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The Watershed of Modern PoliticsLaw, Virtue, Kingship, and Consent (1300-1650)$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300194432

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300194432.001.0001

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Historical Orientation

Historical Orientation

From War, Plague, and Schism to Renaissance, Reformation, and Revolt

(p.8) 1. Historical Orientation
The Watershed of Modern Politics

Francis Oakley

Yale University Press

This chapter looks at the period from 1300 to 1650. This period was marked by a steady population growth, suggestive of the possibility that the continent was already starting to press against the technological upper limit of its food supplies. Thus, when serious and widespread famines had begun to occur, the European economy slid into financial crisis and into a depression which lasted until the fifteenth century. Only in the course of the sixteenth century did the demographic and economic tide finally turn, ushering a new era of vigorous population growth and renewed economic vitality. Much of this activity was centered to the north of the Alps where population growth was at its most vigorous and economic recovery most evident.

Keywords:   European period, food supplies, population growth, economic vitality

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