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General History Iii Notes

History Notes > General History III: 1400-1650 Renaissance, Recovery and Reform Notes

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How far did 16th century economic growth lead to significant social change?
Why were the economic benefits of empire so much greater to the Dutch than the Spanish?
Were economic or cultural forces more important in shaping gender roles? (2011) Was population growth the prime mover of price inflation? (2010) How far did the Renaissance create a new concept of the individual?
What, if any, was the connection between hermetic philosophy and the new science?
Does it still make sense to think of a 'Scientific Revolution'? (2010) Why was there never a single Protestant movement?
How important were the Jesuits to the success of the Counter Reformation?
Why did the Reformation usually find greater support in the towns than in the countryside? (2011) Did contemporaries exaggerate the threat posed by religious radicals? (2010) Why did the Anabaptists arouse such hostility? (2009) Did the prosecution of EITHER witches OR Anabaptists have more to do with the defence of social order than with theology? (2008) Why did Protestantism fragment into competing confessions? (2008) Why did it prove impossible to reconcile the doctrinal differences opened up by the early Protestant reformers? (2007) Was the authority of the early modern state primarily defined through its financial reach?
Examine the role of religion in fomenting urban unrest in the 16th and 17th centuries. What was the relationship between the growth of the state and the needs of war?
(2011)

How far did 16th century economic growth lead to significant social change?
Introduction: 16th century - economic growth and demographic change Plague of 14th and 15th centuries - 16th century population growth Repercussions for distribution of land and value of wages With new influx of bullion and continental debasement - 'price revolution' Transition from feudalism to capitalism Can be seen as 'golden age' - just recovery?
No causal link between economic growth and significant societal change - independent continual trend No significant structural change apart from nobility Century prior to 1450 - severe depopulation Loss of up to a third of population Not particularly accurate statistics
~ 80 million in 1500
~ 100 million in 1600 Castile - 3 million in 1530 to 6 million in 1594 Led to increased demand for food Rising food prices Decreased real wages by as much as 60% - increased labour force Benefited some and impoverished others In conjunction with new trading routed - economic growth Subjective and individual experience yet rise of some and fall of others Higher rents and enclosure Poverty of peasants and craftsmen - falling real wages Peasants could not benefit as they were not free agents in land market Landlords reasserted feudal dues Serfdom in Eastern Europe - Poland and Bohemia Important market for grain - more control Western areas - feudalism had further declined Still relatively little social change Monarchs discouraged feudal control - overmighty subjects Greater horizontal mobility e.g. France - migration Less vertical mobility Bodin - Spanish indolence Peasant preference for leisure over entrepreneurship - just ensured surplus for the next year Agricultural developments were not widespread Exhaustion of land - declining productivity England - agricultural developments due to interdependent relationship between landlords and peasants Anomalous to Hobsbawm's 'General Crisis of the 17th Century' 'Historical regression' of France - small-scale production due to high peasant proprietorship of up to 50% of the land Due to litigation and monarchical jurisdiction

Rise of the individual Not a rise of the 'middle class' - no consciousness and group identity Individual social change - polarisation between entrepreneurs and mass of population Many landlords were constrained by customs or contract Urban families needed capital to invest Main aim was acquisition of noble status Not 'middle class' Constant stream up and down Financial difficulties - noble involvement in trade Entry of merchants into nobility e.g. Seville Conspicuous consumption Gender Migration - facilitated by improved transport and infrastructure Work in newly urbanised towns - up to 5 women for every 4 men More than 3 quarters of traders in early modern Polish cities were women All female guilds in Cologne, Paris and Rouen Yet lower wages than men Increasing witchcraft trials may have resulted from economic changes Up to 60,000 were executed Also used to subordinate those who benefited from economic growth 1571 Elsinore, Denmark - Doritte Nippers convicted and executed as a witch as she had refused to leave her position as leader of a group of female traders Widows and spinsters used witchcraft/had it used against them Greatest social change was exceptional increase in literacy French towns with presses - 40 in 1550, 60 in 1600 Growth of 'public sphere' Economic growth - vernacular and cheaper pamphlets Yet literacy was not widespread Le Roy Ladurie's survey of Languedoc - 3% agricultural workers, 10% better off peasants could sign names Yet greatest factor in this was the Reformation - not economic growth Conclusion: Did not significantly affect society as a whole Economic growth facilitated social mobility - rise of individuals Continuing social structure - long term transition from feudalism to capitalism Europe 'evolved' to a more modern society - increasing polarisation

