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Lecture 26 - 14th Century England: Social and Economic Upheaval

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Western University
History 2405E
Barbara Murison

thLecture 2614 Century England Social and Economic Upheaval I Key features of the English economy c 1300 y High Medieval period y General trend of expansion in the economy urbanization trade wines from Gascony wool to Flemish countries etc y Flaws in expansions o Not enough capital going into industrial development o Trade may have expanded but large portion of it in foreign hands y Agricultural sector o Productivity and demographics played a major role o Inefficient system o Reaping by hand wasteful o Labour intensive and weather dependant o No revolution o No raise in yield because of technological developments o Fallowed system realized soil fertility was important o Manure a good fertilizer but didnt have enoughlow yields o Episcopal lands as well managed as any in the kingdom y Land management o Wardship not a good idea ward would exploit the lands until the child was of age oOnly have control over your domain lands as a feudal lord o Bit of a problem but did have some improvement o Lords kept more of their lands as their domains o Better management techniques some talk of managerial revolution y Population o Rise in population o Pressing against available resources o Land hunger among the peasants o No census in England until 1801 can make a few assumptions from the Domesday Book and poll taxes first in 1377 o Position of the peasants progressively worsens population caught by taxes fines and shrinking of land holdings o 1300 England overcrowded about 6 million caused starvationReally only the lords who can finesse their way through the bad timesthII The first half of the 14 centuryto 1348 yPopulation peaked soon after 1300 y 13151325 bad decade during reign of Edward II bad harvests poor weather disease in animals etc o Disease in humans weakened by malnutrition o Death rate high in the lower classes o Most villages full on the eve of the Black Death y Taxation
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