Feudalism As An Economic System

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Journal Of Comparative Economics


This review essay discusses recent books on feudalism by Perry Anderson, John Critchley, Rodney Hilton, and Witold Kula. Its purpose is to provide an overview to a number of approaches toward the economic aspects of feudalism and to indicate promising directions in this field for comparative economists. To this end, four major questions are discussed: What is feudalism? How and why did the feudal economic system emerge? What are the short-term economic mechanisms within a feudal economy? And how and why did the feudal economic system decline?

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