The prosperity and great population of the Pennine region date from the discovery that pit-coal could smelt iron as well as charcoal; and this source of power once discovered, the people bred in the dales developed a remarkable genius for mechanical invention and commercial enterprise, which revolutionized the economic life of the world and changed England from an agricultural to an industrial country.
Meanwhile we can illustrate the economic life of the middle ages, describe its main features, indicate the more important measures of public policy and draw attention to some of the main lines of development.
In the economic life and social character of California to-day the legacies of 1848 are plain.
As an explanation of what has taken place in later years, or of the actual economic life of the present day, it is ludicrously inadequate.
By the beginning of February the agitation had spread all over Italy, and the government was faced by the possibility of a strike which would paralyse the whole economic life of the country.
The idea underlying these councils was to create, as it were, a certain constitution for factories by which the workman who had hitherto been a mere machine should become a creative factor, closely identified with the organization of the undertaking, conscious of responsibility, and thus making of democracy the same reality in economic life as it had already become in political life.
Thus the study of the economic life of the middle ages is one of the most complicated subjects which can engage the attention of man.
In times past, biblical exegesis, religious ideals, and ecclesiastical organization, the purely political aims of statesmen, chance combinations of party politics and the intrigues of diplomatists, class prejudice, social conventions, apparently sudden changes of economic policy, capricious changes of fashion - all these causes and many others have exerted a direct and immediate influence on the economic life of the community.