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Re: Plagueonomics

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  • Danny
    The earlier centuries of European history saw little if anything comparable to the mass insurrections of the post-Enlightenment world. We must not, however,
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 1, 2007
      The earlier centuries of European history saw little if anything
      comparable to the mass insurrections of the post-Enlightenment world.
      We must not, however, seek to diminish their status within the wider
      scheme of things; these early revolutions lay the foundations of
      future movements and emitted the first glimpses of a force guiding
      Europe along a path to 'modernity'. Norman Davies informs us that
      popular risings were a 'prominent feature of the period following the
      Black Death' and we are therefore led to conclude that such a
      devastating event inspired a generation of social dissidents,
      establishing the traditional 'crisis before the storm' build-up so
      often associated with later revolutions. Certainly, this view has
      lent support to those who review history as a series of conflicts,
      notably Marxists, who have analysed the patterns of unrest across the
      late medieval period as evidence of the 'timeless characteristics' of
      class warfare. However, in comparison to the magnitude of later
      revolutions, one must assume that these bore little impact on Europe.
      For example, the defeat of the Peasants' Revolt in England resulted
      in the execution of its ringleaders and the dispersion of its
      followers. Whilst Davies implies that there were some similarities
      between the leaders of these late medieval rebellions and those of
      the late eighteenth century through their 'demands for an end to
      servitude ... amidst improving material conditions', it is more
      fitting to deem them as 'outbursts of anger without a future'.

      Best wishes,
      Danny Bird
    • Anne Gilbert
      Jordan: It might have in the short run. But it may have forced people to turn to other methods of production. The overall production was less, but since
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 1, 2007
        Jordan:

        It might have in the short run.  But it may have forced people to turn to other methods of production.  The overall production was less, but since there were fewer people, various types of produce might have become cheaper and more easily available to more people.  Like you, I kind of look to someone with "economic knowledge" for an answer to this one.
        Anne G


        A very interesting post, particularly the information you mention
        concerning climate, and its effects on population growth; I guess the
        other thing to consider about the Black Death is that immediate and
        even continuing restriction on population caused by disease and poor
        climate- do you think population decrease's disastrous effect on
        production might have outweighed the immediate gains of better
        pay/privileges for rural workers?

        Could anyone with some more specific economic history knowledge help
        us out here?

        B





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      • Anne Gilbert
        Danny: The Peasant s Revolt(as I understand it) had a lot to do with perceptions of unfairness among people whose status(and clout) was changing. As a result
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 1, 2007
          Danny:

          The Peasant's Revolt(as I understand it) had a lot to do with perceptions of unfairness among people whose status(and clout) was changing.  As a result of the plague, conditions(e.g. wage standards and some other things)may actually have been improving.  It is under conditions like these,that the kind of unrest you describe, usually occurs, whether it happened in the 14th or the 18th or the 20th centuries.  And the fact that there was  a Peasants' Revolt, led to further improvements, though these came "after the fact" and rather quietly, at least in England.
          Anne G

          Danny wrote:

          The earlier centuries of European history saw little if anything
          comparable to the mass insurrections of the post-Enlightenment world.
          We must not, however, seek to diminish their status within the wider
          scheme of things; these early revolutions lay the foundations of
          future movements and emitted the first glimpses of a force guiding
          Europe along a path to 'modernity'. Norman Davies informs us that
          popular risings were a 'prominent feature of the period following the
          Black Death' and we are therefore led to conclude that such a
          devastating event inspired a generation of social dissidents,
          establishing the traditional 'crisis before the storm' build-up so
          often associated with later revolutions. Certainly, this view has
          lent support to those who review history as a series of conflicts,
          notably Marxists, who have analysed the patterns of unrest across the
          late medieval period as evidence of the 'timeless characteristics' of
          class warfare. However, in comparison to the magnitude of later
          revolutions, one must assume that these bore little impact on Europe.
          For example, the defeat of the Peasants' Revolt in England resulted
          in the execution of its ringleaders and the dispersion of its
          followers. Whilst Davies implies that there were some similarities
          between the leaders of these late medieval rebellions and those of
          the late eighteenth century through their 'demands for an end to
          servitude ... amidst improving material conditions', it is more
          fitting to deem them as 'outbursts of anger without a future'.

          Best wishes,
          Danny Bird


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