athousandwinds: (Aberystwyth)
[personal profile] athousandwinds
I think the reason why I find economic history so mind-numbingly awful is that you can't prove a damn thing. In political history, this happens and that happens: there are incontrovertible facts to deal with which generally fit into a narrative. With economic history, you have to rely on official statistics (which don't agree from one historian to another) and you have to make horrible generalisations about people in Languedoc based on what people in Brittany were doing and basically. No proof.

Also, it helps if you know things about economics, which I don't. I barely grasped mercantilism, which is outdated even by the period I'm studying (19th century) and. I hate it.

How do you prove that a nation is on the brink of a Malthusian crisis, anyway? Or do you just wait until it has one, and then say, "Ah, I knew it all along"?
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Angharad

September 2012

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