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A very breif economic history of the consumer revolution

In the orignal 16th century version of Gothe Dr Faustus the character of Faust is condemend for commitng ususry, his sin of seeling his soul. When in was rewritten by Fredrick Schiller in the 18th century Faust is forgiven for the seeling of his soul. His ambtion and his going into debt is not in the 18th seen as immoral act. This brodly conforms with the relaxing on the zealous bans on charging intrest on usary in the catholic church. According to Meredith Molly Hand Capatlism "Like the devil, it aspired to greatness, promised freedom, appealed to worldly appetites and desires, and rewarded personal ambition."


Faust, hero of one of the most durable legends in Western folklore and literature, the story of a German necromancer or astrologer who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power.

The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact? Department of economics univserity of california Davis

Combinded with:Increase in total inventory values the percentage of households possesing luxery goods books eartneware, looking glasses and pictures.Increases in matieral possesions without an icnrease in day wages.mckendrick describes this 'consumer revolution' with the blossoming of a more democratic and egalitarian social structure.

An increase in the amount of co nsumer goods in a given household in England

Conflicting economic trends

In 1700 century America for instance 80 to 90 percent of all goods were sold on credit.This is due to in T.H. Breen Words because: desired credit because their prosperity was not increasing as fast as their desire for goods."Consquentially you get an increase in:High levels of debt, especially if accompanied by economic difficulties, could contribute to social unrest.Increase in debtors jails, such as those described in Dickens David graeber describes it: The criminalization of debt was the criminalization of the very basis of human society.

Increase in credit

The increase in the methods of production:Artisans achieved improvements in paintings, silk and other textiles, porcelain, and many other industrial consumer goodsThis happened due to:An increase in apprentieships and thus the formalised teaching of crafts.-Increase in craft manuals, which provided the the 'secret' and 'mystery' to mastering the crafting of these previously illusive goods

wHAT explains this

The conspicous consumption was.“an indispensable instrument in maintaining social position, especially when – as is actually the case in this court society – all members of the society are involved in a ceaseless struggle for status and privilege.”

A more unqueal society

Despite the rise in the consumption of goods in the consumer revolution, peiople become more unequal not less.In cities, wealthy aristocrats and financiers moved to new neighborhoods, built stylish residences.Despite consumers particpating in conuspicous consumption, however the wealthy ariostcrats found new goods such as tea sugar and tabaco from the new world to consumeThe economy began to benefit the consumer economy not the service economy.


The conusmer reovolution did not mainly stem from and increase in wages

  • wages did not signficantly increase from 16th to the 18th century.
  • Debt began to be seen as more morally acceptable.
  • This increas in consmuption did not lead to a more equal society.
  • The consumer revolution has a big influnce on the structure of modern capatlism