Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:56 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16079
Location: Florida
Thanks: 3437
Thanked: 1292 times in 1021 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

 Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History



Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:55 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5728
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2208
Thanked: 2137 times in 1616 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
The Black Death was a critical juncture: it killed so many people in Europe that the old social structure of medieval hierarchy was simply destroyed, and the path was opened for modern capitalism.

WNF argues the Black Death separated eastern and western Europe, putting the east on a path to stagnant despotism and the west on a path to dynamic inclusion. This looks plausible.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:51 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6211
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1773
Thanked: 1935 times in 1472 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
Robert Tulip wrote:
The Black Death was a critical juncture: it killed so many people in Europe that the old social structure of medieval hierarchy was simply destroyed, and the path was opened for modern capitalism.

WNF argues the Black Death separated eastern and western Europe, putting the east on a path to stagnant despotism and the west on a path to dynamic inclusion. This looks plausible.

Did most of the Black Death fatalities happen in western Europe? I couldn't find a geographical breakdown.

I'm skeptical of retrospective statements about cause. The devastation of BD was good in the end for the West? This seems so subject to reversibility; a terrible plague could easily be said to have crippled other societies, and probably has. How do we know?, is the question.



Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:00 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Freshman

Silver Contributor

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 202
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Thanks: 77
Thanked: 147 times in 116 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Canada (ca)

Post Re: Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
DWill wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
The Black Death was a critical juncture: it killed so many people in Europe that the old social structure of medieval hierarchy was simply destroyed, and the path was opened for modern capitalism.

WNF argues the Black Death separated eastern and western Europe, putting the east on a path to stagnant despotism and the west on a path to dynamic inclusion. This looks plausible.



Did most of the Black Death fatalities happen in western Europe? I couldn't find a geographical breakdown.

I'm skeptical of retrospective statements about cause. The devastation of BD was good in the end for the West? This seems so subject to reversibility; a terrible plague could easily be said to have crippled other societies, and probably has. How do we know?, is the question.



I decided to do a bit of research beyond WHF to fill in gaps in my knowledge and understanding of the consequences of the Black Death. The following facts and interpretations runs through the sites I visited.

The Black Death had a huge impact on on all areas of life including the political, economic, social, religious, arts and sciences. At least 75 million perished on three continents including millions in China where it originated and at least twenty million in Europe which represented one-third to one half the population. Florence, likely the richest city in Europe at the time, lost almost half its population, 40,000 out of a population of 90,000. Paris lost about a third of its population as did London. It would be 150 or well into the 1500's before the population of Europe would reach pre-plague levels.

The Black Death was a natural disaster of great magnitude throughout Europe but seemed to have had its greatest impact in England. The high death rate of the peasant population put the survivors in a much stronger bargaining position with the property class. Although laws were passed to try to maintain the stus quo with pre plague wages and taxes, the social and economic pressures were such that the serfs were able to ask for and get much higher wages. Many others left the land for the cities to work in the trades and factories. The economic structure was shifting rapidly away from the traditional land-based economy. In large measure as a result of the Black Death the feudal system disappeared in England over the following hundred and fifty years putting the country on a path to rapid industrialization and the rise of capitalism. The rest of Europe would maintain a feudal system for several more generations.



The following user would like to thank LevV for this post:
Robert Tulip
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:09 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5728
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2208
Thanked: 2137 times in 1616 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
THanks LevV for this extra information on the Black Death, especially the major impact on England.

The core relevance to Why Nations Fail is on the problem of political inclusion. Peasant bargaining power in England resulting from widespread death provided a push toward democracy. What this means is that a government applies the same rules for everyone. WNF sees inclusion as the core of sustainable growth.

I find this highly interesting in terms of current politics, with the growth of inequality. The US government historically fought for inclusion, for example with the trust busting of Standard Oil and the end of slavery. But it seems that money has bought the government in recent times, enabling a strong shift away from inclusion, and a rise of inequality under the law. The worst example that comes to mind for me is the exclusion of fracking from the clean water act.

Big money has successfully demonised science, pushing towards a new dark age of ignorance. WNF explains that Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction is key, but we now see that big oil is trying to prevent the needed transformation of the energy sector towards a sustainable and fair market economy.

So the dilemma posed by WNF is that capitalism is the key to solving poverty, but it needs a strong central state operating to ensure transparency and accountability, seeing corruption as evil, providing a level playing field so that innovation is fostered, property and rights are protected, and everyone can participate in the economy on the basis of merit.


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:47 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book Aficionado

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor 2

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1761
Thanks: 154
Thanked: 729 times in 547 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: Ch. 4: Small Differences And Critical Junctures: The Weight of History
I'm slowly but surely making my way through the book.

Do you get the sense that there is a lot of ad-hoc theorizing going on?

Well, we can explain South Korea's success because of small institutional differences giving the rulers more incentives to create inclusive institutions. Same for Western Europe vs. Eastern Europe. Same for Botswana vs. much of Africa. I know he's going to revisit some of these examples again later on.

Not that I expect a clean, causal theory to explain a lot of these differences -- this is probably about the best you can do. And I think I can learn a lot just going through some of the historical examples, however simplified. But as I said from the beginning, I think the authors want to overemphasize their own theoretical contributions.



Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:39 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank