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Economic and Political Unification. Conditions for Linguistic Unity

310. As early as the 13th c., within the feudal system, new economic relations began to take shape. The villain was gradually superseded by the copy-holder, and ultimately, by the rent-paying tenant. With the growing interest in commercial profits, feudal oppression grew and the conditions of the peasants deteriorated. Social discontent showed itself in the famous peasants' rebellions of the 14th and 15th c.

The village artisans and craftsmen travelled about the country looking for a greater market for their produce. They settled in the old towns and founded new ones near big monasteries, on the rivers and at the crossroads. The crafts became separated from agriculture, and new social groups came into being: poor town artisans, the town middle class, rich merchants, owners of workshops and money-lenders.

The 15th and I6th c. saw other striking changes in the life of the country: while feudal relations were decaying, bourgeois relations and the capitalist mode of production were developing rapidly. Trade had extended beyond the local boundaries and in addition to farming and cattle-breeding, an important wool industry was carried on in the countryside. Britain began to export woollen cloth produced by the first big enterprises, the "manufactures". The landowners evicted the peasants and enclosed their land with ditches and fences, turning it into vast pastures.[29]

The new nobility, who traded in wool, fused with the rich townspeople to form a new class, the bourgeoisie, while the evicted farmers, the poor artisans and monastic servants turned into farm labourers, wage workers and paupers.

The changes in the economic and social conditions led to the intermixture of people coming from different regions and to the strengthening of social ties between the various parts of the country.

311. Economic and social changes were accompanied by political unification. In the last quarter of the 15th c. England became a centralised state.

At the end of the Hundred Years' War, when the feudal lords and their hired armies came home from France, life in Britain became more turbulent than ever. The warlike nobles, disappointed with their defeat in France, fought for power at the King's Court; continued anarchy and violence broke out into a civil war known as the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). The thirty-year contest for the possession of the crown ended in the establishment of a strong royal power under Henry VII, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.

The absolute monarchy of the Tudors was based on a new relation of class forces: the crown had the support of the middle class. Henry VII reduced the power of the old nobles and created a new aristocracy out of the rural and town bourgeoisie. The next step in the creation of an absolute monarchy was to break the monopoly of the medieval Papacy. This was achieved by his successor, Henry VIII (1509-1547), who quarrelled with the Pope, declared himself head of the English Church and dissolved the monasteries (the English Reformation, 1529-1536); now the victory of the Crown was complete.

The economic and political unification played a decisive role in the development of the English language.

312. All over the world the victory of capitalism over feudalism was linked up with the consolidation of people into nations, the formation of national languages and the growth of superdialect forms of language to be used as a national Standard. The rise of capitalism helped to knit together the people and to unify their language.

V.I. Lenin wrote: "For the complete victory of commodity production the bourgeoisie must capture the home market, and there must be politically united territories whose population speak a single language, with all obstacles to the development of that language and to its consolidation in literature eliminated... Language is the most important means of human intercourse. Unity and unimpeded development of language are the most important conditions for genuinely free and extensive commerce on a scale commensurate with modern capitalism, for a free and broad grouping of the population in all its various classes and, lastly, for the establishment of a close connection between the market and each and every proprietor, big or little, and between seller and buyer."[30]


:

  1. American Descriptive Linguistics
  2. BASIC LINGUISTIC NOTIONS.
  3. BASICS OF ECONOMICS
  4. BRITAIN AND EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC)
  5. Challenges for UNESCO and international community
  6. CLASSIFICATION OF APPLIED LINGUISTIC SYSTEMS
  7. COMPETITION AND MARKET CONDITIONS
  8. Conditions
  9. DO WE REALLY NEED LINGUISTIC MODELS?
  10. ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE
  11. ECONOMIC RELATIONS




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Preliminary Remarks | Progress of Culture. Introduction of Printing

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