The Premarket Vs. The Market Economy: Preliminary Economics.

1262 words - 5 pages

There were certainly many factors that carried society away from the many pre-market economic methods that were applied in the Middle Ages. The premarket society was very antiquated; the economy stemmed from traditional values and methods, such as farming, slavery and the idea that "wealth tended to follow power" (21). You were born into a certain niche and life and your only job was the fulfill it; basically if you were born into the royal family you had money, you were set for life and if not, you basically had no shot. The market economy was very different from this in the sense that it encouraged a man to go out and earn a living for himself based on his own abilities; he could break from the traditional values that told him what he was supposed to do and actually follow the idea of the "self-made man". For such a major change in principle to occur, a significant shift in attitude was necessary. Spurring from new religious concepts, such as Calvinism, the market economy movement took off and was aided strongly by the growth of exploration and urbanization/ the enclosure movement. These factors helped play upon the natural human characteristic of selfishness; that is that every person internally wants to be better than the next guy, to make more money and be more successful than their neighbor. While this value was still present in the people of the pre-market system, these other factors helped to bring it to the forefront of their minds, thus leading to the major change in systems.The religious state of mind at this time was very conservative in the sense that you were here to serve the church and to help others around you. Humbertus de Romanis, an ancient really sums up the churches general attitude quite concisely: "...it took only one to corrupt a marketplace, whereas every man harbored a devil in his own heart." (41) The church frowned upon economic activity and because of its position of power in the community, it was very difficult to commercially expand. This attitude was somewhat genuine, but after one looks deeper, it appears rather hypocritical. The church actually, through tithes and donations, had a hand in the most economic activity of anyone in Europe at this time. (41) It acted like a bank in a time where there was no such thing, and certain churches actually became very wealthy. The church became more involved as time went on and this clearly shone through to a society previously blinded by a group of beliefs that were not even followed by the church that set them forth. More economic pursuits through the church led to a general attitude where trade was more accepted.The church impacted this movement not only through the actions that they physically took, but probably even more through the new beliefs that it started to preach. The biggest of these beliefs was brought to the front by John Calvin, a Protestant reformer, whose biggest belief was the concept of predestination, the idea that God decided who was going to heaven and...

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