Категорії «Економічні науки»

The National System of Political Economy (6)

Chapter 6

The French

France, too, inherited many a remnant of Roman Civilisation. On the irruption of the German Franks, who loved nothing but the chase, and changed many districts again into forests and waste which had been long under cultivation, almost everything was lost again. To the monasteries, however, which subsequently became such a great hindrance to civilisation, France, like all other European countries, is indebted for most of her progress in agriculture during the Middle Ages. The inmates of religious houses kept up no feuds like the nobles, nor harassed their vassals with calls to military service, while their lands and cattle were less exposed to rapine and extermination. The clergy loved good living, were averse to quarrels, and sought to gain reputation and respect by supporting the necessitous. Hence the old adage ’It is good to dwell under the crosier.’ The Crusades, the institution of civic communities and of guilds by Louis IX (Saint Louis), and the proximity of Italy and Flanders, had considerable effect at an early period in developing industry in France. Already in the fourteenth century, Normandy and Brittany supplied woollen and linen cloths for home consumption and for export to England. At this period also the export trade in wines and salt, chiefly through the agency of Hanseatic middlemen, had become important.