Why were the economic benefits of empire so much greater to the Dutch than the Spanish?
Introduction: 'Price revolution' and discovery of New World contributory to development of 'world economy' 1st 16th century - Spanish expansion and colonialism 2nd - Spanish decline and rise of Dutch after revolt They experienced a 'Golden Age' If not a decline, Spain had relative stagnation Dutch benefited more from empire 1631 - Caxa de Leruela, Spanish national, many economic and empire issues Shows greatest cause was failure of government to regulate the economy Did not exploit empire - 3 main issues of structure of rural economy, lack of administration and protectionism of economy and excessive concentration on dynastic and religious aims Dutch and Spanish similar - concentrated on commerce Lack of innate raw materials Dutch had capitalistic enterprise, especially in reaction to Spanish embargoes Much expansion in 1580s and 1590s - yet not all significant e.g. only 1 ship a year to Japan Tried to get into Spanish-Portuguese empire Reinvested profits instead of spending them on warfare Dutch developed mercantile marine - Spanish used foreign vessels Last quarter of 16th - 17th century Spanish shipping to Indies fell by 75%
Dutch manipulation of monopolies and trading companies 1573 - Seville given monopoly of American trade - further disadvantaged other areas Dutch governmental involvement was secondary to individual entrepreneur New trading companies to exploit empire - East and West India Companies Failed Spanish transition to capitalism Netherlands concentrated on industrial development Countries became some of most highly urbanised in Europe - agriculture became secondary activity in some areas e.g. De Rijp and Graft Society: Spanish hierarchy - discouraged investment and entrepreneurialism Influx of bullion created illusory prosperity - conspicuous consumption and fixed nobility Inhibited emergence of merchant class through hierarchy and foreign vessels Catholicism - criticised profit motives of capitalism Dutch merchants were very important - aspirations to dominance through monopolies Holland - outclassed manufacturers and agricultural workers Religious toleration - migration of skilled merchants from south, Jews and Moriscos Emigration of ~200,000 Spaniards per year to New World and severe plagues Spain lost up to 10% population Population: Major factor in urbanisation and economic development United Provinces were very urbanised from mid 16th century- better transport and infrastructure Dutch population density of 104 people per square mile - second only to Italy Spain was less developed - impeded internal and international commerce and industry Dutch towns had better links with increasingly diversified rural economy - manufactured goods

de Leruela - Spanish economy had lack of investment due to military Burden of taxation, especially in Castile Led to Spain merely trading in raw materials Bullion: Debate but had an overall detrimental effect Hamilton - mercantilist impounding raised prices higher than elsewhere After 1600, imports fell and by 1660 had shrunk to small fraction of previous volume Spain failed to exploit treasure Led to alterations of coinage to try to combat inflation - severe price fluctuations over 1640s e.g. Seville Amsterdam: Decline of Seville and closed port of Antwerp Led to development of Amsterdam as entrepot for 'world economy' Important capture of the spice trade from the Portuguese Population - 1530 - 30,000, 1630 - 115,000 At crossing of east-west and north-south trade routes Wallerstein - Second 16th century success, picked up threads of Habsburg empire Financial developments - increased use of bills of exchange and loans 1609 - foundation of Amsterdam Exchange Bank Low interest rates of 2.5, 3 or 4% - more than half lowest rates in England and France at this time State bank was suggested to Philip II in 1582 Decline of Genoese due to repeated bankruptcies Spain: Had bitten off more than she could chew Braudel - revenue of 13m ducats in 1577 yet total debt of 80m ducats in 1581 KAmen - Spanish economy remained in a basic state of weakness Need for strong medium sized state Can be argued that aims of empire had failed by first bankruptcy in 1557 Failure to consolidate territories Economy was not developed enough - issue was exacerbated by spending on warfare Made sense to use the Netherlands - under Spanish control Conclusion: 'Second' 16th century and early 17th century saw shift of economic power from Spanish to Dutch Development of capitalistic and tolerant society in an urbanised setting Spain had been first to discover new trading routes but continuous warfare, failing agrarian economy, lack of industry and urbanisation and failure to manage underdeveloped economy meant that dominance passed to Dutch Dutch succeeded in short term by maximising profit through free trade Further mercantilism led to England's future dominance

Were economic or cultural forces more important in shaping gender roles? (2011) Introduction: Time of great economic and cultural change - outline in introduction More noticeable changes to women but also to men Demographic growth following plague of 14th and 15th centuries ? immense changes in distribution of land and income In conjunction with bullion from New World ? 'price revolution'

