October 6, 2006 at 11:38 pm | Posted in Research, USA | Leave a comment




Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection,<br /> publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information

Rasmussen Reports

Phone: 732-776-9777

Email: info@rasmussenreports.com

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing
in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for
Election 2006 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a
mid-term election. We update the President’s Job Approval
Ratings daily and are polling every Senate and Governor’s race at least once a month in

Rasmussen Reports was the nation’s most accurate polling firm
during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry’s vote
total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion
research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and
nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for
more than a decade.

In The News


Are GOP’D Off: Poll”
New York Post – October 6, 2006

“Hastert ‘Sorry’ as Investigation Starts”
Columbus Dispatch – October 6, 2006

Seat Counts”

American Spectator – October 6, 2006

“Ken Rodriguez: Gubernatorial Candidates Can Spin the Polls, But
Not the Truth”

San Antonio Express – October 6, 2006

“DeStefano: Double The Property Tax Credit”
Hartford Courant – October 6, 2006

“Three New Polls Show GOP Battered By Foley Teen Email Sex

The Moderate Voice – October 6, 2006

“Poll: Ford Takes Slight Lead in U.S. Senate Race”
Gallatin News Examiner – October 6, 2006

“Senate Rivals Want Each Other Known by Company They Keep”
Daily Press – October 6, 2006

“Election Analysis in a GOP Market Meltdown”

RealClearPolitics Blog – October 6, 2006

Someone Say Cover-up?”

National Review Online Blogs – October 5, 2006

“Majority Believe House Leaders Covered up Foley Behavior”
Think Progress – October 5, 2006

Poll: Majority Thinks GOP Leaders Protected Foley “For Two

TPMCafe – October 5, 2006

Officers Endorse Ford”

Knoxville News Sentinel – October 3, 2006

Dispatches for Oct. 3″

New York Times – October 3, 2006

Shows Allen Leading Webb by Six Points”

Washington Times – October 3, 2006

Chairman Comes Out Swinging”

Lawrence Journal World – October 3, 2006

Mood Grows Here”

Chicago Sun-Times – October 3, 2006

Review Pope’s Speech on Islam”

Angus Reid Global Scan – October 3, 2006

in Polls Affects Corker Campaign Staff”

Nashville City Paper – October 2, 2006

Can Benefit from Feedback”

Sun-Sentinel.com – October 2, 2006

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire — Oct 2 ”

CQPolitics.com – October 2, 2006

Trails on Eve of Debate”

The Republican – October 1, 2006

September 2006

Bid for Re-Election to Missouri Senate Could Be Even Tougher than First Race

CQPolitics.com – September 29, 2006

“Oklahoma Governor: Henry’s Lead Now 25”
Yahoo News – September 29, 2006

“Governor Job Approvals: WV’s Manchin Receives Top Marks, OH’s
Taft Lowest”

Yahoo News – September 29, 2006

“From The Left-What’s Wrong with America?”
Barnstablepatriot.com – September 29, 2006

Americans Satisfied with United Nations”

Angus Reid Global Scan – September 29, 2006

Sebelius 48%, Barnett 39%”
The Witchita Eagle – September 29, 2006

The Left-What’s Wrong with America?”

Barnstable Patriot – September 29, 2006

Showdown: An Incumbent Senator and His Opponent, A President’s Son,
Square Off on Issues Facing Nevada’s Voters”
Newsweek – September 28, 2006

Walters: We’re Not Losing the War on Terrorism”

Baltimore Examiner – September 28, 2006

Still Leads, But McGavick Closing Gap”

Seattle Post Intelligencer – September 28, 2006

Give Leads to Kyl, Napolitano, Hayworth”

Phoenix Business Journal – September 28, 2006

for Liberal We’ll Like Voting For”

commercialappeal.com – September 28, 2006

“Ricketts Vows No Term Limits”
Fremont Tribune – September 28, 2006

Ritter Now Leads Bob Beauprez 50-34 – Rasmussen”

Cherry Creek News – September 27, 2006

Color Purple: Senate Races Trending Democratic”

Hot Air – September 27, 2006

Puts Sanders Ahead of Tarrant; Welch over Rainville”

BurlingtonFreePress.com – September 27, 2006

“In This
Political Season, State Is Awash in Polls”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette – September 27, 2006

Give Selves Rave Reviews; Employees Differ”

Globe and Mail – September 27, 2006

“Negative Ads Color Race for Governor”
Colorado Springs Gazette – September 27, 2006

Reveals Tax Relief Plan”
KHAS-TV – September 27, 2006

“As Election
Day Nears, Races Are Tightening”

Crosswalk.com – September 26, 2006

Homestretch Yields Surprises”

Wall Street Journal – September 26, 2006

Knowles, 63, Joins Facebook Trend”

UAF Sun Star – September 26, 2006

Negative Ad”

The Daily Aztec – September 26, 2006

“Despite his confidence, Blackwell has steeper hill to climb,
polls …”

Canton Repository – September 26, 2006

“Sen. Allen Struggles In Republican State To Win Over ‘Burbs”

Investor’s Business Daily – September 26, 2006

Race Draws Heavy Hitters”

Ashland Daily Tidings – September 25, 2006

“November 7 and the Coming Elections – Tightening Races”

National Ledger – September 25, 2006

on Climate Change: Despite Attention, Little Movement Seen Before Next Congress”

MarketWatch – September 25, 2006

“Senate Race
Tightens Back Up”

Sound Politics – September 24, 2006

“M. Charles Bakst: Senate Election: Any bets?”
Providence Journal – September 24, 2006

Gets It, Beebe Doesn’t”

Arkansas News – September 24, 2006

“Southern York County is a Hot Spot on Maine Campaign Trail”
Portsmouth Herald News – September 24, 2006

Battle Over Who’s Tough on Border Control”

Cincinnati Enquirer – September 22, 2006

Politics, Age Is Only a Number”

The Daily Athenaeum Interactive – September 22, 2006

“Balancing Power”
Washington Times – September 22, 2006

“Angelides Gets Warm Reception”
OCRegister – September 21, 2006

“Citizenship Check”
Investor’s Business Daily – September 21, 2006

“Congressional Physician Vouches for Byrd’s Health”
Daily Mail – September 21, 2006

“English Unifies, Brings Security to Our Nation”
ASU The Appalachian Online – September 21, 2006

Have Strickland Leading”

Cincinnati.com – September 21, 2006

“Senate Candidate Brings Message on Health Care”
Norwich Bulletin – September 21, 2006

“Roundhouse Roundup: Governor Will Take Part in One Debate”
Santa Fe New Mexican – September 21, 2006

