It has been widely debated on the subject of whether or not Europe as a whole faced a general crisis in the seventeenth century. When looking at the word crisis, there are two angles from which it can be viewed. A crisis can be defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. Others would define a crisis as being a crucial or decisive point of a situation. A turning point. During this period in European history, Europe faced major declines in various parts of their society throughout multiple regions. The population declined, agriculture saw no fluctuation, and with absolutism reigning France, taxation and revolts grew at a steadily increasing rate. Many would view this as a sign of crisis, except for when you factor in Golden Age that swept through the Holland and the Dutch Replublic. In the book, The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, a number of articles on the debate from historians have been compiled to try and shed light on what Europe faced during this time. Whether or not they did in fact suffer through a crisis or if they were in a period that was in route to a time of more lasting prosperity.
There is not an argument so much as to whether or not areas in Europe reached a point of crisis, it's more of whether or not Europe as whole faced a crisis. It is understandable as to why historians believe that Europe as one was hit with a crisis. During this time, almost every aspect of their society was in disarray. The Wars of Religion in Europe caused the population to hit a lull because of the century of varies wars that took countless lives. Those who didn't die from war, died from the hunger they faced from poverty or from being killed in revolts or disease. Agriculture faced a decline in yield ratio and the prices of agriculture drop, no doubt a sign of the struggles in the economy and the growing poverty rates (due to taxes and absolutism).Dutch Historian, Slicher van Bath, argued that this decline indicates "that the cause must be...
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