Europe's Second Logistic

Topics: Europe, Portugal, Spain Pages: 14 (5518 words) Published: September 17, 2009

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 figures clearly show that population density was closely related to the productivity of agriculture. For example, Wurttemberg, one of the most advanced agricultural regions of Germany, had a density of 44. Southern England was far more densely populated than Wales or the north country, and northern France and the Mediterranean coastal regions of Provence and Languedoc more than the mountainous and infertile Massiv Central. This caused migration of people from infertile lands to the already more densely populated but more prosperous plains and lowlands constitute the evidence. But the plains and lowlands were already overpopulated. In some areas tenures were divided as more and more people sought to make a bare subsistence from the land. In others the surplus population left countryside, voluntarily or otherwise. The consequence of those migrations was that the urban population grew more rapidly than the total. The populations of both Sevile and London tripled between 1500 and 1600, that of Naples doubled. Paris , already the largest city in Europe with more than 200,000, also increased to about a quarter of million. Amsterdam grew from about 10,000 at the end of the 15 th century to more than 100000 in the early decades of the seventeenth century. Although the percentage rise in the urban population was also general, it was more pronounced in northern Europe than in the Mediterranean lands, which were already more urbanized at the beginning of the period. By the end of the 16 th century about one third of the population of Flanders and almost half that of Holland lived in tons and cities. In some instances an increase in the urban population can be regarded as a favorable indicator of economic development, but this was not necessarily so in the 16 th century. At that time towns functioned primarily as commercial and administrative rather than industrial centers. Many manufacturing activities, as in the textile and metallurgical industries, took place in the...
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