U. Poll Finds Chafee-Whitehouse Race Closer Than Ever”
The Brown Daily Herald – September 21, 2006

“Lieberman Defends Health Care Record”
Hartford Courant – September 21, 2006

“2006 Pennsylvania Governor and Senate Race”
Wizbang Politics – September 21, 2006

Island U.S. Senate: Whitehouse 40%, Chafee 39%”

Angus Reid Global Scan – September 20, 2006

“Second Poll Confirms Pederson Gain on Kyl”

Phoenix Business Journal – September 20, 2006

“Battleground Dispatches for Sept. 19”
CQPolitics.com – September 19, 2006

“New Poll Gives Tester 9-point Lead Over Senator Burns”
U.S. News & World Report – September 19, 2006

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire — Sept. 19″

CQPolitics.com – September 19, 2006

Poll Shows Chafee Trailing Whitehouse”

Providence Journal – September 19, 2006

“Democrats Play Off Ohio Scandals”
Orange County Register – September 19, 2006

“Wal-Mart Launches Drive to Help Company Associates Register to

Yahoo! News – September 19, 2006

“Chafee: One Opponent Down, Another to Go”
U.S. News & World Report – September 18, 2006

Visits OSU”

Daily O’Collegian – September 18, 2006

“Michael Fauntroy, PhD: A Black Governor for Massachusetts?”
HuffingtonPost.com – September 18, 2006

“GOP Eyes Washington State Seat”
Washington Times – September 18, 2006

“Poll Puts Sebelius’ Lead at 20 Points”

Kansas.com – September 18, 2006

the Issues”

New York Sun – September 18, 2006

“Poll Shows Whitehouse Leading Chafee”
Pawtucket Times – September 18, 2006

Polls Higher as she Adjusts War View”

The Hill – September 18, 2006

Post-Election Senate ‘Balance’ of Power”

Raw Story – September 18, 2006

Us, We Need It, Say Republicans”

The Sunday Times – September 17, 2006

“Washington State Saves Fireworks for November”
CQPolitics.com – September 15, 2006

“Media Reported
Chafee’s Primary Victory as Posing a Challenge Only to Democrats,
Ignored Strong Showing by Whitehouse”

Media Matters for America – September 15, 2006

Points of Disagreement”

Austin Chronicle – September 15, 2006

“Henry, Askins Leading in Polls”
Norman Transcript – September 15, 2006

“McGavick Campaigns on Familiar Themes”
Yakima Herald-Republic – September 15, 2006

“Hemmer Keeps Up The Republican Talking Points”
News Hounds – September 14, 2006

Approval Ratings Up Again”

The Conservative Voice – September 14, 2006

“Democrats Falter in Week One of NFL Season”

American Thinker – September 14, 2006

“Fear Factor Enters Vermont Race”
Free Market News Network – September 14, 2006

Move Shows Democrat Desperation”

RushLimbaugh.com – September 14, 2006

Virginia U.S. Senate: Byrd 63%, Raese 30%”

Angus Reid Global Scan – September 13, 2006

“Two Polls Show Perry Defeat Is Possible”

San Antonio Express – September 12, 2006

“Polls Show
Gov. Perry Leading the Race for Re-election”

ABCNEWS.com – September 12, 2006

“Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Running More TV Ads”

CBS 11 – September 12, 2006

“Arizona Primary Puts Focus on Immigration”

Human Events – September 12, 2006

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire…”

CQPolitics.com – September 12, 2006

“Push Is On for Candidates to Break Out”

Fort Worth Star Telegram – September 12, 2006

Hold Primaries Tuesday”

United Press International – September 12, 2006

“Cantwell Widens Her Lead”
Seattle Post Intelligencer – September 12, 2006

“Nine States Hold Primaries Today”
Stateline.org – September 12, 2006

“Losing Senate

The American Spectator – September 12, 2006

“Court Setback for Corker in Tennesee Environmental Lawsuit”
The Hill – September 12, 2006

“Rising Star to Help Byrd”
Charleston Gazette – September 12, 2006

“Who’s Going to Win?”
TCS Daily – September 11, 2006

“Sebelius’ Lead Over Barnett Reduced”
Hutchinson News – September 11, 2006

“Several States
Hold Primaries on Tuesday With Numerous Abortion Fights”

LifeNews.com – September 11, 2006

“One Last Thing: Congress Races Look Less Certain for

Philadelphia Inquirer – September 10, 2006

Governor: Palin 52%, Knowles 38%”

Angus Reid Global Scan – September 10, 2006

Governor: Bredesen 58%, Bryson 31%”

Angus Reid Global Scan – September 10, 2006

“GOP Ads Attack Ford for Votes on Patriot Act”
Knoxville News Sentinel – September 10, 2006

Ford’s Race: A Pivotal Factor?
commercialappeal.com – September 10, 2006

“New Rasmussen
Reports Poll Says Sarah Palin Over Tony Knowles By 14%”

AlaskaReport – September 9, 2006

Ride for Incumbent Govs”

Stateline.org – September 8, 2006

LR-area Events Pull in $1 Million”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – September 8, 2006

“The American Eleven”
American Enterprise Institute – September 7, 2006

Beatable, But By Barnett?”

The Wichita Eagle – September 7, 2006

Lethargic Polls Cause Worry”

Berkshire Eagle – September 7, 2006

Easily Wins GOP Senate Nomination In Florida”
The Moderate Voice – September 6, 2006

“Sebelius Has
11-Point Lead in Latest Poll”

The Wichita Eagle – September 6, 2006

Shows Fogarty Ahead of Carcieri”
Providence Journal – September 6, 2006

Coming Attractions”
HispanicBusiness.com – September 5, 2006

“Newt on Winning in 2006….”
RedState.com – September 5, 2006

“Latest Polls Show
Mixed Bag for Key Pro-Life Versus Pro-Abortion Battles”
LifeNews.com – September 5, 2006

Visit North Platte”

North Platte Telegraph – September 4, 2006

Backing War, For Now”

The State – September 4, 2006

“Oregon’s Kulongoski is Back in the Race”
The Olympian – September 3, 2006

Governor’s Race Picks Up Steam”

Augusta Chronicle – September 3, 2006

Pennsylvania Governor Race”
Wizbang Politics – September 2, 2006

“Governor Janet Napolitano Addresses Border Issues, Education and
Term Accomplishments”
The Daily Dispatch – September 2, 2006

Stops at Fairgrounds”
The Canton Repository – September 2, 2006

“2006: year of the Third Parties?”
Daily Telegram – September 1, 2006

“Goldwater Qualifies
for Public Funding – Has One Week to Spend It”

Arizona Daily Star – September 1, 2006

Voters Trust GOP Candidates More on Security Issues”

Phoenix Business Journal – September 1, 2006

Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire…”

CQPolitics.com – September 1, 2006

“Progressives the Death of the Democrats? Americans Say

Huffington Post – September 1, 2006


October 6, 2006 at 6:20 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Research | Leave a comment





BIS Review


BIS Review

Please find BIS Review No 91 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS

on the Bank
for International Settlements’ website
by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

What’s included?

