- The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Maps
- List of Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: ‘Early Modern’ Europe and the Idea of Early Modernity
- The Cartographic Emergence of Europe?
- Weather, Climate, and the Environment
- Disease and Medicine
- Historical Demography
- Travel and Communications
- Languages and Literacy
- Printing and Printedness
- A Revolution in Information?
- Economic and Social Trends
- The Social Order
- Households and Family Systems
- Social Roles and Individual Identities
- Consumption and Material Life
- The Agrarian West
- The Agrarian East
- Country and Town in Mediterranean Europe
- Towns and Urbanization
- The Christian Church, 1370<i>–</i>1550
- Protestantism and its Adherents
- Early Modern Catholicism
- The World of Eastern Orthodoxy
- The Transformations of Judaism
- Islam and Muslims in Europe
- Cultures of Peoples
- Belief and its Limits
- Index of Names and Places
- Index of Subjects
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the major contours of population change in early modern European history. Rates of population growth, or decline, are explained by documenting the underlying trends in fertility, mortality, and nuptiality as they shifted across both time and space. Particular attention is paid to the population collapse at the start of our study, the ‘crisis of the seventeenth century’ and to the ‘demographic transition’ that dominates the end of the period. In considering both history and historiography, the chapter surveys the quantitative and theoretical bases upon which the discipline of historical demography rests, and suggests reasons for its strong links to economic history. Finally, the demographic model proposed by Thomas Malthus and widely utilized by historical demographers is called into question for both its own logic as well as for the inconsistencies with the historical data amassed over the past half century.
Anne McCants, Department of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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