'Rebirth' of culture, reformation and scientific revolution All influenced gender roles yet can be debated whether economic or cultural were more important and to whom Economic Change: Demographic growth from around 80 million in 1500 to around 100 million in 1600 ? higher demand for food and concurrent drop in real wages of up to 60% - everyone, regardless of gender, had to contribute Price rises and need for secondary income - participated in cottage industry Technological innovations Benefits: Could lead to greater freedom e.g. many northern traders were women Could participate in more manly jobs e.g. mining Some became a female monopoly - laundry, taverns and selling clothes - were some all female guilds Horizontal mobility ? migration to newly urbanised areas Cities - 5 women for every 4 men Yet in general still had the role of family maker - many guilds purposefully excluded them as threatening to work prospects For men, less fighting and more official work - new role?
Exploitation as landowners Yet not really a different role - could feel worried by women ? witchcraft Corollary of witchcraft: Rural poverty and urban control Male control of grain - yet female trades continued all year round More than 3 quarters traders in Polish markets were women Doritte Nippers 1571 Elsinore, Denmark Many women migrated to towns Economic change benefited women and this can be said to have increased witchcraft accusations to oppress them 40k-60k executions - predominantly female - exceptions of gender in Iceland and Estonia Also attributed witchcraft to themselves - greater poverty and demand for alms, especially for women who still have limited work Economic forces therefore had some effect on individuals but little overall change - more change for female genders Education and Renaissance: Has been seen as important in liberation of women New emphasis on education, at same time as humanism, led to many noble women being educated in almost the same way as men Examples particularly in France where noble women have been found to be a major factor in converting families to Protestantism e.g. Queen of Navarre Renaissance: Must look at other cultural forces Rise of the individual as a 'spiritual identity' More allowance of expression of personality Burckhardt even claims that in Florence they had equal education - female equality in some families although this can be debated Education is very important - marginalised women

For men, move from military strength and control of men to civil service and humanist education Importance of offices and money Consumerism - much new art, especially in places such as the Netherlands Burckhardt's individualism e.g. Castiglione's Courtier of 1628 - gave traditional role of a female courtier as subservient as an example to male courtiers as to how they should behave - new ideas of masculinity Reformation: Reformation - focus on godly family with man as head of household Luther married Katharina von Bora who had considerable power herself as leader of a convent - can be said to illustrate new female roles Appears to offer new opportunities - spiritual equality - yet limited Counter-Ref was very traditional in approach to women - wanted control In this respect, both religions did not so much shape gender roles as to preserve them Can be said Counter Reformation had more success in new gender roles - spiritualism of St Teresa of Avila - own movement, the Discalced Carmelites and wrote a book, although this was controlled Charitable giving and philanthropic groups Ursulines saw themselves as female Jesuits and travelled Europe with aim of educating - prior to this women had not participated in education - yet did not have papal sanction ? enclosure along with other movements such as the Sisters of Charity Weber - Protestant work ethic - more male work?
Yet also an increasing emphasis on different roles - different schools, cranny schools for women Growing literacy gap - restricted in job prospects Overall, therefore, led to greater oppression in reaffirmation of place in home and divorce and annulment made more difficult than in traditional Catholicism as this helped separation of property Science: Anatomy e.g. Andreas Vesalius De Fabrica 1543 - by 1650 was more differentiation between the sexes - yet is this beneficial?
Less derogatory than traditional knowledge of Galen and Aristotle Yet developments still served to reinforce gender stereotypes - little change in gender roles Literacy also led to books being written by midwives on errors in traditional teaching e.g. Louise Bourgeois was known as 'The Scholar' for her prodigious writings - midwife to French royal family of Henri IV - book on childbirth 1609 Conclusion: Some new conceptions of role Economic more important for female gender roles, cultural more important for male gender roles There is an interesting dichotomy between two aspects of gender roles in this period On the one hand, there are female queens and new female work prospects - e.g. patronesses of Descartes were Electoress Palatine and the Queen of Sweden - Decartes intellectually equal Yet the growth of literature and the illiteracy of women excluded them from many cultural changes and economic, and cultural forces to an extent, shaped increased accusations of witchcraft Overall, the preservation of the traditional gender roles by what has been termed a 'rebirth' of culture by some writers leads one to look at the greater underlying force of economic change Capitalism and dearth led to a greater role of women in working on the land and trading in towns where many were women

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