By Richard Barras
This two-volume ebook explores how the good constructions of britain endure witness to 1000 years of the nation’s historical past. In all ages, funding in iconic constructions reaches a climax whilst the present mode of creation is working such a lot successfully, surplus wealth is so much ample, and the dominant classification principles ultimate. in the course of such classes of balance and prosperity, the call for for brand new structures is robust, structural and stylistic techniques abound, and there's fierce pageant to construct for lasting repute. each one such climax produces a different classic of hegemonic structures which are monuments to the wealth and tool of these who governed their global.
this primary quantity presents an advent to the research of wealth accumulation over the last millennium. There stick with 3 case reports of iconic development funding from the 11th to the 17th century. in the course of the 11th and 12th centuries the conquering Norman kings and barons erected castles through the nation to cement their feudal strength. through the 13th and fourteenth centuries the good wealth of the ecclesiastical estates funded the lavish building of Gothic cathedrals and abbeys. through the 16th and early 17th centuries Tudor and Jacobean magnates vied to construct the main impressive palaces and prodigy homes. The English Revolution introduced this period to a close.
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Additional info for A Wealth of Buildings: Marking the Rhythm of English History: Volume I: 1066–1688
Moving through successive epochs of economic history, from feudal through mercantilist to capitalist, the mode of production has undergone repeated transformation in terms of its organization and technology. Yet until the twentieth century at least, the fundamental structure of distribution has remained essentially unchanged. In the simplest terms, the national product can be divided into two parts: a subsistence product and a surplus product. A small dominant class, whether landed aristocrats, great merchants, industrial capitalists, or global financiers, controls the means of production and exchange, allowing them to appropriate the surplus product.
Real wages suffered a severe decline, so that by the start of the seventeenth century they were seemingly as low as at any point in the previous 400 years. • Between the early seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries a slowdown in population growth was accompanied by increases in agricultural productivity, arising from improvements in farming techniques. Prices stabilized and there was a modest recovery in real wages. • During the first phase of the Industrial Revolution, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there was a surge of population growth and a spike in inflation caused by the French Wars.
The dominant elite direct the surplus product into the spheres of both production and consumption. Part of the surplus is directed towards capital formation, investing in capital goods which expand the means of production. The remainder is consumed by the elite, in the form of luxury investment and consumption goods. Only when the distribution of income becomes more equal, as it did during the twentieth century, does ownership of capital and consumption of luxury goods spread down the social hierarchy.