Middle Ages

Read e-book online A Social History of England, 1200-1500 PDF

By Rosemary Horrox, W. Mark Ormrod

What was once existence quite like in England within the later heart a long time? This accomplished creation explores the complete breadth of English existence and society within the interval 1200-1500. establishing with a survey of historiographical and demographic debates, the e-book then explores the crucial subject matters of later medieval society, together with the social hierarchy, existence in cities and the nation-state, spiritual trust, and varieties of person and collective id. Clustered round those issues a chain of authoritative essays enhance our knowing of alternative vital social and cultural positive aspects of the interval, together with the event of conflict, paintings, legislation and order, early life and previous age, ritual, shuttle and shipping, and the improvement of writing and studying. Written in an available and fascinating demeanour via a world workforce of top students, this publication is vital either as an creation for college kids and as a source for experts.

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Campbell, ‘England: land and people’, in S. H. , A Companion to Britain in the Later Middle Ages (Oxford, 2003), pp. 3–25; Dyer, Making a Living, p. 155. 28 S. H. Rigby paying an economic rather than a customary rent when they sub-leased land from other peasants. For all the recent emphasis on the stimulus to agricultural production provided by rising demand, those areas which adopted new and more intensive methods of agriculture, such as eastern Norfolk, still seem to have been those that were blessed with exceptionally favourable geographical, economic and social conditions.

569–70. Introduction 19 wheat, barley and oats in 1400 were probably very similar to those of 1200, it is unlikely that late medieval England was a place where population growth was constrained by soil exhaustion. Certainly, in his later writings, Postan himself put an increasing emphasis on the role of the Black Death and of later epidemics in keeping down population in the later middle ages; and it is the impact of plague that has been stressed by historians such as Chambers, Hatcher and Platt.

The problem facing pre-modern agricultural growth was thus one of a lack of incentives to produce, rather than of any inherent inability to match demand with supply. But why was urban demand so restricted within the medieval economy? One answer – and one that takes us back to the supply-side of the Introduction 29 economy – is that a low output of food per unit of land and per agricultural worker inevitably meant low living standards and set strict limits on the proportion of the population that could be supported in nonagricultural occupations.

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