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The State’s Economic Polices for Paris in the Late Middle Ages during the Government of John II the Good

HONG, Yong-Jin 1

1서울시립대학교 도시인문학연구소

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ABSTRACT

This paper aims to analyze the characters of the Ordinance of John II promulgated in February 1351, in particular for the capital of Paris in order to intervene in the economic and demographical crisis and to regulate the price of labour and the merchandise. In this Ordinance, many scholars focused on the refusal against mendicancy and the imposition of labour, as the response of labour shortage after the Great Plague in 1347-1350. But the purpose of the Ordinance is not limited to this problem. The regulation of the market and the price by the royal government constructs the broad context of the politics on poverty and labour and these two problems move from the religious and ethical category to the political and economic one. It is important to observe the background of the birth of this Ordinance that can be explained in two levels: on the one hand, the political and economic and on the other, ideological. The intent to control the economic situation of the kingdom is issued not only from the demographical catastrophe but also from war and financial problems deepened throughout the 14th century. The royal government wanted to fill the treasure, principally for the war against England and this awakened its interest in the problem of the economic situation, especially on the affairs of money and taxation. With these realistic needs, the survey on the ideological context presents the thought on various theories and discourses in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Thomas Aquinas and Egidius Romanus already underlined the role of the commerce and the merchant for the wealth of kingdom and royal control. Peter of John Olivi (Petrus Johannes Olivi) developed the concept on the market, the merchant and money on the basis of voluntary poverty, the criterion of the evaluation of the utility and the price. All these phenomena present that from the 14th century, the problems on labour and poverty began to enter the political and economic domain, considered to be the object of regulation of the royal government. From that time on, poverty was correlated more closely with labour and these two problems constitute the indispensable elements of the economy of the kingdom.

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* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.