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The Age of Crisis

The Age of Crisis. 1550-1650. 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). Economic Changes. Enclosure movement Commercial Revolution and Commercial Agriculture

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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

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