Population and levels of living
what sort of people these Europeans were, and what inspired that curious combination of adventurous spirit, pious sentiment, and brutal behavior that characterized the explorers and conqueror?.
After a century of decline and stagnation Europe's population began to grow. In the middle of 15 th century the population of Europe as whole was 45-50 million, it's about 2/3 less than it was before the plague. By the middle of 17 th century the population was 100 million, in view of the stagnation and decline that occurred in the first half of the 17 th century. What caused this growth?
No single obvious cause for the renewal of population growth presents itself. The incidence of the plague and other epidemic illnesses apparently diminished gradually, possibly as a result of increasing natural immunization or of ecological changes affecting the carriers. The climate may have a good impact. And also earlier marriages and thus higher birth rates. This situation continued throughout the sixteenth century.
Beginning with unequal densities, growing at different rates, the population of the various regions of Europe varied considerably in density at the end of the 16 th century. Italy a 'mature' economy and Netherlands, a dynamic one, had the greatest densities with 40 or more persons per square kilometer, although some areas, such as Lombardy and the province of Holland had 100 or more.
9for purposes of comparison,Italy in recent years had about 190 persons per square kilometer, the Netherlands about 350, the density of western Europe as a whole is about 125. France, with approximately 18 million people, had a density of about 34, England and wales with 4 and 5 million, ha slightly lees. Elsewhere the population was spread more thinly; 28 per square kilometer in Germany, 17 in spain and Portugal. 14 in eastern Europe exclusive of Russia, and only about 1.5 or 2 in Russia and the Scandinavian countries. These... [continues]
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