BIS Review No 91 (6
October 2006)

Axel A Weber: Financial system modernisation and economic growth in
Timothy F Geithner: Progress toward financial stability in emerging
market economies
European Central Bank: Press conference – introductory statement
Nout Wellink: How regulators contribute to a sustainable pension industry
Malcolm D Knight: Marrying the micro- and macroprudential dimensions of
financial stability – six years on

If you would like to be taken off the list to receive BIS Reviews,

or if you would like to add or change an address,

please e-mail press.service@bis.org

BIS Review No 91 available

Attachment: bisrev91.pdf
(0.16 MB)

Press, Service Press.Service@bis.org

“Publications, Service” Publications@bis.org

Friday, October 6, 2006


Please find BIS Review No 90 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS
on the

Bank for International Settlements’ website by
clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

What’s included?

BIS Review No 90 (3
October 2006)

T T Mboweni: International regulatory developments and the South
African banking sector
Y V Reddy: Globalisation,
money and finance – uncertainties and dilemmas

Jarle Bergo: Cyclical developments, monetary policy and the krone
exchange rate
Krzysztof Rybinski: A day in the
life of Homo Sapiens Globalus

Randall S Kroszner: What drives productivity growth? Implications
for the economy and prospects for the future

If you would like to be taken off the list to receive BIS Reviews,

or if you would like to add or change an address,

please e-mail press.service@bis.org


Please find BIS Review No 89 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS

on the Bank
for International Settlements’ website
by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

What’s included?

BIS Review No 89 (2 October

John Hurley: Central bank cooperation – Ireland and Croatia
Durmus Yilmaz:
Economic outlook for Turkey

Shyamala Gopinath: Changing paradigms in risk management
V Leeladhar: Demystifying Basel II
Susan Schmidt Bies: Basel II

If you would like to be taken off the list to receive BIS Reviews,

or if you would like to add or change an address,

please e-mail press.service@bis.org


Please find BIS Review No 88  attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS

on the Bank
for International Settlements’ website
by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

What’s included?

BIS Review No 88 (27
September 2006)

Durmus Yilmaz: Central
banking in emerging economies – the Turkish experience

Burhanuddin Abdullah:
Monetary and exchange rate policy in a global financial integration – Indonesian

Rick Houenipwela: Launching of Solomon Islands new and revised bank notes
Eva Srejber: Greater budgetary discipline in the EU through transparency
and national ownership
V Leeladhar: IT for business excellence
Malcolm D Knight: International reserve diversification and disclosure

If you would like to be taken off the list to receive BIS Reviews,

or if you would like to add or change an address,

please e-mail press.service@bis.org


Please find BIS Review No 87 attached as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file.

Alternatively, you can access this BIS Review

on the Bank
for International Settlements’ website
by clicking on http://www.bis.org/review/index.htm

What’s included?

BIS Review No 87 (21
September 2006)

Jean-Claude Trichet: Interview with L’Espresso
Y V Reddy: The role of financial education – the Indian case
Y V Reddy: Foreign exchange reserves – new realities and options
Niklaus Blattner: Financial market infrastructures facing technological,
economic and regulatory challenges
Irma Rosenberg: Monetary policy in Sweden
Loi M Bakani: Creating a favourable environment for innovative Credit
Supplementation Institutions (CSI) in the Asian region
Callum McCarthy: The challenge of Basel II for regulators

If you would like to be taken off the list to receive BIS Reviews,

or if you would like to add or change an address,

please e-mail press.service@bis.org


October 6, 2006 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Judaica, Literary | Leave a comment




Iggeret Tehiyyat ha-Metim (Essay on Resurrection)


Iggeret Tehiyyat ha-Metim (Essay on Resurrection)

Iggeret (maamar) Tehiyyat ha-Metim , known as Maqalah Fi Tehiyyat ha-Metim in Judeo-Arabic, was written in 1191. Maimonides concentrates on the resurrection of the dead, as a preliminary stage for the world to come. This essay comprises a link in the chain of continuing dispute between Maimonides and the Gaon Samuel ben Ali, of Baghdad and his students, in which Maimonides rejected the idea of bodily resurrection.

His views have been the subject of numerous commentaries over the years.
Recently some hitherto unknown texts have been published revealing that the origins of this argument in the East preceded the writing of this essay.

There are two translations into Hebrew: one by Samuel
Ibn Tibbon
, first published in Constantinople , 1569; the second by Judah Alharizi in manuscript in the Jewish National and University Library (Heb.8° 3941).
This was published by A. Halkin in: “ Kovez al-Yad“, 9 (1980), pp.129-150. A critical edition of the original version and its translation by Ibn Tibbon was published by J. Finkel, New York , 1939. A newer translation of this work was published by Qafih in his edited collection of the letters of Maimonides, Jerusalem 1972, pp.63-101.


October 6, 2006 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Earth, History | Leave a comment




The Neolithic Revolution is the term for the first agricultural revolution,<br /> describing the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, as first adopted by<br /> various independent prehistoric human societies, in various locations

Neolithic Revolution

The Neolithic Revolution is the term for the first agricultural revolution, describing
the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, as first adopted by various
independent prehistoric human societies, in various locations. The term refers to both the
general time period over which these initial developments took place and the subsequent
changes to Neolithic human societies which either resulted from, or are associated with,
the adoption of early farming techniques and crop cultivation. The first agricultural
revolution spurred major social change, including a high population density, the
organization of an hierarchical society, the specialization in non-agricultural crafts, a
standing army, barter and trade, and the expansion of man’s "control" over

The hunter-gatherer way of life was being replaced with the domestication of crops and
animals, which enabled people to live more sedentary lives (which led to the building of
villages, creating new social, cultural, economic, and political concepts, as mentioned
above). Agriculture in this era was subsistence agriculture, which means people were
farming for their own diet (not for sale/profit) and the farmers practiced crop rotation
(letting the fields lay in fallow between planting seasons).

In the refinement of archaeological and historical dating systems, as a time period the
Neolithic Revolution broadly defines the transition from the late Upper Palaeolithic to
the succeeding Neolithic ages; this demarcation is particularly applied to cultures in the
Old World, and less frequently to others.

The societal changes most often associated with the Neolithic Revolution include an
increased tendency to live in permanent or semi-permanent settlements, a corresponding
reduction in nomadic lifestyles, the concept of land ownership, modifications to the
natural environment, the ability to sustain higher population densities, an increased
reliance on vegetable and cereal foods in the total diet, alterations to social
hierarchies, nascent "trading economies" using surplus production from
increasing crop yields, and the development of new technologies. The relationship of these
characteristics to the onset of agriculture, to each other, their sequence and even
whether some of these changes are supported by the available evidence remains the subject
of much academic debate, and seems to vary from place to place.

