Questions tagged [economy]

Questions which concern the historical management, distribution, and usage of resources; why a particular resource, or state of production, occurred in a certain way. General economics questions are off-topic but may be welcome on our sister site Economics Stack Exchange.

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18 votes
2 answers

What was the actual value of tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party?

I'd like to know 2 or 3 of the following 3 metrics: Actual value in the currency of the time (yes I realize that there were local currencies and in general FX concept was... hard to do). NPV (...
  • 17.5k
7 votes
4 answers

What historical situation is comparable to what Europe is currently facing? [closed]

I know that this question might get closed, but I will try it, nevertheless. The reason why I am so interested in broad comparisons of historical situations with current ones, is because I believe ...
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24 votes
5 answers

When and where was salt as valuable as gold?

I have often heard that gold and salt were sometimes considered of equal value. When and where did that occur?
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12 votes
2 answers

What were the operating principles of Japan's MITI during the 1950s and 60s?

Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) guided Japan's economy through two decades of unprecedented economic growth. MITI was the primary instrument of Japan's industrial policy, ...
27 votes
5 answers

How heavily were the British taxing their American colonies?

The British levied several taxes on the American Colonists (13), which were at least part of the reason for the American Revolution. Were the British taxing the 13 colonies for more money than was ...
  • 4,382
24 votes
2 answers

Has mercantilism ever been successful?

Mercantilism, which includes protectionism, industrial policy, capital controls, and other distortions to trade, is generally viewed by economists today as unsound economic policy. An overwhelming ...
9 votes
3 answers

What was the reason for inflation in Britain after the Black Death?

According to the Wikipedia article Ordinance of Labourers 1349 During this outbreak [of Black Death], an estimated 30-40% of the population died. The decline in population left surviving workers in ...
  • 2,598
19 votes
3 answers

Was the Roman Empire based on a 'plunder economy'?

It has been stated by Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke that: The economy of the Empire was a Raubwirtschaft or plunder economy based on looting existing resources rather than producing anything ...
  • 1,273
17 votes
1 answer

What were tally sticks?

What were tally sticks, and how was it that they they worked for the economy? I understand that they were a form of currency and were of fixed value based on the notches, but how did they work as a ...
  • 271
20 votes
3 answers

What were the first local currency systems in history?

What were the first local currency systems in history we have detailed information on? I don't think it was gold/silver or other hard to produce materials. Probably these became more important ...
  • 4,224
13 votes
8 answers

First evidence of intercontinental or cross-cultural trade?

Probably this happened several times and maybe even failed and broke up in different regions. What hints and proofs do we have of the earliest succesful intercontinental trade relations? I assume ...
  • 4,224
21 votes
2 answers

How do Friedman and Bernanke's explanations about the causes of the Great Depression compare?

I know that both Friedman and Bernanke wrote papers (or books, in Friedman's case) about the cause of the Great Depression. How do their points of view compare and contrast?
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26 votes
5 answers

How would you accurately use older British currencies when writing a story?

For writing a story set in the Napoleonic Wars era, how should one use the currencies accurately? I read in novels they use currencies like shilling, pound, guinea, sovereign, four (or six-, etc) ...
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