By Carlo M. Cipolla
During this vintage paintings Cipolla explores the gradual yet advanced means of improvement that remodeled Europe from its quite susceptible place in advert a thousand into the hugely dynamic and strong society of 1700.
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Additional resources for Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy 1000-1700
During repairs to a house in the rue d’Assaut in Paris in 1908, workers found a hoard of over 140,000 silver pennies dating from the thirteenth century. At Košice in Czechoslovakia in 1935 workers found a hoard of just under 3,000 gold coins of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The reasons for the high propensity to hoard are not difficult to detect. Conditions varied greatly from place to place and from period to period, but it is safe to say that in general people lived in constant fear of bandits and soldiers (occupations which were hardly distinguishable in those days) and robbery and plunder were regarded as a permanent menace.
Moreover, the nobles and the clergy normally enjoyed fiscal immunity. 84 Some professional groups, such as university professors in Renaissance Italy and lawyers and doctors in fourteenth-century France, were also normally excused from paying taxes. Such privileges did not, like a talisman, protect the recipients for evermore. In the course of time both the Church and the nobility lost ground in their effort to evade taxes, and at times exceptionally energetic rules brushed aside existing privileges.
The War of the Spanish succession pushed the debt to £54 million and by the end of the War of the Austrian succession in 1748 it totalled £78 million. The protests and complaints of taxpayers are the most frequently encountered items in the documents of every age and country. In the Middle Ages, the chorus of protestations was joined by the moralists and the political theorists (the two groups being scarcely distinguishable), who never missed an opportunity to point out that any prince who fleeced his subjects so that he might live in pomp or wage a war was committing a deadly sin.
Before the Industrial Revolution: European Society and Economy 1000-1700 by Carlo M. Cipolla