Agricultural transition

The term Neolithic Revolution was first coined in the 1920s by Vere Gordon Childe to
describe the first in a series of agricultural revolutions to have occurred in Middle
Eastern history. This period is described as a "revolution" not so much in the
sense that its uptake or spread was rapid, but rather to denote its importance, and the
great significance and degree of change brought about to the communities in which these
practices were gradually adopted and refined.

This involved a gradual transition from a hunter-gatherer mode of subsistence which was
practiced by all early human societies, to one based more upon the deliberate nurturing
and cultivation of crops for the purpose of food production. Evidence for the first
beginnings of this process obtained from different regions dated from approximately 25,000
years ago in Melanesia to the 2,500 BCE in Sub-Saharan Africa, with some considering the
events of 9000-7000 BC in the Fertile Crescent were the most important. This transition
everywhere seems associated with a change from a largely nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle
to a more settled, agrarian-based one, with the onset of the domestication of plants and
(in the Old World) of a number of animals. The chronology, social foundations, plant
genetics, plant morphology and selective mechanisms of humans, and the processes of the
spread of agriculture have been documented by archaeologists in many parts of the world
where agriculture first arose (e.g. the Melanesian Australasia, the "Fertile
Crescent", Mesoamerica, South Asia, India (the Ganges), Southeast Asia, Peru, the
Mississippi, and the Yuan in China.

Incentive to settle

Nomadic lifestyles are the product of the depletion of the biological potential of a
specific location, either through localised overhunting or over gathering, and leads to a
movement to a new area where game and foodstuffs are not depleted, allowing the earlier
ranges to recover. If sufficient foodstuffs can be gathered on a permanent basis from a
specific locality, there is little incentive to move and permanent settlement may result.
This will happen whenever local biological productivity is sufficient to permit permanent
settlement. Historically it appears to have happened first with certain beachcomber or
lacustrine cultures, such as the Jomon of Japan, the areas of Sundaland and Sahulland of
"Greater Melanesia", and historically in the salmon country of North West

Having a plentiful supply of basic food does not mean that depletion of important
gathered vegetable products does not occur. But a settled population permits year-round
observation of the growing cycle, and hunter-gatherers are keen observers of the
environmental conditions optimal for specific plant products. Research in Australia, with
Aboriginal groups in the Australian Northern Territory has shown that they were fully
conversant with the biological facts of agriculture even though they never farmed,
although, when found, may have been transferred to a more favourable location. Research
has shown that only certain crops make good cultivars. In fact most cultivated crops were
discovered more than 2,500 years ago, and despite the scientific and technological
revolutions, only a few marginal nut crops (eg. macadamia nuts) have been added in recent

Table 1. The worlds’s 30 leading crops in terms of estimated edible dry matter FOOD
CROP Production (mill.tonnes) Crop Plant Type Original Ecosystem Pollination and

Wheat 468 Annual Mediterranean Self 2,4,6

Maize 429 Annual Savanna Cross 2

Rice 330 Annual Savanna, Tropical forest Self 2

Barley 160 Annual Mediterranean Self 2

Soybean 88 Annual Woodlands Self 4

Cane Sugar 67 Perennial Tropical forest C (veg. prop) many

Sorghum 60 Annual Savanna, Steppe Self 2

Potato 54 Annual Highlands C (veg. prop) 2,4,6

Oats 43 Annual Mediterranean Self 2,4,6

Cassava 41 Perennial Savanna, Tropical Forest ? 4

Sweet Potato 35 Annual Savanna C (veg. prop) 6

Beet Sugar 34 Annual Coastal Cross 2,a,4

Rye 29 Annual Mediterranean, Steppe Cross 2

Millets 26 Annual Savanna, Steppe S/C 2,4

Rapeseed 19 Annual Mediterranean Cross 4,6

Beans 14 Annual Savanna Self 2

Peanut 13 Annual Savanna Self 4

Pea 12 Annual Mediterranean Self 2

Musa (bananas, plantain) 11 Perennial Tropical forest Vegetative 3

Grape 11 Perennial Woodlands – 2

Sunflower 9.7 Annual Prairie Cross 2

Yams 6.3 Annual Tropical forest, Savanna – many

Apple 5.5 Perennial Woodlands C (veg. prop) 2

Coconut 5.3 Perennial Coastal Cross 2

Cottonseed (oil) 4.8 Annual Savanna Cross 4

Oranges, citrus fruits 4.4 Perennial Tropical forest C (veg. prop) 2,3

Tomato 3.3 Annual Coastal Self 2

Cabbage 3.0 Annual Coastal Cross 2

Onion 2.6 Annual Mediterranean Cross 2

Mango 1.8 Perennial Tropical forest C (veg. prop) 2

Zones of Crop Domestication

The Russian agronomist Nikolai Vavilov suggested that the wild ancestors of these and other domesticated crops were
found only in different regions of the world.

Mediterranean climate areas of the Middle East – Wheat, barley, oats, rye, grapes,
apples, onions, lentils, vetch, garlic, chickpeas, dates, fig, pomegranate, pistachio

Loess region of Northern China – Japanese millet, buckwheat, soyabean, apricot, peach,
plum, cherry, apple,

Monsoon forests from Southern China to Bangladesh – Rice, oranges & citrus, pigeon
pea, yams, water chestnut, star fruit, durian, lychee

Tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea and adjacent regions – Bread-fruit, banana,
plantain, mango, sago, coconuts, taro, sugar cane, pit-pit

Ethiopia, the Sudan and the Sahel – Teff, sesame, ensete, sorghum, coffee, pearl
millet, Guinea millet, African rice, okra, watermelons, oil palm, cottonseed.

Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) Maize, beans, capsicum, chili, tomatoes,
cocoa, squash, sweet potato.

Andes (Ecuador to Northern Chile) – Potato, cotton and peanuts

Central America and Amazonia – Amaranth, cassava, pineapple

Mississippi Prairie – Sunflower seeds

Carl Sauer (1952), a geographer whose book "Agricultural Origins and
Dispersals" has become a classic,
combined the Darwinian views
with Eduard Hahn’s idea (1896, 1909) that vegetative propagation (crops having lost
capacity for seed production, or growing in an environment where seeds were not needed)
should precede grain agriculture, and set out to locate the cradle of agriculture on
theoretical grounds. He listed 6 presuppositions as a basis for his search:

Agriculture did not originate from a growing or chronic shortage of food. People living
in the shadow of famine do not have the means or time to undertake the slow and leisurely
steps out of which a better and different food supply is to develop in a somewhat distant

The hearths of domestication are to be sought in areas of marked diversity of plants
and animals… This implies well-diversified terrain and perhaps also variety of local
micro climates.

