Marie Antoinette – part 2 – her impact on economy

As I mentioned Antoinette overspent the budget that she had. It wasn’t all for herself, though. She gave away money to charity as well, but we all know that she spent most of the money on herself, clothes and parties.

In the end of 18th century there was a big lack of money. Ludwig XVI was considered a weak king, and the contribution to the North-American liberty war was not appreciated by the people and neither by the French economy. She kept spending until the money ran out and that didn’t help the people at all, everybody knows the infamous quote by Marie Antoinette “let them eat cake”. When the French people could not afford to buy bread to live, they demonstrated and said that quote. I interpret it as if she doesn’t really care, or that she acknowledges the fact that the people are starving to death. The queen was sentenced to death; one reason was that she spent too much money.

Although she wasted a lot of money, she helped the poor people out a little bit. She did charity for ex. blind people & starving people. She also revoked the tax called “the Queen’s belt” and she commented "belts are no longer worn", I got to say that I admire her sense of humor.

I think that because of her title she has to think about what she does with the money, she can’t be careless no matter how much she wanted that pretty dress. I also think that we all have a little Marie Antoinette inside us that wants to shop till you drop, or maybe it’s just me. I can’t say that I’m any better than her, because I have been in situations where I have wasted all my money after the first day of the month, the difference is that I have no obligation like the queen.  I think that it was wrong of her to spend that much money on insignificant things when she could have spent the money on issues that could save the French people’s lives. Why did she spend all that money? Some say that she didn’t have enough love in her life, but just an excuse, and I don’t think that it’s good enough either.

Kimia Rezaei

The King of England wants us to pay more taxes? Hell no!


That might have been the words of anyone of the around two millions colonists living in the British colonies in America in the 1760's.


Let me give you some background information, the British Empire was deep in debt following the Seven Years War, and the Parliament of Great Britain felt that the colonies were not pulling their load, so what did they do? Well first they implemented the Quartening act. The Quartening act   was used by the British forces to ensure that the colonists payed for the British solidiers stationed in the colonies. The colony of New York refused to pay these taxes, and that did not make the king happy. They also implemented the Sugar Act, which was the first law meant to have the colonists help raising the revenue of the Empire. However there was big opposition in the colonies to the act, just as with the Stamp Act that followed two years later in 1765.  So the British Parliament tried to find  a solution to the problem. They thought they had found it with the Townshend acts. Named after Charles Townshend or as he was called by his friends ”Champagne Charlie”. He was the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) of Great Britain at the time, and a long time member of the British Parliament. The revenue act of 1767 was one of the acts implemented, and it  did just as every other act meet great opposition. All the Townshend acts but one was repealed. The Tea Act remained, not for the sake of revenue for the Empire, but for the sake of principle. This eventually lead to the Boston Tea Party, and the American Revolution.


Why am I telling you this? It is to show the power of money. Money's importance to history has been big, what do you think of money's importance through history? What about today?


Read more about ”Champagne Charlie” and his acts here:


/Andreas Larsson

Triangular Trade

Triangular trade is trade between three different locations. This entry is going to be about is the trade in the Atlantic between, approximately, 1500 and 1800. The triangular trade is also closely linked to slave trade and, consequently, we are still affected by it today.

The triangular trade would bechance the following way:

Traders from Europe would freight a ship with copper, guns and ammunition, silks and glassware for example. Then they would travel to the “slave coast” of Africa (today Togo, Benin and Nigeria). Here they would trade their goods with either colonies/forts of the Europeans or Arabs. They would trade the goods for slaves which any of the other two trading partners had captured. These slaves were treated like cattle. They were kept in the kind of fencings which were normally used for livestock, with the exception that they were improved to prevent escape, until they were sold. Once sold, they were freighted onto the ship and herded under deck. Here they stayed the entire journey to America. This posed a problem, as there were many slaves and little room. Thus many diseases spread and many slaves died before even reaching America.  But who cares as long as you go profit, right!? Because this is what the slave traders did. If 2/3 of the cargo was still alive upon arrival, then you were a rich man. Once in America the slaves were immediately sold to plantation owners. Under their command they worked until death came upon them, either by exhaustion or under the whip of the overseer. The merchant, who now had sold his cargo, would buy what the plantations produced (cotton, sugar, tobacco and coffee amongst others) and transport his new cargo back to Europe again, where it was sold and refined.

