Between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago, some societies around the “Fertile Crescent”, where the climate and resources were favourable, increased their food supply through plant cultivation and the breeding of animals, opening up a new stage in social development. This represented the birth of agriculture, the domestication of animals, and the emergence of stable village communities. This new food-producing economy was identified by Morgan as the stage of barbarism, and is presented by archaeologists as the Neolithic or New Stone Age. With the emergence of agriculture, the nomadic life of hunting and gathering, which had dominated existence for more than two million years, rapidly went into decline. Although these are generalisations and need to be qualified, they are important classifications that allow us to understand the evolution of society.
As to the early prizes, the censure of bad choices and blatant omissions is often justified. Tolstoy, Ibsen and Henry James should have been rewarded instead of, for instance, Sully Prudhomme , Eucken and Heyse. The Academy which got this exacting commission was simply not fit for the task. It was deliberately formed as "a bulwark" against the new radical literature in Sweden and much too conservative in outlook and taste to be an international literary jury. It was not until the 1940s - with Anders Österling as secretary - that the Academy, considerably rejuvenated, had the competence to address the major writers of, in the first place, the Western World. On the whole, criticism of its postwar practice has also been much more appreciative. Objections in recent times have less often been levelled against literary quality, rather referred, mistakenly, to political intentions. Also blame for eurocentricity was common, in particular from Asiatic quarters, up to the choices of Soyinka and Mahfouz in the 1980s.
Malthus emphasises the difference between government-supported welfare, and public charity. He proposed the gradual abolition of poor laws by gradually reducing the number of persons qualifying for relief. Relief in dire distress would come from private charity.  He reasoned that poor relief acted against the longer-term interests of the poor by raising the price of commodities and undermining the independence and resilience of the peasant. [ citation needed ] In other words, the poor laws tended to "create the poor which they maintain."