Primitive cultivators could not establish themselves in large river valleys subject to
lengthy floods and requiring protective dams, drainage, or irrigation.

Agriculture would begin in wooded but not heavily forested lands. Primitive cultivators
could readily use open spaces for planting by deadening trees; they could not dig in sod
or eradicate vigorous stoloniferous grasses…

The inventors of agriculture had previously acquired special skills in other directions
that predisposed them to agricultural experimentation.

Above all, the founders of agriculture were sedentary folk.

The sedentary life, he thought, should therefore precede agriculture and could best be
developed by fishing tribes, and for his purpose he sought them on fresh waters in a warm
climate. Fresh water was selected because seaside vegetation has contributed relatively
little to agriculture and what has been developed has come late in crop evolution. With
these presuppositions in mind, he proposed that the monsoon forests of Southeast Asia
would be the oldest hearth of agriculture. Adopting a diffusionist approach, he suggested
that from there agriculture spread to the Indian subcontinent, and Southern China and then
to the Middle East and Europe. He proposed an independent origin for American crops, but
left open the possibility for influences from across the Pacific from South East Asia.

Archaeology, concentrated in Europe and the Middle East suggested that Middle Eastern
farming took place significantly later to that of Europe, where farming tended to be
largely if not exclusively, of grain crops and plants originating in the wetter
Mediterranean climate and mountain foothill areas of the Middle East. As a result a number
of scholars proposed that around 12,500 years ago as the world’s climates were changing,
hunter-gatherers were forced to turn to alternative
methods of obtaining food. Climatic changes over time forced some
people to work much harder and travel longer distances in search of food. Over thousands
of years, hunter-gatherers unconsciously adjusted to their surroundings. Hunter-gatherers
began to stay near reliable sources of water and bring wild seeds back to their base camp
to plant nearby. The Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe maintained that the key
factor in this change was that global climates at the end of the last ice age became
warmer and drier, making plants more efficient at producing crops but encouraging
settlement near water sources. But paleoclimatology and the study of sub-fossil pollen
demonstrated that after the ice age climates in the region had actually turned wetter,
requiring that the forces governing Childe’s "Neolithic Revolution" be revised.

The primacy of agriculture in the Middle East was challenged, however, by the findings
of French archaeologists in Vietnam
, at the site of Hoa Binh. The
Hoabinhian culture seemed to confirm Sauer’s thesis. By 12,000 BC, the pre-historic people
of Vietnam had abandoned its nomadic life to settle in the Hong (Red) river valley. They
lived in caves and rock shelters close to water streams and were making ground oval,
circular or triangular adzes with sharp edge. At the Spirit Cave in Thailand Chester
Gorman in 1965 found, the Hoabinhians were mostly hunters but they also cultivated a range
of plant crops; including almond, water chestnut, broad beans, peas, cucumbers, betel nut,
bottle gourd and butternut pumpkin or squash to gather their fruits, nuts or edible roots.
Dated between 9000 and 6000 BCE by Carbon 14 dating, this figure was later revised upwards
by 3,000 years by Wilhem Solheim II of the University of Hawaii, who found cruder forms of
the Hoabinh technology from 12,000 BCE. Solheim claimed that the inhabitants at Spirit
Cave had ‘an advanced knowledge of horticulture’, and his chronological chart suggests
that ‘incipient agriculture’ began at about 20,000 BCE in southeast Asia. This fact
suggested to some that domestic cultivation may have existed in South East Asia earlier
than in the Near East (Iraq) as many Western historians had until then believed. The
finding of pottery, and polished stone tools from 6,600 BCE also upset the theory that
these technologies only arrived in the region about 3,000 BCE from China, and suggested
that perhaps the diffusion in fact went in the other direction. The Haobinhian culture
also produced a waisted adze, hafted transversely, the first evidence of a hoe confirmed
in the world.

Emergence of civilization

Without agriculture, the emergence of many of the traits popularly referred to as
"civilization" would not have been possible (e.g. cities, advanced technology,
social hierarchies, organized warfare, etc.). The documentation and interpretation of the
natural and social changes associated with the origins of agriculture is one of the great
success stories of archaeology (particularly environmental archaeology).

Domestication of plants

Once agriculture started gaining momentum, humans were unknowingly altering the genetic
make-up of certain cereal grasses (beginning with emmer, einkorn and barley), and not
simply those that would favour greater caloric returns through larger seeds. Plants that
possessed traits such as small seeds, or bitter taste would have been seen as undesirable.
Plants that rapidly shed their seeds on maturity tended not to be gathered at harvest,
thus not stored and not seeded the following season; years of harvesting selected for
strains that retained their edible seeds longer. Several plant species, the "pioneer
crops" or Neolithic founder crops, were the earliest plants successfully manipulated
by humans. Some of these pioneering attempts failed at first and crops were abandoned,
sometimes to be taken up again and successfully domesticated thousands of years later:
rye, tried and abandoned in Neolithic Anatolia, made its way to Europe as weed seeds and
was successfully domesticated in Europe, thousands of years after the earliest
agriculture.[1] Wild lentils present a different challenge that needed to be overcome:
most of the wild seeds do not germinate in the first year; the first evidence of lentil
domestication, breaking dormancy in their first year, was found in the early Neolithic at
Jerf el-Ahmar, (in modern Syria), and quickly spread south to the Netiv Hagdud site in the
Jordan Valley[2]
This process of domestication
allowed the founder crops to adapt and eventually become larger, more easily harvested,
more dependable in storage and more useful to the human population.

Barley and, most likely, oats, were cultivated in the Jordan Valley, represented by the
early Neolithic site of Gilgal, where in 2006 archaeologists found caches of seeds of each
in quantities too large to be accounted for even by intensive gathering, at strata
dateable c. 11000 years ago. Some of the plants tried and then abandoned during the
Neolithic period in the Ancient Near East, at sites like Gilgal, were later successfully
domesticated in other parts of the world.

Once early farmers perfected their agricultural techniques, their crops would yield
surpluses which needed storage. Hunter gatherers could not easily store anything as they
were on the move constantly, whereas those with a sedentary dwelling could store their
surplus grain. Eventually granaries were developed that allowed villages to store their
seeds for longer periods of time. So with more food, the population expanded and
communities developed specialized workers and more advanced tools.

The process was not as linear as was once thought, but a more complicated effort, which
was undertaken by different human populations in different regions.

Agriculture in Asia

The Neolithic Revolution is believed to have become widespread in
southwest Asia around 8000 BC–7000 BC, though earlier individual sites have been
identified. Although archaeological evidence provides scant evidence as to which of the
genders performed what task in Neolithic cultures, by comparison with historical and
contemporary hunter-gatherer communities it is generally supposed that hunting was
typically performed by the men, whereas women had a more significant role in the
gathering. By extension, it may be theorised that women were largely responsible for the
observations and initial activities which began the Neolithic
, insofar as the gradual selection and refinement of edible plant species
was concerned.

