An Historical Geography of Europe, 1500-1840 by Norman John Greville Pounds

By Norman John Greville Pounds

This booklet, like its better half quantity, An old Geography of Europe 450 BC-AD 1330, seeks to check the advanced of ordinary and man-made beneficial properties that experience inspired the process heritage and feature been prompted by way of it. It follows the overall development of the sooner quantity and spans the interval from the early 16th century to the eve of the economic Revolution in continental Europe, nearly 1500 to 1840. It first offers an image of the geography of Europe - political, social and fiscal - within the early 16th century, and it ends with the same photo of continental Europe within the early 19th. The intervening interval of approximately 3 centuries is simply too brief to be provided in a sequence of cross-sections. in its place, among those horizontal photos a sequence of vertical reports has been inserted. those hint the improvement of the most aspects of ecu geography in this interval. There are chapters on inhabitants, city improvement, agriculture, production and alternate and shipping. As within the previous quantity, no try has been made to incorporate both the British Isles or Russia, and those are talked about simply by the way.

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The cropping system which had developed in much of Europe during the Middle Ages called for the alternation of autumn- and spring-sown grains with fallow. Wheat or rye was thus followed by oats or barley. The two groups of cereals were thus in joint production, with the autumn-sown grains cropping as a general rule rather more heavily than the spring-sown. 8 247 The spring-sown grains were not held in high regard. The Maison Rustique regarded oats as 'un vice et chose inutile', but admitted that they were valuable as a fodder, and, cooked as a gruel or porridge, served as human food.

Spain became the focus of Habsburg power, especially after the abdication of Charles V (1556) when the Austrian lands passed to his younger brother, Ferdinand. It provided a more secure base than either Austria or the Low Countries. Through the port of Seville was channelled the bullion of the New World, without which the emperor could not have retained the loyalty of his armies. The Spanish empire in the New World was, nevertheless, a constant drain on Spanish manpower and resources. 48 In the long run it is doubtful whether the benefits which Spain derived from her empire outweighed the obligations it imposed.

It consists essentially of tax records, and, since taxes were as a general rule levied on the heads of families, what we have is usually the number of 'hearths' or households. A prolonged and inconclusive controversy has centred on the size of the multiplier to be used for converting hearths to aggregate population. There was, in fact, no 'normal' size for the household. A further difficulty lies in the fact that the hearth tended to become a notional unit of taxation, and the number of hearths at which a community was assessed ceased gradually to bear any close relationship to that of real households.

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