Sunday, September 18, 2016

Unit 1: Economic Transformation

The Modern Age began in 1453, with the Fall of Constantinople and ended with the French Revolution in 1789.  Many years previously, however, there had already been signicant economic, social, political and cultural changes which had anticipated the dawning of a new era. 

Phases of the Modern Age:

15th Century. Renaissance and rst explorations.
16th Century. Hispanic hegemony and protestant reform. 
17th Century. Absolutism, Barroque and scientirevolution.
18th Century. Illustrious despotism, Revolution, Neoclassicism.

From the middle of the 15th Century, following the economic crisis and catastrophes suered during the Middle Ages, European societies experienced a recovery and underwent  signicant economic and social transformations. 

Economic transformations:

1. Agrarian activity increased. Technological innovations were not introduced; the three-yearly rotation system is maintained with fallow periods.

2. Commercial activity grew. Surplus products were sold in city markets. New long-distance trade routes were also created.

3. The number of craftworkers increased, and was controlled by the trade unions. The domestic system emerged.

4. New products reached Europe thanks to the voyages of discovery (precious metals, foods).

5. Commercial capitalism developed, in which capital (money, raw materials and machinery) played a key role and belonged to trading companies controlled by the bourgeoisie.

6. Developments in banking took place via two activities:
     a. The provision of loans. 
     b. The creation of new methods of payment (bill of exchange).

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