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Social and economic developments

Further general reading
  • D. Birmingham, Trade and Empire in the Atlantic 1400-1600 (2000)
  • F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II, vol. I (1973)
  • C. Clay, Economic Expansion and Social Change: England 1500-1700 (1984)
  • D. C. Coleman, The Economy of England, 1450-1750 (1977)
  • S. R. Epstein, Freedom and Growth: The Rise of States and Markets in Europe, 1300-1750 (2000)
  • M. Prak (ed.), Early Modern Capitalism: Economic and Social Change in Europe 1400-1800 (2000)
  • B. Slicher van Bath, The Agrarian History of Western Europe (1963)
  • I. Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, vol. 1: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth century (1974)

1. Account for variations in household size in early modern Europe

2. What role did kinship play in the lives of early modern Europeans?

J. Adams, 'The familial state: Elite family practices and state-making in the early modern Netherlands' in Theory and Society, 23 (1994)
P. Ariès, Centuries of Childhood (1960)
L. Bonfield etc (eds), The World we have Gained: Histories of Population & Social Structure (Oxford, 1986)
W. Coster, Baptism and spiritual kinship in early modern England (2002)
D. V. Glass & D.E.C. Eversley (eds), Population in History: Essays in Historical Demography (1965)
J. Harrington, 'The Forest for the Trees: Society and the Household in Early Modern Europe', HJ 41 (1998)
M. White Paas, 'Family labor strategies in early modern Swabia', Jnl of Family History 17 (1992)
R. Sarti, Europe at Home: Family and Material Culture 1500-1800 (2002)

3. Did conditions for European women worsen or improve over the course of the sixteenth century?

  • S. Amussen, An Ordered Sopciety. Gender and Class in Early Modern England (1988)
  • B. Capp, 'Separate Domains? Women and Authority in Early Modern England' in P. Griffiths et al. (eds.), The Experience of Authority in early Modern England (1996)
  • S. Chojnacki, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice (2000)
  • N. Z. Davis, Society and Culture in Early Modern France (1975), chs. 3 & 5
  • N. Z. Davis, Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives (1995)
  • A. Fletcher, Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800 (1995)
  • W. Gibson, Women in Seventeenth-Century France (1989)
  • L. Gowing, Domestic Dangers. Women, Words and Sex in Early Modern London (1996)
  • D. Hacke, Women, Sex and Marriage in Early Modern Venice (2004)
  • R. Houlbrooke, The English Family 1450-1700 (1984)
  • R. Houlbrooke, ‘Women's social life and common action in England from the Fifteenth Century to the eve of the civil war’, in Continuity and Change 1 (1986)
  • A. Jacobson Schutte et al. (eds.), Time, Space and women's Lives in Early Modern Europe (2001)
  • J Kermode & G Walker (eds), Women, Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England (1994)
  • C. Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy (trans. 1985)
  • M. Laven, Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Rennaissance Convent (2002)
  • L. McGough, 'Women, Private Property, and the Limitations of State Authority in Early Modern Venice', Journal of Women's History 14 (2002)
  • S. McSheffrey, 'Place, Space, and Situation: Public and Private in the Making of Marriage in Late-Medieval London', Speculum 79 (2004)
  • S. Mendelson & P. Crawford, Women in Early Modern England (1998)
  • J. Merrick, 'The Cardinal and the Queen: Sexual and Political Disorders in the Mazarinades' in French Historical Studies, 18 (1994)
  • M. E. Perry, Gender and Disorder in Early Modern Seville (1990)
  • L. Roper, The Holy Household: Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg (1989)
  • U. Rublack, The Crimes of Women in Early Modern Germany (1999)
  • T. Safley, Let No Man Put Asunder. The Control of Marriage in the German South-west (1984)
  • L. Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800 (1977)
  • D. Underdown, 'The Taming of the Scold: the Enforcement of Patriarchal Authority in Early Modern England', in A. Fletcher; J. Stevenson (eds) Order and Disorder in Early Modern England (1985)
  • G. Walker, Crime, Gender and Social Order in Early Modern England (2003)
  • J. Whittle, 'Housewives and servants in rural England 1440-1650: Evidence of women's work from probate documents', in TRHS (2005)

4. ‘Noble status emerged from the vicissitudes of the early modern period surprisingly unscathed.’ Discuss.

