126 Essay Topic
Gregory Clark argues that Europe, up to roughly 1800, through the
early modern as well as medieval eras, was subject to Malthusian
constraints. Others disagree with the applicability of the Malthusian
model for all or part of that period. Grantham, for example, maintains
that the key constraint on prosperity during European feudalism was
not Malthusian, but the prevalence of market incentives.
Contrast the views and evidence supplied by Grantham, as opposed
to Clark. Which is more persuasive? Is the evidence sufficient to
make either point of view persuasive?
George Grantham, “The Manse, The Manor and the Market: New
Perspectives on the Medieval Agricultural Revolution”
Gregory Clark. A Farewell to Alms
John Hatcher and Mark Bailey. Modeling the Middle Ages. Chs. 2, pp.
21-65; ch. 4, pp. 121-174; ch. 5, pp. 182-184, 200-208. McHenry
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