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Economics in PerspectiveA Critical History$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171647

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171647.001.0001

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The Enduring Interim

The Enduring Interim

(p.23) Chapter 3 The Enduring Interim
Economics in Perspective

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the basic economic life in the Middle Ages, noting the absence of trade or a market during the period. It first considers the legacy of the Romans with respect to economic and political life, including their commitment to the sanctity of private property and Christianity. In particular, it describes Christian attitudes toward wealth and the link between morality and the market. It also examines the ideas of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Nicole Oresme before turning to the role of markets in the Middle Ages, along with their special characteristics. Finally, it looks at other aspects of economic life during the medieval period, such as the intrusion of ethics on economics—the fairness or justice of the relationship between master and slave, lord and serf, landlord and sharecropper.

Keywords:   economic life, Middle Ages, trade, markets, Romans, private property, Christianity, Thomas Aquinas, Nicole Oresme, economics

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