Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300182910

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 814

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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
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Against the Grain

A Deep History of the Earliest States

Author: James C. Scott

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300231687

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 7170

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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
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World Peace

(And How We Can Achieve It)

Author: Alex J. Bellamy

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192570048

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 9447

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For as long as there has been war, there have been demands for its elimination. The quest for world peace has excited and eluded political leaders, philosophers, religious elders, activists, and artists for millennia. With war on the rise once again, we rarely reflect on what world peace might look like; much less on how it might be achieved. World Peace aims to change all that and show that world peace is possible. Because the motives, rationales, and impulses that give rise to war - the quest for survival, enrichment, solidarity, and glory - are now better satisfied through peaceful means, war is an increasingly anachronistic practice, more likely to impoverish and harm us humans than satisfy and protect us. This book shows that we already have many of the institutions and practices needed to make peace possible and sets out an agenda for building world peace. In the immediate term, it shows how steps to strengthen compliance with international law, improve collective action such as international peacekeeping and peacebuilding, better regulate the flow of arms, and hold individuals legally accountable for acts of aggression or atrocity crimes can make our world more peaceful. It also shows how in the long term, building strong and legitimate states that protect the rights and secure the livelihoods of their people, gender equal societies, and protecting the right of individuals to opt-out of wars has the potential to establish and sustain world peace. But it will only happen, if individuals organize to make it happen.
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Unredeemed Land

An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South

Author: Erin Stewart Mauldin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190865180

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 1232

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How did the Civil War and the emancipation of four million slaves reconfigure the natural landscape in the South and the farming economy dependent upon it? An innovative reconsideration of the Civil War's profound impact on southern history, Unredeemed Land traces the environmental constraints that shaped the rural South's transition to capitalism during the late nineteenth century. Dixie's "King Cotton" required extensive land use techniques across large swaths of acreage, fresh soil, and slave-based agriculture in order to remain profitable. But wartime destruction and the rise of the contract labor system closed off those possibilities and necessitated increasingly intensive methods of cultivation that worked against the environment. The resulting disconnect between farmers' use of the land and what the natural environment could support intensified the economic dislocation of freed people, poor farmers, and sharecroppers. Erin Stewart Mauldin demonstrates how the Civil War and emancipation accelerated ongoing ecological change in ways that hastened the postbellum collapse of the region's subsistence economy, encouraged the expansion of cotton production, and ultimately kept cotton farmers trapped in a cycle of debt and tenancy. The first environmental history to bridge the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, Unredeemed Land powerfully examines the ways military conflict and emancipation left enduring ecological legacies.
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A Dictionary of Science, Literature, & Art

Comprising the History, Description, and Scientific Principles of Every Branch of Human Knowledge; with the Derivation and Definition of All the Terms in General Use

Author: William Thomas Brande

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 1423

View: 2121

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