Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Neat Tutoring Aid on the Evolution of Commerce

On Diverse Thoughts (here) the author, Roger Costello, has drawn a most interesting flow diagram of “Mankind’s journey from hunter-gatherers to coins as the instrument for doing commerce”, based he says on Adam Smith’s Wealth Of Nations and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.

I could quibble about a few points, such as it leaves out the Age of Shepherding, the direct descendant from Hunter-Gathering (corralling tamable animals for domestication is a darn-sight easier than hunting for them in the aftermath of the last ice-age).

But the general drift of the flow diagram is a fairly accurate account of the emergence of the age of commerce from the age of agriculture and accords well with Adam Smith’s account of the ages of mankind in his Lectures On Jurisprudence (1762-3) and Wealth Of Nations (1776).

I recommend that you follow the link; it might make a good diagram for a tutor's talk on economic history.


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