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The Field and the ForgePopulation, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West$
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John Landers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.001.0001

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(p.378) Chapter Sixteen Conclusion
The Field and the Forge

John Landers (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Spatial integration was fundamental to the development of more complex and differentiated structures in the economic and political spheres. The resource base in pre-industrial economies, or organic economies, is characterised by the low level of energy availability and the role played by the produce of the land as the ultimate source of nearly all raw material and energy inputs. These two features of organic economies imposed heavy and restrictive costs on the societies that depended on them and limited the resources that they had available to meet such costs. The reliance on organic resources imposed structural constraints that limited what could be achieved in the sphere of production. The constraints and inefficiencies endemic to organic economies set limits to what rulers could achieve in the long term, but in the short term they also created opportunities.

Keywords:   spatial integration, economic sphere, political sphere, organic economy, energy availability, land produce, production sphere

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