The precise nature of these initial observations and (later) purposeful activities
which would give rise to the changes in subsistence methods brought about by the Neolithic
Revolution are not known; specific evidence is lacking. However, several reasonable
speculations have been put forward; for example, it might be expected that the common
practice of discarding food refuse in middens would result in the regrowth of plants from
the discarded seeds in the (fertilizer-enriched) soils. In all likelihood, there were a
number of factors which contributed to the early onset of agriculture in Neolithic human

Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent

Agriculture first arose in the Fertile Crescent because of many factors. The
Mediterranean climate has a long, dry season with a short period of rain, which made it
suitable for small plants with large seeds, like wheat and barley. These were the most
suitable for domestication because of the ease of harvest and storage and the wide
availability. In addition, the domesticated plants had especially high protein content.
The Fertile Crescent had a large area of varied geographical settings and altitudes. The
variety given made agriculture more profitable for former hunter-gatherers. Other areas
with a similar climate were less suitable for agriculture because of the lack of
geographic variation within the region and the lack of availability of plants for

Agriculture in Africa

The Revolution developed independently in different parts of the world, not just in the
Fertile Crescent. On the African continent, three areas have been identified as
independently developing agriculture: the Ethiopian highlands, the Nile River Valley and
West Africa.

Prof. Fred Wendorf and Dr. Romuald Schild, of the Department of Anthropology at
Southern Methodist University, have evidence of early agriculture in Upper Paleolithic
times at Wadi Kubbaniya, on the Kom Ombos plateau, of Egypt, including a mortar and
pestle, grinding stones, several harvesting implements and charred wheat and barley grains
– which may have been introduced from outside the region. Carbon-14 dates range from
15,000 to 16,300 BCE, showing that this early grain harvesting exceeded that of the Middle
East by about 5,000 years.

The archeologists state that "These are not the only Late Paleolithic sites which
have been discovered in Egypt along the Nile, nor or they alone in containing stone
artifact assemblages which seem to indicate the harvesting of grain. Among others are
several sites at Wadi Tushka, near Abu Simbel, at Kom Ombo, north of Aswan, and a third
group [a whole series of sites] near Esna. All these are in the Nile Valley." The
Egyptian Esna culture shows "extensive use of cereals," date from 13,000 to
14,500 years ago.

They continue: "While the flaked stone industries from them are different from
those found at Kubbaniya, the Tushka site yielded several pieces of stone with lustrous
edges, indicating that they were used as sickles in harvesting grain."

Many such grinding stones are found with the early Egyptian Sebilian and Mechian
cultures dating 10,000-13,000 BCE. Smith writes: "With the benefit of hindsight we
can now see that many Late Paleolithic peoples in the Old World were poised on the brink
of plant cultivation and animal husbandry as an alternative to the hunter-gatherer’s way
of life". Unlike the Middle East, this evidence appears as a "false dawn"
to agriculture, as the sites were later abandoned, and permanent farming then was delayed
until 4,500 BCE with the Tasian and Badarian cultures and the arrival of crops and animals
from the Near East.

Domestication of animals

When hunter-gathering began to be replaced by sedentary food production it became more
profitable to keep animals close at hand. Therefore, it became necessary to bring animals
permanently to their settlements. The animals’ size, temperament, diet, mating patterns,
and life span were factors in the desire and success in domesticating animals. Animals
that provided milk, such as cows and goats, offered a source of protein that was renewable
and therefore quite valuable. The animal’s ability as a worker (for example ploughing
or towing), as well as a food source, also had to be taken into account. Besides being a
direct source of food, certain animals could provide leather, wool, hides, and fertilizer.
Some of the earliest domesticated animals included sheep, goats, cows, and pigs. Out of
the thousands of species of animals only fourteen eventually became domesticated for
agricultural purposes.

Domestication of animals in the Middle East

The Middle East served as the source for many domesticable animals, such as goats and
pigs. This area was also the first region to domesticate the Dromedary Camel. The presence
of these animals gave the region a large advantage in cultural and economic development.
As the climate in the Middle East changed, and became drier, many of the farmers were
forced to leave, taking their domesticated animals with them. It was this massive
emigration from the Middle East that would later help distribute these animals to the rest
of Afroeurasia.

Domestication of animals in China’s Yellow River valley

The agricultural revolution was inspired, in part, by the
spreading of domesticated plants and animals and the growth of complex societies. The
origin of plant and animal domestication was in China’s Yellow River Valley, and the
fertile crescent, before it spread in Eurasia.
Since Eurasia was connected by land,
and there were open trade routes in that region, it was easy for agricultural methods to
be adopted by neighbouring communities. The same latitudes of the Eurasian continent meant
that plants would grow well in similar climates. This way, they had a productive yield.
Either the neighbouring hunter gathers adopted these new methods or they were displaced.
The change to the agrarian way of life lead to more developed technology, organized
society, and increased populations which required sedentary lifestyles to spread.
Therefore the indigenous hunter-gatherers either adapted to this new way of life or else
they gradually died off.

Causes of the Neolithic Revolution

Harlan, examining the causes for the Neolithic
suggests 6 principle reasons which can be summarised to 3
principle categories:

Domestication for Religious Reasons

Domestication by crowding and as a consequence of stress

Domestication resulting from discovery, based upon the perceptions of food gatherers

With regard to the first explanation, Ian Hodder, who directs the excavations at
Çatalhöyük has suggested that the earliest settled communities, and the Neolithic
revolution they represent, actually preceded the development of agriculture. He has been
developing the ideas first expressed by Jacques Cauvin, the excavator of the Natufian
settlement at Mureybet in northern Syria. Hodder believes that the Neolithic revolution
was the result of a revolutionary change in the human psychology, a "revolution of
symbols" which led to new beliefs about the world and shared community rituals
embodied in corpulent female figurines and the methodical assembly of aurochs horns.

An alternative explanation for the origin of agriculture is propounded by Mark Nathan Cohen. Cohen believes that
following the widespread extinctions of large mammals in the late Palaeolithic, the human
population had expanded to the limits of the available territory and a population
explosion led to a food crisis. Agriculture was the only way in which it was possible to
support the increasing population on the available area of land.

