Overveiw of society in 17th century

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The state of society in the seventeenth century.

POPULATION= 5 and a half million in 1600. It had been steadily rising (immune to attacks from the plague) Vast majority of the population lived in countryside. London (and a few others) was growing crazy! and the size of london became a concern to merchants from pther places. "eating up the trade of the whole kingdom.

LIFE EXPECTANCY= low (especially farm labourers - average 30) Children's life expectancy also very low, (messing up the average) Barely any medical knowledge, mothers and children at risk!

AGRICULTURE= Many lives depended on seasons etc. (cloth - main export based on grazing of sheep0 poor weather > could result to starvation! in the 1700s demand for agriculture did increase (population growing!) Needed to sell their food at markets so ££ spent on rivers/transport. This led to bigger farms.

INDUSTRY= Wool had been main export. Exporting unfinished cloth. <most important export (weavers cloth buyers merchants - dependent) **guild system =restricting people making goods (to keep the ££ high) but it also restricted output.**POOR COMMUNICATION/TRANSPORT - although rivers were imporving, not very much.. and took ages!! (thames ouse nene) and roads were so hard to get down.

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Very seperated and there was a more noticeable Hierarchy (than today)

ARISTOCRACY= Most inportant group in 17th century! Large estates, family name (could be traced back 100 years) Titles(earl,duke,lord,baron) <<passed down to the eldest son. Eldest member sat in the house of lords! (they traditionally did all sorts like commanded armies/attended court/advised kings/and arranged marriages within themselves (if fam was going through bad financial time, they arranged marriage with daughter of rich merchant) Lived in grand houses (hardwick/hatfeild) servants. Knights were different, they were actually given titles (for bravery etc) and it didn't pass down to generation.

GENTRY= "gentlemen" "old families2 didn't have titles but coat of arms. "old". varied in wealth some had acres of land, others not. gentry in good agricultural areas(east anglia) were much richer than the west. They didn't work, they (like aristocracy) lent their land out to tenant farmers. eldest son inherited land and youngers ones became lawyers or merchants. vital in running country outside of London. They served as Justices of Peace, and sheriffs.

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