In the Middle Ages, much of Europe was sparsely populated. People lived in small settlements separated by lawless wilderness, so they had to be self-reliant.
Feudalism ended when the factors that had supported it disappeared: small and isolated populations, limited markets, the dominance of the knight in warfare.
At the time of the Glorious Revolution, an ideology that emphasized the value of labour pushed aside an ideology that justified the power of the landowners.
The Industrial Revolution was one aspect of a dramatic change in the way that people thought of themselves and the world in which they lived.
Acemoglu and Robinson argue that a country’s prosperity is determined by its political and economic institutions. Casual empiricism supports their argument.
Evidence from the Industrial Revolution does not support Acemoglu and Robinson’s claim that the transition to sustained growth always follows the same pattern.
The Western concept of property has been influenced by such thinkers as John Locke, James Madison, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Hayek.
Socialist ideas first appeared in the early 1800s. Saint-Simon, Sismondi, Fourier and Marx were among their early expositors and proponents.
Socialist and communist political parties were active by 1870. The most successful Marxist party, Germany’s SPD, was the largest party in the Reichstag by 1914.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, Russia went from autocracy, to revolution and civil war, to communist rule.