Consequences of the Neolithic Revolution

Social change

It is often argued that agriculture gave humans more control over their food supply,
but this has been disputed by the finding that nutritional standards of neolithic
populations were generally inferior to that of hunter gatherers, and life expectancy may
in fact have been shorter (see "Disease" below). In actual fact, by reducing the
necessity for the carrying of children, neolithic societies had a major impact upon the
spacing of children (carrying more than one child at a time is impossible for
hunter-gatherers, which leads to children being spaced four or more years apart). This
increase in the birth rate was required to offset increases in death rates and required
settled occupation of territory and encouraged larger social groups. These sedentary
groups were able to reproduce at a faster rate due to the possibilities of sharing the
raising of children in such societies. The children accounted for a denser population, and
encouraged the introduction of specialization by providing diverse forms of new labour.
The development of larger societies called for different means of decision making and led
to governmental organization. Food surpluses made possible the development of a social
elite who were not otherwise engaged in agriculture, industry or commerce, but dominated
their communities by other means and monopolised decision making


Throughout the development of sedentary societies, disease spread more rapidly than it
had during time in which hunter-gatherer societies existed. Inadequate sanitary practices
and the domestication of animals may explain the rise in deaths and sickness during the
Neolithic Revolution from disease, as
diseases jumped from the animal to the human population. Some examples of diseases spread
from animals to humans are influenza, smallpox, and measles.

Surprisingly, the humans who first domesticated the wild animals quickly built up
immunities to the diseases. Although the humans who built up immunities to the new
diseases survived their sickness, others were not so fortunate. According to
Jared Diamond, civilizations which had not
domesticated any wild animals nor been exposed to the diseases were not immune at all and
"epidemics resulted in which up to 99 percent of the … population was killed"

Subsequent revolutions

Andrew Sherrat has argued that following upon the Neolithic Revolution was a second
phase of discovery that he refers to as the "Secondary Products Revolution".
Animals, it appears were first domesticated purely as a source of meat. The
Secondary Products Revolution occurred when it was recognised that animals also provided a
number of other useful products. These included:

hides and skins (from all domesticated animals)

manure for soil conditioning (from all domesticated animals)

wool (from sheep, llama, alpaca and Angora goats)

milk (from goats, cattle, yaks, sheep and even horses and camels)

traction (from oxen, buffalo, onagers, donkeys, horses and camels)

Sherrat argues that this phase in agricultural development
enabled humans to make use of the energy possibilities of their animals in new ways, and
permitted permanent intensive subsistence farming and crop production, and the opening up
heavier soils for farming. It also made possible nomadic pastoralism in semi arid areas,
along the margins of deserts, and eventually led to the domestication of both the Baktrian
and Dromedary camel. Overgrazing of these areas, particularly by herds of goats, greatly
extended the areal extent of deserts.

Living in one spot would have more easily permitted the accrual of personal possessions
and an attachment to certain areas of land. From such a position, it is argued,
prehistoric people were able to stockpile food to survive lean times and trade unwanted
surpluses with others. Once trade and a secure food supply were established, populations
could grow, and society would have diversified into food producers and artisans, who could
afford to develop their trade by virtue of the free time they enjoyed because of a surplus
of food. The artisans, in turn, were able to develop technology such as metal weapons.
Such relative complexity would have required some form of social organisation to work
efficiently and so it is likely that populations which had such organisation, perhaps such
as that provided by religion were better prepared and more successful. In addition, the
denser populations could form and support legions of professional soldiers. Also, during
this time property ownership became increasingly important to all people. Ultimately,
Childe argued that this growing social
complexity, all rooted in the original decision to settle, led to a second
Urban Revolution in which the first cities
were built.

The Age of Discovery

In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that Europeans’ advantageous geographical location, near a
number of easily domesticable plant and animal species, afforded them a head start in the
Neolithic Revolution. Being among the first to adopt agriculture and sedentary lifestyles,
and neighboring other early agricultural societies with whom they could compete and trade,
Europeans were also among the first to benefit from technologies such as firearms and
steel swords. In addition, Europeans developed resistances to infectious diseases, such as
smallpox, due to their close relationship with domesticated animals. Groups of people who
had not lived in proximity with other large mammals, such as the Australian Aborigines,
were more vulnerable to infection.

During and after the Age of Discovery, European explorers, such as the Spanish conquistadors, encountered other groups
of people which had never or only recently adopted agriculture. Due in part to their head
start in the
Neolithic Revolution, the Europeans were able to use their technology and endemic diseases, to which
indigenous populations had never been exposed, to
most of the globe.

See also

Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic site in southern Anatolia

Natufians, a settled culture preceding agriculture

Original affluent society

Haplogroup G (Y-DNA)

Haplogroup J (mtDNA)

Agricultural Revolution




Further reading

Bailey, Douglass. (2000). Balkan Prehistory: Exclusions, Incorporation and Identity.
Routledge Publishers. ISBN 0-415-21598-6.

Bailey, Douglass. (2005). Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality in the
Neolithic. Routledge Publishers. ISBN 0-415-33152-8.

Balter, Michael (2005). The Goddess and the Bull: Catalhoyuk, An Archaeological Journey
to the Dawn of Civilization. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-4360-9.

Bellwood, Peter. (2004). First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies.
Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-20566-7

Cohen, Mark Nathan (1977)The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins
of Agriculture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02016-3.

Diamond, Jared (1999). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York:
Norton Press. ISBN 0-393-31755-2.

Diamond, Jared (2002) Evolution, Consequences and Future of Plant and Animal
Domestication. Nature Magazine, Vol 418.

Harlan, Jack R. (1992) Crops & Man: Views on Agricultural Origins ASA, CSA,
Madison, WI. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/history/lecture03/r_3-1.html

Wright, Gary A. (1971) "Origins of Food Production in Southwestern Asia: A Survey
of Ideas"

Current Anthropology, Vol. 12, No. 4/5 (Oct. – Dec., 1971) , pp. 447-477


October 6, 2006 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Economics, Middle East | Leave a comment







2nd Propylene Trade Conference

18-19 October 2006, Shanghai

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Friday, October 6, 2006


October 6, 2006 at 6:07 am | Posted in Asia, History | Leave a comment




Bengal famine of 1770

Bengal famine of 1770

The Bengal famine of 1770 was a catastrophic famine that
1769 and 1773 affected the lower Gangetic plain of India. The
famine is supposed to have caused the deaths of an estimated 10 million people,
approximately one-third of the population at the time.


The famine occurred in the
territory which was called Bengal, then ruled by the British East India Company. This territory
included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh,
and parts of Assam, Orissa, Bihar, and Jharkhand. It was
originally a province of the Mughal empire, from the
16th century, and was ruled by a Nawab, or governor. The
Nawab had become effectively independent by the beginning of the 18th century, though in
theory was still a tributary power of the Great Mughal in Delhi.

