Rural Society in Early Modern times III (Steve Hindle): Historiographical perspectives

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 18-05-18 16:44
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  • Rural Society in Early Modern times III (Steve Hindle): Historiographical perspectives
    • Controversy
      • Feudalism
      • Over definition of feudalism
      • Over chronology of feudalism's crisis and decline
    • Most commentators agree
      • feudal relations loosely defined remained characteristic of most of Eastern and some of Western Europe until end of our period
    • Robert Brenner argues
      • The extent to which agrarian class relations were more conducive to exploitation, individualism and capitalist economic development in England
    • Croot and Parker argue
      • The extent to which agrarian class relations were more conducive to exploitation, individualism and capitalist economic development in France
    • There have been further exercises in comparative history of rural society
      • Calling into question conventional emphasis on stark differences between Western and Eastern Europe
    • Scott argues
      • View that west was liberated early from feudalism has been undermined by growing awareness of sheer variety of tenurial patterns and of 'revival of serfdom around 1500
    • Hagen argues
      • the East looks less traditional in light of recent discussion and recognition of strong market involvement and limits of seigneurial autocracy in region's characteristic demense economies
    • Long-standing models of decline or even crisis among European aristocracies have been similarly reassessed
      • According to Dewald
        • As landowning elite with strong military identity
          • Nobility certainly faced challenges in early modern period
            • From 'common' soldiers in ever-growing infantry armies
            • From upwardly mobile 'bourgeois' gaining their wealth by trade
            • And from the expansive tendencies of state keen to eliminate intermediate powers
        • Established elites proved resilient
          • Adapting to new circumstances by accepting high administrative and military office ('service nobility') and investing in major economic initiatives
    • Notion agrarian society in general, and production techniques in particular, underwent an agricultural revolution in 17th and 18th C remains deeply rooted in scholarship
      • According to Overton
        • It was once fashionable to argue for early chronology of agricultural improvement
          • emphasising technical innovation in 17thC
        • Now commonly accepted that it was not until century after 1750 decisive breakthroughs took place

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