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The Age of Crisis

The Age of Crisis

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The Age of Crisis

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  1. The Age of Crisis 1550-1650

  2. Social Issues • Rising and then declining population • Rise of new classes (e.g., gentry and nobles of robe) • Rising crime rate • Witchcraft Scare (100,000 killed)

  3. Economic Changes • Enclosure movement • Commercial Revolution and Commercial Agriculture • Serfdom in E. Europe increases • Nobles revive feudal obligations—leads to widespread peasant revolts • Price Revolution

  4. Intellectual Changes • Scientific Revolution • Belief in supernatural still strong • Rise of national cultures (Shakespeare, Cervantes, etc.) • Decline of Church’s influence over education

  5. “X” Factor--Nature • Sunspots cease—coincidence? • “Little Ice Age”—rainy and cooler • Famine and plague • Lack of scientific explanations for these phenomena—attributed to devils, witches, the “enemy”

  6. Political Factors • Religious Wars • Rebellions over centralization, taxes, war (Catalonia/Portugal—1640s, Fronde, etc.) • First theories justifying rebellion against monarchs and justifying absolute rule

  7. Results • Desire for order • Justification for absolutism • Needs of warfare and international competition • Drive for resources, trade, colonies