Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Georges Huppert: After the Black Death. A Social History of Early Modern Europe

Huppert is attempting to understand that changes that took place in Early Modern Europe in the aftermath of the Black Death, otherwise known as the bubonic plague, that wiped out nearly a third of Europe's population at the time.

Huppert points out that interconnected living was cultivated and implemented in places around Europe starting in the twelfth century, serving to create a societal order and functions with every class between merchants to peasants in an arrangement that cultivated and connected these otherwise separate class entities. In these deeper growing connections was a new sense of trade and a growing dependence of one sphere on the other.

I also found it interesting that Huppert points out that with such a devastating effect on the population of the continent previously, came much change in societal roles and values. For example, women were no longer pressured to marry so young,. Huppert makes the argument that this advanced the status of women in society since there were so many less people in general.

Huppert juxtaposes the purpose of both the cities and the rural areas, highlighting that it was the rural entities that were responsible for cultivating the food, and the city's responsibility to cultivate money. It was here that trade really began to flourish, especially in the sense that delegating tasks in this way would stream-line processes of development and growth. The persons who mainly suffered from this arrangement, though, were people outside of the cities.

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