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This reading by Hunt and Lautzenheiser is Chapter 1 of their book History of Economic Thought. The chapter provides a historical overview of what the economic system before capitalism was like: feudalism. They explain what this system was like, why it changed, and how capitalism began to emerge. This is important background for understanding how the Classical Political Economists, like Adam Smith who we will read soon, thought about things.
As you read, keep in mind the reading by Hahnel, on how to evaluate an economic system. It will be relevant again later.
** The kinds of thing you can write about include, but are not limited to: a summary or overview of some aspect of the reading, disagreement with some aspect of the reading, your opinion on some aspect of the reading, anything that stuck out to you as interesting, relevant, or confusing, anything you think relates to current events, saying what aspect of the reading was new to you and what was stuff you already knew about, etc. **