In the 17th century, the British East India Company had been given a grant on the town
of Calcutta, by the Mughal emperor Akbar.
At this time the Company was effectively another tributary power of the Mughal. During the
following century, the Company obtained sole trading rights for the province, and went on
to become the dominant power in Bengal. In 1757, at the battle of Plassey, the British defeated the then Nawab,
Siraj Ud Daulah, and plundered the Bengali treasury.
In 1764 their military control was reaffirmed at Buxar. The subsequent treaty gained them the Diwani, that is the
taxation rights: in effect, the Company became the
ruler of Bengal.

The famine

About 10 million people, approximately one third of the population of the affected
area, are thought to have died in the famine. The regions in which the famine occurred
included especially the modern Indian
of Bihar and West Bengal,
but the famine also extended into Orissa and Jharkhand, as well as modern Bangladesh.
Among the worst affected areas were Birbhum and Murshidabad, in Bengal, and Tirhut,
Champaran and Bettiah, in Bihar.

A partial shortfall in crops, considered nothing out of the ordinary, occurred in 1768 and was followed in late 1769 by more
severe conditions. By September 1769 there was a severe drought, and alarming reports were
coming in of rural distress. These were, however, ignored by Company officers.

By early 1770 there was starvation, and, by mid 1770,
deaths from starvation were occurring on a large scale. There were also reports of the
living feeding on the bodies of the dead in the middle of that year. Smallpox and other diseases further took their toll of the
population. Later in 1770, good rainfall resulted in a good
harvest and the famine abated. However, other shortfalls occurred in the following years,
raising the total death toll.

As a result of the famine large areas were depopulated and returned to jungle for
decades to come, as the survivors migrated in mass in a search for food. Many cultivated
lands were abandoned: much of Birbhum, for instance, returned to jungle and was virtually
impassable for decades afterwards. From 1772, bands of bandits
and thugs became an established feature of Bengal, and these were
only controlled by punitive actions in the 1780s.

East India Company responsibilities

Fault for the famine is now often ascribed to the British East India Company policies
in Bengal. As a trading body, its first remit was to maximise its profits and with
taxation rights the profits to be obtained from Bengal came from land tax as well as trade tariffs.
As lands came under company control, the land tax was typically raised by 3 to 4 times
what it had been – from 10-15% up to 50% of the value of the agricultural produce. In
the first years of the rule of the British East India Company, the total land tax income
was doubled and most of this revenue flowed out of the country. As the famine approached
its height, in April of 1770, the Company announced that land tax for the following year
was to be increased by 10%.

The company is also criticised for forbidding the "hoarding"
of rice. This prevented traders and dealers from laying in reserves that in other times
would have tided the population over lean periods.

By the time of the famine, monopolies in grain trading had
been established by the Company and its agents. The Company had no plan for dealing with
the grain shortage, and actions were only taken insofar as they affected the mercantile
and trading classes. Land revenue decreased by 14% during the affected year, but recovered
rapidly (Kumkum Chatterjee). According to McLane, the first governor-general of British India, Warren
, acknowledged "violent" tax collecting after 1771:
revenues earned by the Company were higher in 1771 than in 1768 [1]. Globally, the profit of the
Company increased from 15 million rupees in 1765 up to 30 million
rupees in 1777.


External links


October 6, 2006 at 5:25 am | Posted in Asia, Books | Leave a comment





Perilous Passage: Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital (World Social<br /> Change) (Hardcover)

Perilous Passage:

Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital

(World Social Change)

by Amiya
Kumar Bagchi

Perilous Passage: Mankind
and the Global Ascendancy of Capital
Kumar Bagchi. Reprint. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, xxiv, 425
p., tables, $40. ISBN 0-19-568347-1.

Contents: List of tables. Preface. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. I: Conceptual
issues: Human development and capitalist growth: 1. History of human development as the
subject of history. 2. Construction of the European miracle. 3. Profit seeking under
actually existing capitalism and human development. II. Capitalist competition and human
development in Europe: 4. Race for dominance among the Western European countries since
the sixteenth century. 5. Population growth and mortality between the sixteenth and
nineteenth centuries: a first look. 6. The Netherlands: rise and fall of a hegemonic
power. 7. Delayed transition to a low-mortality regime in Europe and North America. 8.
Literacy in Western Europe since the sixteenth Century. III: The world beyond Europe in
the age of emergence of European dominance: 9. China’s economic development and quality of
life between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. 10. India under Mughal rule and
after. 11. Conducting trade in Asia before and after the European advent. 12.
Reconsidering Japanese exceptionalism. 13. Capitalist competition, colonialism, and the
physical well-being of non-European peoples. 14. Civilizing mission and racialization:
from native Americans to Asians. 15. Civilizing mission in lands taken by European
settlers from the original inhabitants. 16. Intercontinental resource flows sustaining the
ascent of the European powers. 17. Colonial tribute and profits, 1870s onward. 18.
Demographic disasters in the colonies and semicolonies in the Heyday of European
Colonialism. IV. The twentieth century: antisystemic struggles, wars, and challenges to
global capital: 19. Setting the stage for Megawars. 20. Revolution, Nazism, Japanese
militarism, and World War II. 21. Imperialism and wars in the late twentieth century. 22.
Capitalism and uneven development in the twentieth century. 23. Destruction and renewal in
the neoliberal global order. 24. Contradictions, challenges, and resistance. References.
Appendices: 1. Malthusianism and social Darwinism as ideologies of control. 2. B European
colonialism and Racism at home: the case of Ireland. References to appendices. Index.
About the author.

"Investigating the emergence of the states on the North Atlantic seaboard as
prosperous and powerful nations, and their eventual domination over the rest of the world,
Perilous Passage presents
an engaging account of the economic emergence of the contemporary world. Differing
radically from the ‘free market’ theorists, Bagchi provides a much-needed alternative
perspective of global economic history from sixteenth century to contemporary times.

The author brings together insights of historians of war and those of Marxist and
world-system theorists to characterize the emergence and operation of capitalism. Moving
beyond the ‘European miracle’ and a eurocentric vision, he provides a comprehensive
history and the reciprocal impact of the extra-European world. Bagchi also explores the
numerous ways in which the armed ascendancy of European capitalism impacted the human
development of different countries.

Going beyond existing interpretative frameworks, this book highlights the role of
capitalist competition for markets, raw materials, territories, and human labour. It
interweaves the ideologies governing the conquering career of capitalism. The author also
situates the neo-global order against the backdrop of antisystemic struggles, wars, and
contradictory movements within global capital.

The uniqueness of this volume also lies in presenting a global history, which for the first time puts human
development at centre stage. Departing from the triumphalist account of development of
currently advanced countries, it treats the development of all peoples of the world as
being equally important.

Amiya Bagchi’s vision and nuanced approach coupled with
meticulous scholarship and lucid rendition, makes this volume indispensable for scholars,
teachers, and students of rise of the modern West, global economic history, and modern
European history." (jacket)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • ISBN: 0742539202

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