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Demography And Economy Notes

History Notes > General History X: Europe 1715-99 Notes

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Contents

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Economy Tutorial
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Population and History -- E. A. Wrigley
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The Agrarian History of Western Europe A.D. 500--1850 -- B. H. Slicher Van Bath
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Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe -- R. S. Duplessis
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The Population of France in the Eighteenth Century -- L. Henry
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The Demographic Development of Flanders in the Eighteenth Century -- P.
Deprez

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Agricultural Fluctuations in Europe from the thirteenth to the twentieth
centuries -- W. Abel

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The European Demographic System 1500--1820 -- M. W. Flinn
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The Low Countries -- J. A. Van Hoot and L. Van Buyten
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Europe in the Eighteenth Century 1713--1783 -- M. S. Anderson

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Economy Tutorial
Why did the Industrial Revolution happen in Europe and not in China?
~ Natural resources and geographical difficulties

~ Issue of coal
~ Political argument -- economic intervention and scientific discoveries
~ Lack of idea of progress -- static culture
Protestant work ethic in Europe
~ Wealth shows divine election
Population growth => plagues and disease => population collapses again
~ 18th century is the first time that this cycle is broken
~ Why was this cycle broken? => Industrial Revolution

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Previous century decline => earlier inheritance and population growth
Resistance to disease => yet new diseases can develop
No biological answer
Government becomes more involved e.g. enforce quarantines
~ Military forces are moving across the country

~ Yet more on a global scale -- less at home
Europe's dominance -- partly due to disease
Less malnourishment => less disease
Importance of new crops

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Don't know that much -- issue of sources
Can find relative comparative numbers -- difficult to find absolute data
Taxation and muster rolls
Should preface work with issues of sources

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Colonies were the reason for the Netherlands' growth
Spanish inflation -- gold from colonies
~ Ruined international colonies
Religious persecution in Spain -- loss of specialisms
Geography -- less high density
Issue of international taxes
Spain and the Netherlands lose out in the colonies
~ England and France fight in the Americas


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Contemporaries had no conception of the economy
Adam Smith -- Wealth of Nations (1776)
~ Economy -- how much money the state has
Political economy is developed -- for the first time it is separated from the rest of general
knowledge
Mercantilism was the favoured economic doctrine -- protectionism

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Tariffs and protectionism => Adam Smith and free trade

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Population growth is not the only factor
Grain prices were central
Eldest son inherits the farm
~ Others can find work in other farms, towns and in the empire

~ Especially true in Scotland -- empire was a huge outlet
Land speculation -- became a commodity
~ Aristocracy are seen to be hoarding the land


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Focus on examples -- differences within Europe
~ Start from case studies => comparative argument

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Population and History -- E. A. Wrigley
(London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969)
pp. 107--156

Possible view of the total situation
! Age at marriage and mortality can add or decrease population size
! Population increase

~ Smaller size of holding

~ Less real income per head

~ Higher demand for industrial goods

~ Higher proportion of population in towns and cities
Negative feedback => return to original situation
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! Relationships could change from positive to negative or vice--versa
! Class differences -- lower income for peasants could be beneficial for the middle classes

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Pre--industrial societies were in a position of negative feedback
'Each period of economic growth was eventually cut short before reaching the point at
which it was self--sustained and progressive' (p. 111)

~ Industrial revolution overcomes this
Rough balance between births and deaths
When harvests were bad, marriages were postponed and the number of conceptions fell
very sharply indeed
~ Burials rose to a peak
~ Might reduce the population by a quarter in a couple of years -- bringing food
supplies more into balance
Normal harvests => number of births rose with marriages now occurring
Some societies avoided worst dangers -- only a few were balanced on the edge of the
Malthusian precipice
When the logic of the situation required it, there was a shrinkage in total numbers of
marriages and births
When high mortality came through arbitrary incidences such as epidemics, no such
change of marriages and births was called for

Demographic characteristics
Age at marriage and fertility
! Very different ages of marriages in different communities
! Europe -- marriage normally meant the creation of a new household immediately =>
needed economic base
! Eastern Europe makes an instructive contrast with the west -- extended family was still
common and women married very young
! Western Europe -- youths and young girls went out to service in other households and
were therefore rarely free to marry

~ Apprenticeship also prolonged bachelorhood
! Average age at first marriage in the mid--twenties
! No evidence that exceptionally high mean ages at first marriage were associated with
high percentages of illegitimate children -- reverse was probably more common
! Issue of suckling a child => longer infertility

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France -- marital fertility fell steadily at the end of the 18th century
~ Coitus interruptus
Asile of Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris took in more and more foundlings from the late
17th century
~ By the end of the third quarter of the 18th century about a third of all the babies
born in Paris found their way there
~ Death rates were so high in institutions of this sort that in the healthiest of them
a third or more of those admitted died within a year of entry

~ In the worst it was 9 tenths
Contraceptive practices, abortions and infanticide were all much more likely outside
marriage