This was a very lucrative business, especially for the merchants and plantation owners. But also for the people in Europe because they received raw materials which had been produced at extremely low cost (the overseers demand a wage. The slaves, however, do not.) Now, you could afford to refine raw materials in large quantities and still give the workers a decent wage. This translated into economical possibilities, which, in turn, translated into the industrial revolution, “The Great Acceleration of Europe”. This is the acceleration whose head start Europe and America is still profiting from today (even though many East Asian nations have industrialized their societies at hyperspeed).


Now, does anybody see the moral issue that suddenly arose?


A major contributor to our prosperity is the fact that our ancestors we eager slave-traders and oppressive plantation owners. Without them we would probably not have gotten as far as we are today. The industrialization would still have happened, sure. But maybe hundred years later, leaving much less time to achieve the things we have achieved today. Also, we have stunted the growth of probably the whole continent of Africa (although we are trying, at least partially, to compensate this by now).


So, what do you think? Are we heirs to thievery? And how much, and what, effect has slave trade had on our modern society?  Tell me what you think.



“A short history of the world” by J.M. Roberts

//Baloo Peinkofer

France - Slavery



France was a supreme colonial power with huge resources when it came to the "terrible trade" of slaves, the French turned four times as many Africans into slaves as the Americans did(quite a few), and they used them far more brutal during a very long period of time. French had jumped into the Atlantic African slave trade in the early 16th century, so the trade with slaves was a huge and a important market for France and her economy.


The leading figures of the Enlightenment condemned slavery, but they made little impact on France and her political opinions about slavery. The French Revolution finally brought antislavery thoughts into the French politics, and in August 1789 had the Declaration of the Rights of Man stated, "Men are born free and are equal before the law."  You might think that the French would have ended their slave trade once and for all at this point, but then you would have been wrong! First during March in the year of 1818 the entire slave trade was finally declared illegal in France, long after the rest of Europe had given it up.


Only the thought of capturing free people and than turning them into slaves makes my sick! Humans being forced to work under very-very bad circumstances and with no hopes for a better future. I can't even imagine how terrible it must have been to be kidnapped from my home, then turned into a slave and be forced to work for some idiot on the other side of the globe. Bounded labour another form of slavery is even today a problem in some parts of the world E.g. Pakistan, Malaysia where it's a huge problem about the illegal labour.


The French enslavement and repression towards a whole population(native and African tribes) can only be matched by the terrible acts of the Nazi regime towards the Jewish population during the world war two. Both are huge crimes against humanity which can never be forgotten.


// Nylund

The Swedish East Indian Company

Ostindiska Kompaniet

During the 1720s one started to encourage international trade in Sweden. There had been some tough years during which Sweden had lost the Nordic war and their King. The treasury was empty and it felt vital to fill it with foreign money. Therefore the navy was prioritized; Sweden wanted to export as much as possible.


East Indian Companies had existed in Germany and the Netherlands for quite a long time when a man called Henrik König got privileges to start the Swedish East Indian Company and be the only one to keep trade with all countries east of the Cape of Good Hope.


From Sweden the East Indian Company brought wood, bar iron and forging art, things that we had a lot of. Some of these goods were sold in Spain for silver coins. The silver coins could then be used to buy tea, spices and china, in China. On their way towards East Asia they could carry trade with among other countries Madagascar and India.


I find the Swedish East Indian Company interesting since they are one of the most influential companies in Swedish history. Through their trade with the rest of the world the Swedish economy was stabilized. They were also important in the stabilizing of the Swedish globalization and contact with other countries. Today globalization is strongly connected to the world economy. Isn’t it quite interesting that it all started with a demand of foreign money, export and a fondness of culture which included china and East Asian food?


There are a lot of interesting articles to read about the Swedish East Indian Company. I’d recommend you to read this (It is in Swedish though). In 2005 a newly build copy if Ostindiefararen Götheborg, which was a part of the Swedish East Indian Company but wrecked outside Gothenburg in 1745. Many times one has been diving to investigate the wreck and they have found among other things loads of china, tea in wrappings and bundles of brocade silk.


Victoria Gunnerek


I think that we all are familiar with taxes, we’re complaining about too high taxes.

Everybody pay taxes today, according to what they earn. It wasn’t like this back in the 16-18 century, France was a feudal country wich means that the king was chosen by god also the nobles, priests and church didn’t had to pay taxes, then it was the “regular” people who had to pay for everything, for example all the wars.


As I said before, some of us are complaining about the high taxes but I think that we have it quite good compared to how it was around ca 1500-1700.

