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Life in 16 Century Europe
A Time of Great Changes.…read more

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The Hazards of life (basics)…read more

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Climate Change
The little Ice age
There is evidence of climatic change after 1570 ­ the little ice age ­ lead to cooler
springs wetter summers and more severe winters. This affected food supply and
prices rose, whilst the population growth slowed down.
The Little Ice Age brought colder winters to parts of Europe. Farms and villages in the
Swiss Alps were destroyed by encroaching glaciers during the mid-17th century.
Canals and rivers in Great Britain and the Netherlands were frequently frozen deeply
enough to support ice skating and winter festivals. The first River Thames frost fair
was in 1607.
`The weather played a prominent role in the origins of the great witch-hunts' W.
A belief in weather magic was both ancient and widespread.
Conclusion : There is a coincidental link between Witchcraft
and Climate Change.…read more

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Poor Harvests
Due to the climate change poor harvests occurred.
On the whole, the worst affected areas were those far removed from major trade
routes, such as much of Hungary and some inland parts of Germany. A poor harvest,
or series of poor harvests in the context of a more general shortage of food, often had
disastrous effects.
In many parts of Europe the increase in population began to outstrip improvements in
agriculture from about 1500 onwards and this process continued in many parts till well
into 1540s. Different parts of Europe were affected at slightly different times within the
period c. 1500-1550 and in many areas there were peasant uprisings which were
usually suppressed with appalling savagery (with very cruel and unusual punishments
for some of the leaders, for example). These uprisings sometimes became
interwoven with the religious upheavals of the period.
On The situation stabilized somewhat after about 1550.
Conclusion : Coincidence that the
Climate change effected the food
shortage.…read more

Slide 5

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Plagues devastated Elizabethan England. They were a constant threat to the people and the land. The most
devastating to England was the bubonic plague. London was afflicted over a dozen times during the 1500's.
City dwellers were hit hardest, as crowding and lack of sanitation assisted the plague's spread. In London, there
was severe overcrowding among the poor, and garbage and human waste littered the streets.
About 30,000 out of a total population of 70,000 died of the Black Death in London.
In 1563, London experienced another outbreak of plague, considered one of the worst incidences of plague ever
seen in the city. The bubonic plague took almost 80,000 lives, between one quarter and one third of London's
population at that time.
Statistics show :
1000 people died weekly in mid August ,
1600 per week in September,
and 1800 per week in October.
Fleeing form the cities and towns was common, especially by wealthy families who had country homes.
Later, in 1578, when plague broke out once again, Elizabeth took action. This time she ordered physicians to
produce cures and preventative medicine. Also, most public assemblies were outlawed. All taverns, plays, and
ale-houses were ordered closed.
By the time the epidemic played itself out three years later, anywhere between 25% and 50% of Europe's
population had fallen victim to the pestilence.
Even when the worst was over, smaller outbreaks continued, not just for years, but for centuries. The survivors
lived in constant fear of the plague's return, and the disease did not disappear until the 1600s.
During the sixteenth century, plague went through England's countryside with isolated outbreaks. The major
outbreaks were in London, due to its large population.
No matter where people stood in stature or wealth, they lived in the midst of disease and death. Influenza,
smallpox and bubonic plague swept across.…read more

Slide 6

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What were the key changes facing
Society?…read more

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