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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Europe in the 1500s.pdf

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University of Guelph
HIST 1010
Alan Gordon

Chapter 3: Europe in the 1500s 1095 1337- 1348- 1444 1492 1497 1516 1521 1532- 1562- 1607 1612 1260 1453 49 33 98 ublication of Thomas More's Utopia Begenpniguofrlscriesrf'hearhugateeusBdytfhconfsPlt"druseeonsenAmreriicoRPlgireVsraifierslhnmIncueilihiectlsmttet nnt ansachusetts Thomas More and Utopia: was published in England in 1516; imagined an ideal community called Utopia; the word depicts a society in which collective harmony replaces human greed as the means for organizing economic and social life; but More entrenched slavery and male domination of women as key social values, and assumed war and a hierarchy of nations as essential components of a civilized society  Even so-called humanists such as More assumed that racial and sexual hierarchies were natural and beneficial, and that among the tools for dealing with "inferior races" were slavery and genocide A Society in Transition At the time of overseas exploration and settlement, societies throughout Western Europe were in transition. A new social order in which trade and impersonal market-based relationships were becoming increasingly important replaced the old. New leaders were emerging in urban centres whose wealth came from organizing the trade that linked distant territories; this new elite was allied with increasingly powerful monarchs They attempted to constrain the power of the land-holding aristocracy, and this led to the emergence of nation-states, where government bureaucracies, rather than individual landlords, made the rules that ordinary people were forced to obey There were a small group of intellectuals that challenged traditional values; they were led away from the teachings of the RCC and produced the knowledge to search for undiscovered lands; courses in law, medicine, science, and philosophy changed how people thought about their world The European Social Order Because of population pressures, egalitarian hunting and gathering societies in Eurasia gave way to agricultural settlements between 10 000 and 2000 years ago; gradually religious and military castes formed and society became more rigidly stratified Slaves captured from enemies were at the bottom of the social order, and everyone else was forced to conform to the demands of military and religious authorities Patriarchal ideology replaced older egalitarian practices Most people were serfs, who were legally subordinated to the military castes; they paid tribute to a noble and received military protection and tenure on a small plot within his estate or manor in return; this turned into a system of forced labour; the growth of towns offered serfs the possibility of escape from the feudal manor and its obligations Forced labour ended up giving way to rental obligations and serfs became tenants who paid fixed rents and the nobles became landlords The Black Death in 1348-1349 drastically reduced the populations of many countries and encouraged landowners to increase incentives to their tenants; in France many noblemen hived off parts of their estates as land grants to peasants who would also work the nobles' lands; generous wages for farm work Populations increased in France in the 1500s and that restored the power of landlords/seigneurs; this led to rising food costs and falling wages; it wasn't until the late 17 century that the wages and prices began to tip back in favour of farm workers Population th In the 16 century-100 million people in Europe Famines that led to epidemics were the biggest cause of the population unsteadiness earlier, and they were not always caused by crop failure… wars were also a big causes The Thirty Years' war (1618-1648) is a brutal example of the impact of warfare on civilians; 350 000 soldiers and millions of civilians dead; populations declined from 21 million to 13.5 million st Life expectancy was short-45 years; and only if you lived past the 1 year Economic Life About 75% of people in most countries were dependent on the farming of small and rented landholdings; farming was a precarious occupation Animal husbandry practices were primitive and peasant diets were low in protein By 1600 population growth forced people to leave settled communities for new areas where infertile land often guaranteed poverty and average standards of living fell Towns originally began as relatively compact places where guilds made rules that ensured good renumeration and limited competition for their members; by 1400 there were guilds for brewers, weavers, ironmongers, masons, bakers, and hatmakers, among others; this eventually led to a merchant class Although the standard of living decreased, it was an age of economic growth; wealth was concentrated with the rich Women and the Economy Patriarch
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