Introduction: Living in 1495–1520

Christopher Dyer

in A Country Merchant, 1495-1520

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199214242
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740954 | DOI:
Introduction: Living in 1495–1520

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter sets the scene for John Heritage's life against a national and global background. It defines the problems confronting historians who wish to interpret the period. It analyses the state of the English economy around 1500, and shows how historians have explained it by highlighting population fluctuations; the transition to capitalism; the influence of institutions; commercialization; and changes in the structure of society. This can be seen as a period of both stagnation and growth. The sources are discussed, in terms of the decline in the value of those produced by the old methods of economic management, and those linked with the new men.

Keywords: economy; population; capitalism; institutions; commercialization; social structure; stagnation; growth; documents

Chapter.  12493 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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