Mortality
! Level of real income enjoyed by a population played a great part in determining its
death rate
! Yet real incomes tended to produce a notable growth in city populations -- crowded and
insanitary conditions
! Duvillard's mortality table for France in the later 18th century -- life expectancy of 28.8
years
! In the great cities, it was seldom much over 20 years
! Crulai 1675--1775 it was about 30

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The General Picture
! Falling living standards
! Rural industry, poverty and population growth were closely associated
! Where wages are low primitive techniques tend to be the most profitable
! Population expansion may depress living standards or it may lead to new advances to
support a larger population -- aggregate demand will be raised sufficiently to encourage
the development of larger production units, the introduction of better machines and
the improvement of methods of distribution which lower the cost of the product =>
growing population leads to a greater dynamism in the economy
! Social behaviour was slow to change -- delayed response to age in marriage and
changing economic conditions might provoke further economic change

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Population and the industrial revolution
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1800 -- London had a population of 900k => about twice the size of Paris
1750 -- Paris contained only about 2% of the total French population
Economic historians have too easily assumed that there was something exceptional
about the rate of growth of population in England in the 18th century
~ Implicit in much that has been written that very slow growth of population in the
first half of the 18th century was normal for Europe and that the acceleration
which took place during the second half of the century was not paralleled
elsewhere
'In a number of European countries population growth in the 18th century was very swift
by the general standards of pre--industrial societies and was often at its swiftest in areas
most remote from rapid economic change' (p. 152)
'Rates of growth as high as those in England occurred in many parts of Europe and in
many countries there was an acceleration of the rate of growth about the middle of the
century' (p. 152)

Economy
Professor Brockliss

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Europe in the 18th century
! Creates enough food to sustain a relatively large non--agricultural population
*> Towns + military elites -- 10--20% population
*> 80% population can sustain the other 20% with their surplus food
! Network of towns
*> Manufacturing + cultural sophistication
! Contrasts between Europe + the rest of the world
*> Food -- the further East you go the more you move from a corn culture to a rice
culture
- Rice is a much more productive plant -- can feed many more people
! France -- family of 4 => need about 10 hectares of land/25 acres
*> China -- only need about 1 hectare for rice
! Japan v. France
*> Japan is very mountainous -- yet can sustain the same population as France
! France -- most fertile country in Europe
! Only in the 16th + 17th centuries do the Europeans go out looking for new trade

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Europe in 1700
! Population -- around 100 million
*> 75--80% in the countryside
! Odd areas of high urbanisation
*> Netherlands -- southern area => 50% population in towns
! Urbanised v. rural -- agricultural societies are relatively self--sufficient
! Most parts of Europe are connected to local towns
*> Most villages are within 10km of a small market town of 2--3,000 people
- Can then obtain most of the low grade manufactured goods they need
- Each smaller town connected to a larger town -- within about 100km =>
2--5,000 people
Much higher quality goods
! Toledo, Spain -- high class swords
! Leon, France -- important silk making industry
! Delft, Holland -- ceramic industry
! Brussels -- tapestry
! Venice -- books
! Regional towns are connected to larger towns or ports
*> Marseilles or Bordeaux
*> Necessary to import + centre of distribution
! 200,000 villages, 3,5000 small market towns + 150 sizeable towns of 15,000+
*> Only 15 towns with more than 50,000

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! Heartland v. periphery
*> Periphery connected in the same way that a colony might be
*> Specialised goods

*> Periphery supplies the heartland with raw materials
*> Wealth of Europe in the heartland
! Yet there is a limit to economic dynamism
*> Triangle of London, Paris + Amsterdam
- Highest population density
- Most significant centres of industrial production

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! Total GDP of Western Europe is only about $83 million
! China -- similar
! India -- $90 million
*> Similar population to China
! Europe in 1700 is no richer than other areas -- may in fact be poorer
! India + China -- far larger towns
*> Largest city in the world is Edo in Japan -- over 1 million people

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! Europe needs India, China + Japan far more than they need Europe
*> Nothing made in Europe that they were interested in
*> India cottons + silks + Chinese porcelain
- Britain imports a great deal
! India + China are producing bespoke articles for the European market
! Early 18th century -- porcelain figures of Luther + Erasmus
! Only thing that we can export to them is silver
*> European colonies provide this

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Europe in 1800
! Villages + towns -- number would probably not be very different
*> Only in Russia -- great growth of number of villages => fastest population
growth
- 12--36 million population growth across the 18th century
! Population -- from about 100 to 187 million => virtually doubled
! Pop goes up until 1630
! Goes down/stagnant until 1730
! 1650--1730 stagnant population
! Population then starts to grow increasingly
! By 1789 -- much increased amount of foodstuffs
*> Increased land under the plough
*> Yet are also growths in productivity

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! Manufacturing sector
*> Has increased much more rapidly than agriculture
Britain x 2
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! France x 3
! Russia increased 9fold

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! Industrial production is going up much faster than population growth
! Mining, iron ore production, coal, lead etc.
! Sugar + tobacco refining

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