Individuals and Communities

Christopher Dyer

in A Country Merchant, 1495-1520

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199214242
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740954 | DOI:
Individuals and Communities

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The tensions and conflicts between ambitious individuals and communities raises questions about the social changes of the period and their effects on morality and economic ideas. Urban and rural communities attempted to regulate their inhabitants, with imperfect results. Religious life had both an individualist and collective dimension, but church building suggests that the community was dominant in its ability to collect money in pursuit of common goals. Heritage epitomises the ambiguity of the period, as he was a supporter of his local chapel and subscribed to conventional moralistic codes, while at the same time helping to dispossess peasants. He encroached on common pastures with the connivance of villagers.

Keywords: communities; economic morality; religion; church building; common pastures

Chapter.  11117 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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