Question about Hobsbawm

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at
Fri Nov 3 11:27:16 MST 2000

Welcome Mac..

Macdonald Stainsby wrote:

> > Louis, the Irish military campaign was financed by promising the
> soldiers land
> > rather than paying them outright.  This was the beginning of modern
> economics,
> > since William Petty was in charge of the survey to divvy up the
> land.
> Nor just that, they sided with the monarchy of Charles II. A KLA type
> operation.
> Macdonald

True. For a detailed discussion of  William Petty's economic philosophy,
you may want to see David McNally's _Political Economy and Rise of
Capitalism: A Reinterperation_ (University of California Press, 1988),
Chapter two covers rents and taxes in Irish land, English mercantilism,
the origins of classical political economy (Baconian scientific
principles), William Petty and his legacy to Smith and Ricardo.

***  Petty's chief innovation came in the field of surveying. Cromwell
and his Ironsides had reconqured Ireland by September 1652. The land of
Irish catholic rebels was to be expropriated in order that the 35
thousand commonwealth and the adventurers  whose speculative fortunes had
financed the campaign could be paid directly in land. The English
parliament  adopted a plan which served the expropriated land in ten
Irish counties for the claims of the soldiers and adventurers. But before
the land could be expropriated and distributed, it had to be surveyed  to
determine its extent, boundaries, etc..In June 1653 Benjamin Worsley, an
associate of Hartlib, was appointed surveyor general for the grosse
survey which was to undertake a preliminary estimate of the forfeited
lands in order that a provisional distribution could take place. An exact
admeasurement would take place afterwards. Worsley's survey encountered
innumerable logistical and organizational difficulties. in 1655, Petty,
by this time a bitter rival of Worsley, proposed a survey of the whole of
Ireland, not simply of the expropriated areas.Petty proposed not only the
to solve the technical problems involved in the land distribution but
also to undertake a scientific survey of Ireland's landed wealth on the
basis of quantified geographic and economic information" (p. 47)


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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