive solution I could think of is replacing ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

How did people from pre-industrialization era perceive “success in life”? [closed]

My assumption is that the industrial revolution had contributed to the current generally-held understanding of "success in life": go to prestigious university, get a good job, make good money. Now, ...
7
votes
1answer
87 views

The effect of the Panic of 1837 on financial/banking policy

Were there any direct or immediate financial/banking policies made because of this recession? I've read that a combination of factors helped get America out of the Panic, but it never mentioned a ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

How did the Abbey of Cluny derive revenue from William of Aquitaine's hunting preserve?

My understanding is that traditionally most monasteries were extensions of the Roman villa system, owning land and the labor of the attached peasants -- the same economic basis as the aristocracy. ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

Was there really a labor shortage in the USA until 1970?

After watching several video lectures made by Richard D. Wolff I noticed he frequently draws historical events as evidence to base his arguments on. One thing he mentions frequently (in several ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Inflation Rate in Spain and Portugal during 16th century

What was the yearly/monthly inflation rate in Spain and Portugal during 16th century? Is there data for the amount of silver or gold possessed by the crowns during that period? How much did it ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Gap between poor and rich in the Roman Empire

Was the difference in purchasing power between the poor and the wealthy in the Roman Empire, greater than or less than than the difference between rich and poor people in modern western economies? ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

How were FDR's economic policies as Governor of New York contradictory?

I have read in a number of Roosevelt's biographies that as Governor of New York, Roosevelt was not so aware of how economics works. He recognized that radical change was needed to respond to the Great ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Land concentration in Columbia

I am looking for elaboration for the following passage, which I found in Wikipedia: "In 1968 and 1969 alone, the INCORA issued more than 60,000 land titles to farmers and workers. Despite this, ...
8
votes
4answers
397 views

How close were the living standards of India compared to England during the medieval period?

India, China and the African continent today are mostly associated with poverty in Europe, the US and so on. Looking at India specifically, did it during the medieval era share a similar standard of ...
0
votes
2answers
145 views

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.
3
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
213 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, ...
9
votes
2answers
170 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
164 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
455 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
165 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
249 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
80 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
295 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
71 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
636 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
402 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
180 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
419 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
188 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
150 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
217 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
149 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
382 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
275 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
363 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
781 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...