  • F. Billacois, ‘La crise de la noblesse européenne (1550-1650)’, Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine 23 (1976)
  • D. Coleman, ‘The Gentry Controversy’, History (1966)
  • J. C. Davis, The Decline of the Venetian Nobility (1962)
  • P. Goubert, The Ancien Regime (1973), esp. chs. 5, 7 & 8
  • F. Heal & C. Holmes, The Gentry in England and Wales, 1500-1700 (1994)
  • J. Hexter, ‘Storm over the Gentry’, in Encounter (May 1958), 22-34 and in his Reappraisals in History, ch. 6
  • C. Jago, ‘The “crisis of the aristocracy” in seventeenth-century Castile’, P&P 84 (1979)
  • H. Kellenbenz, ‘Economic activities of the Holstein nobility in C16th and C17th’, Explorations in Entrepreneurial History 6 (1953-54)
  • J. Lukowski, The European Nobility in the 18th C (2003)
  • J. R. Major, ‘Noble Income and Inflation and the Wars of Religion in France’, AHR 86 (1981), 21-48
  • G. Mingay, The Gentry: The Rise and Fall of a Ruling Class (1976)
  • R. Mousnier, The Institutions of France under Absolute Monarchy, vol. 1, chs 4 & 5
  • E. L. Petersen, ‘The crisis of the Danish nobility, 1580-1660’, in M. Ferro (ed.), Social Historians in Contemporary France
  • S. Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: the Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (1994)
  • J. Salmon, ‘Storm over the Noblesse’, JMH 53 (1981), 242-57
  • L. Stone, Social Change and Revolution in England 1540-1640 (1965)
  • L. Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy 1558-1641 (1967)
  • R. H. Tawney, ‘The Rise of the Gentry, 1558-1640’, EconHR 11 (1941) and in E. Carus-Wilson (ed.), Essays in Economic History, vol. 1
  • I. A. A. Thompson, ‘The nobility in Spain’, in H. M. Scott (ed.), European Nobilities, vol. 2
  • H. Trevor-Roper, ‘The Gentry 1540-1640’, EconHR supplement 1 (1953)
  • J. B. Wood, The Decline of the Nobility in C16th and early C17th France (1976)
  • S. J. Woolf, ‘Economic problems of the nobility in the early modern period: the example of Piedmont’, EconHR (1964), 267-83

5. How did social and political structures influence the evolution of agriculture in early modern Europe?

  • P. Blickle. From the Communal Reformation to the Revolution of the Common Man (Leiden, 1998)
  • J. Blum, Lord and Peasant in Russia (1964)
  • P. Goubert, The French Peasantry in the seventeenth century (1982)
  • E. Le Roy Ladurie, The French Peasantry, 1450-1660 (1987)
  • M. Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England, 1500-1850 (1996)
  • W. Rösener, Peasants in the Middle Ages (1992)
  • T. Scott, Society and Economy in Germany 1400-1600 (2002)
  • G. Sreenivasan, The Peasants of Ottobeuren 1487-1726: A Rural Society in Early Modern Europe (2004)
  • J. Topolski, ‘The manorial serf economy in central and eastern Europe’, Agricultural History 48 (1974)

6. Why did Amsterdam [OR: London] become such an important economic centre in the early modern period?

  • V. Barbour, Capitalism in Amsterdam in the 17th Century (1963)
  • P. Burke, Venice and Amsterdam: A Study of Seventeenth-Century Elites (1974)
  • J. Murray, Amsterdam in the age of Rembrandt (1967)
  • D. Regin, Traders, Artists, Burghers: a Cultural History of Amsterdam in the 17th Century (1976)
  • J. G. van Dillen, ‘Amsterdam’s role in seventeenth-century Dutch politics,’ in J. Bromley & E. Kossmann (eds), Britain and the Netherlands, vol. 2 (1964)
  • I. Archer, The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London (1991)
  • A.L. Beier & R. Finlay (eds), London, 1500-1700: The Making of the Metropolis (1986)
  • P. Clark (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Volume 2: 1540-1840 (2000)
  • P. Griffiths & M. Jenner (eds), Londinopolis: a Social and Cultural History of Early Modern London (2000)
  • J. Merritt (ed.), Imagining Early Modern London: Perceptions and Portrayals of the city 1598-1720 (2001)

[for comparative purposes, cf. list of case studies under ‘Seminar topics and resources’]

See also questions on the Dutch Republic and on the economic role of the state in the section on ‘Politics and state formation: seventeenth century