Most of what has been written on the economy of the middle ages is deeply influenced by abstract concepts and theories. The most powerful and popular of these guiding beliefs are derived from intellectual foundations laid down in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by Adam Smith, Johan von Thünen, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx. In the hands of twentieth-century historians and social scientists these venerable ideas have been moulded into three grand explanatory ideas which continue to dominate interpretations of economic development. These trumpet in turn the claims of 'commercialization', 'population and resources', or 'class power and property relations' as the prime movers of historical change. In this highly original book John Hatcher and Mark Bailey examine the structure and test the validity of these conflicting models from a variety of perspectives. In the course of their investigations they provide not only detailed reconstructions of the economic history of England in the middle ages and sustained critical commentaries on the work of leading historians, but also discussions of the philosophy and methods of history and the social sciences. The result is a short and readily intelligible introduction to medieval economic history, an up-to-date critique of established models, and a succinct treatise on historiographical method.
Intriguing ... highly enjoyable and provocative. The Agricultural History Review Modelling the Middle Ages ... provides a cogent and comprehensive survey of the history and economics of late medieval England and an invaluable survey and an invaluable survey of the history of thought concerning those topics. EH.NET Overall, the book does an excellent job of accomplishing its two goals. The first was to provide a clear and accessible introduction to the conceptual frameworks that have dominated this field for many decades. The second was to assess the strengths and weaknesses, relevance, and credibility of the models. EH.NET Lucid, learned, and at times passionate ... the book is important and will undoubtedly be found indispensable for many years to come. English Historical Review Will be welcomed by students and teachers of economic history. Examining English economic development between the Norman Conquest and the late fifteenth century they [Hatcher and Bailey] present a wonderfully clear exposition of the three 'classic supermodels' that have dominated debates on the medieval economy and its transition towards commercial modernity ... The very real achievement of this book is to make these debates and their consequences accessible and interesting, evenat times positively exciting ... few could doubt its usefulness and timeliness. History Workshop Journal
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: 3rd May 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.8 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.326