The people did have to pay everything while the nobles lived on the peoples taxes.

So, the people worked hard and paid almost everything they had so the nobles and the church could live like kings without doing anything.

Of course this was wrong and after a while people started to think, why am I paying for the nobles?

This, bad harvest led to higher prices and that led to lower salaries for the people.

This was one of the reasons why the French revolution broke out.


Nowadays we pay taxes according to how much we earn and also in many countries we have welfare were we helps people who doesn’t have a job. So now it’s contrary, the people without jobs and enough money now gets help with money from the ones that works and has it better.

No one gets money from doing nothing and no one is tax-extemted.

So I believe that we have it better today.



// Christopher Carlsson IB1

Economy during the Enlightenment

The economy during the enlightenment had some dramatic changes. From the beginning had the economy and politics strong connection with each-other. The farmers had contracts with the feudal society and was ruled by them. They paid to much taxes and the taxes was only awarded to aristocrats or the members in the government.


The mercantilism played a big role in the economy. The government had big control over the economics and created a good balance. But this system had to go and changes were made. Francois Quensnay was a new thinker. In his book, Tablue Economiques he talks about and describes the natural order of trade. The natural order of trade was a method of trading which the government did not have any role in. This new kind of trading would both society and the individual person earn money on

This kind of trading was then developed by Adam Smith which took the economy to a new again.He focused on how to make the economy and trading work best. Smith thought that an free market economy worked best.

Smith ideas was spread across the world and countries like United States who took his ideas which lead to economic growth for USA.


The natural order of trade was a very good thing for the future of economy.  I think the free trade system was good because it made the government step aside from economy and the bound between them was minimized.

What do you think?


// Calle

“All money is a matter of belief”



The famous economist Adam Smith said that “All money is a matter of belief”. I really agree

with that! The thing that we call money is actually only a piece of paper or numbers in a

bank, but we believe that they have a higher value than they actually have. Think of a 100

kronors note how much is it actually worth? The paper in it doesn’t cost 100 kronor. We have just made up that it has a value, and what is the difference between a 500 kronors note and a 100 kronors note? They probably cost almost the same to produce but one of them has five times the more value. We believe that it is worth more, and therefore it is. This system only works because we trust it and believe it. If we wouldn’t trust this system we would have to trade with things or pay with e.g. pure gold and silver. The same thing with bankcards, they are just numbers not even notes. The numbers have no value, but we believe that they do! So I do think that it is a good system that we have, it would be way more complicated if we didn’t trust notes and bankcards.


What do you think about the fact that we trade with things with a value that we have come up with?



By: Kajsa

Economics in three laws

Scottish economist Adam Smith (17231790) writes in his landmark Wealth of Nations (1776) about the nature of economics in three laws: first, that people work more productively when they have self-interest; second, that competition leads to a balanced marketplace; and third, that true supply and demand are a product of free trade.

His laws, especially the first, could be applied back then and can still be today. Studies have been done on how we get affected by work and school. If you like your job you are more likely not to be stressed, at least not in a negative way, this may result in a better health. Secondly if you like what you're doing you are more likely to put a bigger effort into it and probably be more effective. Students are well aware of that studying something that is in your own interest makes you more interested and also make you want to be good at it, rather than studying a subject that to you are not interested in at all. First of all you wouldn’t put an effort into the work if you don’t understand and secondly would you really care if you understood it?

The second law is what we today call “free competition”. If there are several companies selling the same products or services, they will have to compete about who has the lowest price and the best products. This will lead to, as he says, a balanced marketplace. The companies would have to put an effort into making people wanting to buy there products or services. In Sweden today we have at least two industries which are monopolies, systembolaget and SF. The thing is that they have the ability to keep high prices. For alcohol, I understand why we have decided to have a monopoly, but why for films? Imagine how much cheaper it could be if it wasn't a monopoly, but we had a free competition. There is one thing that recently has changed though, to the better. Medicine like aspirin is now available on supermarkets and there is now fee competition between pharmacies. This has lead to lower prices on OTC medicines and better service on pharmacies which would prove that he was right about that law!

The third law is also something we use today. It simply means that when you have the supply to create a product, if people want it, you can sell it! And today when we live in a global society, world, we import and export things in big amounts. For example in Sweden we can't grow rice, neither can we grow exotic fruit like melons and bananas. Since we today are aware of those things existing, would we manage to get around life without them today? Some would probably, but far too many households consume those things monthly. There is, simply, a demand for it and they are exported here to satisfy our needs. Free trade is “invented”!

