Pre-Industrial Society

A defining economic characteristic of pre-modern societies is the fact they are pre-industrial; that is, based on the use of tools, rather than powered machines (although wind andWater-powered Mill water powered machines would have been used in some communities - the main difference between these forms of machine and the more familiar types of the modern period is the fact that they are powered by natural elements rather than "artificially-created" forms of power such as steam engines, gas-powered turbines, electricity and so forth)

In this respect, agricultural production is, for the vast majority of the population, largely subsistence-based.

In basic terms, people are able to produce enough food for their own and their family's needs, with little or no surplus that could be exchanged for other commodities. In this respect, with no machine technology work is labour-intensive and commodities cannot be mass-produced.