Black Death, “Industrial Revolution” and Paper Age collapse

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 18 (no. 3),

This essay discusses first English and then world economic history, starting with the Black Death of 1348–1400AD. When the English population and wealth both increased after 1400, the structure of English development by the year 1700 became a little bit like a spiral, this paper says. The aggregate size of wealth increased, but there was little commensurate change in the distribution of wealth. The eighteenth-century English elite absorbed the elites of Wales and Scotland, and then the Protestant elite of Ireland. Then, on the same model of absorption, an English-speaking elite later came to dominate world wealth. As the world population increased in the early modern period, and as aggregate wealth increased apace, the distribution of world wealth became approximately what the distribution of wealth had been in England in 1700. A tiny group of very wealthy people had controlled the wealth of England in 1700. In the late twentieth century, the English elite absorbed the world elite many of whom adopted the English language and much of English culture. They often sent their children to study in Britain or America. Now this tiny elite group, English in language and usually English in culture, controls much of the wealth of the world while at the same time the ongoing increase in population has produced a huge number of very poor people.
Citation: Taylor, J. A. (2020). Black Death, “Industrial Revolution” and Paper Age collapse. Terra Economicus, 18(3), 6–17. DOI: 10.18522/2073-6606-2020-18-3-6-17

Keywords: Black Death; Industrial Revolution; Gunpowder Age

JEL codes: N10, N30, O10

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606