The accelerated development of productive forces and the animation of trade relations, which appeared in Europe after revolutions and bourgeois reforms at the end of the eighteenth century and in the first half of the nineteenth century, brought about a remarkable increase in the influence of the international market on the local markets of separate countries. The most backward countries began to participate in the international market. Medieval partitions between geographical regions and social estates and layers began to break down. Though the general picture of socio-economic development is quite clear to us, the same cannot be said about concrete problems and even general tendencies. A peculiar contradiction takes place as a result of the development of capitalism. The development of the international market causes a definite levelling of prices, but at the same time it favours regional specialisation, i.e. in some regions it creates better conditions for the production of certain goods than in other regions. Creating a number of new jobs, the development of industry equalises the chances of the workers on the labour market to a certain extent. But on the other hand, social differentiation increases as well. In this relation a question arises — whether the differences in the position of the people in different regions have increased in any country during the nineteenth century or not.
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