Adam Smith is a very important man and he is in a way the father of free trade. Looking from how our economic system is today we can see that his three laws are used all the time when we talk about economics. His idea of these laws is according to me one of the biggest improvements that have been done in economics.


“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart” -Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was an Irish writer and used satire in his works.


I have chosen to look at his quote about money, heart and head. I agree with it! You should have money in your head to be able to manage through life. Without any control of your money they can easily disappear, which is not good for your economy. But you should not have money in your heart. If you only think about money, you might not do what is best for the people around you. The profit interest will do harm to both you and your neighbours.



Charity is an example. Maybe it is not the best for your own budget to give away money when you are thinking with your head. When you’re thinking with your heart though, it is not the same. Then you give away money and help other people who need your help.



This is a quote to think about when we are shopping! Sometimes it is better do pay a bit more, because the product has been made by people who live a good life and do not have to work as slaves to earn money so that they can buy food for the day. It is better to buy more expensive clothes which has been made fairly than it is to buy many cheaper clothes which have been produced by people who live a bad life because they  don’t get enough reward for the work they are doing.


What do you think about this quote do you like it or not?



Quotes by Jonathan Swift:


/ Hanna

Loan for survival of a state - Good or bad?



Money is humanity’s past, present and is most likely to be our future.


In today’s world, it is possible to loan money more or less everywhere, no matter where you are. This is an advantage since we can borrow money now, and pay back later. So if your intention is to buy a house tomorrow, you can acquire a loan from a lender and then you pay back the dept when you are able to afford it again.


However, is it always an advantage to be able to borrow money? Are there any disadvantages with a loan?


My answer to those questions is that there are many disadvantages with a loan. A good example of a scenario where it went quite wrong did occur in France during the 18th century. The king Louis XV of France had severe financial problems and so did his country. The war in America had been costly and when France finally lost all American colonies, the situation was not likely to improve. The important resources France usually imported from the colonies were lost. To solve all this, Louis XV tried to borrow money from other countries and his desperate need for money led to an extremely high rate. Finally, France borrowed money to pay the other debts, and an evil circle was formed. These foolish financial policies of his damaged the power of France and weakened the treasury and the monarchy. And when he died, his grandson Louis XVI became the new king of France, although not for a long period. Thanks to these severe problems Louis XV had given France, the French Revolution was imminent and Louis XVI was going to be the first and the last French king to be executed.


If you look at the present-day, you might see that the history has repeated itself more than once when it comes to economical problems. Many countries have, just like France, borrowed more money than they were able to repay. I think it is possible to draw parallels to the great country in the west, USA. President Barack Obama and his government have deep problems now because of USA’s loans from other countries. This kind of problem has also occurred in Greece, Portugal, and Spain etc. so the economic situation for a country is extremely fragile if trouble with loans occurs.


Considering the trouble earlier in history with loans, I think that it is quite unwise, as a leader of a country, to take a loan if you are uncertain whether your country will be able to repay or not. I believe that to be greedy as a leader is only one thing, and that is certainty of collapse and possible of downfall for the country.


What do you folks think? Is it acceptable for a country to take loans?


For more info, check out these links:


No industrial revolution without the economical ®evolution

The industrial revolution, the beginning of the industrialization of the world, and a big reason of why the world looks the way it currently does. The industrial revolution brought many important inventions, including James Watt's steam engine and the train, as we still have great benefit of. The revolution started in The British Empire during the second half of the 18th century. But what was the reason so many important inventions and machines were launched in such a short time?

Well, before the industrial revolution there was a revolution that has not had as much attention called the economic revolution. The economical revolution led to a restructuring of the market - trade and industry - which promoted the sale of the mass-produced goods. In Europe the privileges’ of the nobility were abolished, and in Sweden, the guild system was abolished in 1864. In country after country, they replaced the old state oligopoly with the new market system. The function of the system was to give companies free competition between each other, and free enterprise. The socialists called the system capitalism, and the traders themselves named it market economy.

The new system with free competition between companies and free enterprise made a success in almost every country, and companies and factories were established everywhere. The economic revolution with the invention and technological development led to the sharp expansion of the mechanical production of goods and trade called the industrial revolution. This was marked by the construction of factories for the mechanized production of goods, increased use of energy and a substantial influx of labor to urban areas and the factories built there (urbanization).

The market system with free enterprise and free concurrence stands for most of the production in almost all countries today.

// Erik J

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