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The Society and Economy Under the Old Regime. Introduction Old Regime  The life and institutions of prerevolutionary Europe  Politically  Rule of absolutism.

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Presentation on theme: "The Society and Economy Under the Old Regime. Introduction Old Regime  The life and institutions of prerevolutionary Europe  Politically  Rule of absolutism."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Society and Economy Under the Old Regime

2 Introduction Old Regime  The life and institutions of prerevolutionary Europe  Politically  Rule of absolutism  Economically  Scarcity of food  Agrarian society  Undeveloped financial systems  Socially  Distinct social classes w/ certain privileges  Little individualism

3 Introduction Old Regime fosters change in 18 th C  Changes in farming  Early industrial Rev. arrives  Colonization of New World  Expansion of business  Preparation for wars

4 Major Features of Life Social Characteristics of Old Regime  Aristocratic elites control privileges  Established churches support state  Urban workers organized into guilds  Peasants pay high taxes

5 Major Features of Life Maintenance of Tradition  Social  Tradition was important  Nobles held onto ancient privilege  Peasants wanted restoration of manorial rights  Economic  Except for GB, every nation’s economy was agrarian.  All gov’ts concerned about harvest

6 Major Features of Life Hierarchy  Medieval rank became rigid during the century  Laws regulated the dress of different classes-made social hierarchy easily visible  Lack of “individual rights”, emphasis on “community” rights (nobility, church, guilds)

7 Aristocracy 1-5% of the population Wealthiest sector Separate legal bodies Land was source of power

8 Varieties of Aristocratic Privilege Aristocracy was a matter of birth and privilege British Nobility  Smallest, wealthiest, and most socially responsible aristocracy in Eur.  400 families, eldest males sat in House of Lords, through corruption of electoral system  Owned ¼ of all arable land  Invested in industry and commerce  immense political and social influence

9 Varieties of Aristocratic Privilege France  Nobles of the Robe – Civil servants  Nobles of the sword – Military  French nobles exempt from:  Taille: land tax  Corvee: labor tax  Vingtieme: rarely paid in full

10 Aristocratic Resurgence Nobles responded to centralizing efforts of monarchy by: 1.Preserving exclusiveness of titles 2.Reserve appointments to officer corps and gov’t bureaucracy 3.English Parliament, French parlement, German diets, Austrian estates, all challenge monarchy 4.Remain free from taxes; collect feudal dues

11 The Land & It’s Tillers 75% of population worked the land Peasants/Serfs  Serfdom more common in E. Eur than W.Eur.  In GB, justices of peace oversee courts  Peasants have rights and Englishmen  In E. Eur, landowners oversee courts  Taxes were the burden of peasants/serfs on continent

12 The Land & its Tillers Obligations of Peasants  FR – Feudal dues & corvees.  Prus/Aust – Landowners have complete control  The Robot  Russia – “Soul” tax, forced labor. No legal recourse  Similar to slavery

13 The Land & its Tillers Rebellions  Russian czars degraded condition of serfs  Pugachev – Leader of largest rebellion in 18 th C  Catherine the Great had considered loosening restrictions on serfs before rebellion.  Very few rebellions in W. Eur.

14 Land & it’s Tillers Aristocratic Domination of Countryside – England  1671-1831: English landowners had the exclusive legal right to hunt  Poor excluded because elites believed hunting would undermine work  Merchants excluded b/c Parl. wanted to demonstrate landed wealth over commercial wealth  Gamekeepers and gentry benefited from laws  Poaching and the black market: high demand for luxury meat leads to poaching for profit

15 The Agricultural Revolution Goal of peasants = maintain food supply Food prices rose steadily in 18 th C due to population growth Agricultural revolution was due to farming innovation

16 Agricultural Revolution New Crops/New Methods  The Dutch were leaders in farming.  Cornelius Vermuyden – land reclamation British Innovators  Jethro Tull – seed drills and iron plow  Robert Bakewell – animal breeding  “Turnip” Townsend – crop rotation to restore nutrients  Arthur Young – documented advances

17 Agricultural Revolution Enclosure Movement Replaces Open-Field s  What were open fields?  Village communities which farmed land using the 2 or 3 field system  What was enclosure?  Fencing of land to scientifically study land and increase production  Who was responsible for enclosure?  Large landowners pushed laws through parliament  What was the impact of enclosure?  Commercialization of agriculture

18 Agricultural Revolution Limited Improvements in the East  Why did E. Eur not improve farming?  No motivation. Landlords had tight control over serfs.

19 Agricultural Revolution Population Expansion - 18 th Century  What were the reasons for population growth?  Decline of death rate, fewer wars, fewer epidemics, better hygiene,  ***Changes in food supply - Potato  What was the impact of the population growth?  New demand for goods, food, jobs, services  Increase in migration  Traditions of the Old Regime were tested

20 The “Columbian Exchange”  Squash  Avocado  Peppers  Sweet Potatoes  Turkey  Pumpkin  Tobacco  Quinine  Cocoa  Pineapple  Cassava  POTATO  Peanut  TOMATO  Vanilla  MAIZE  Syphilis  Olive  COFFEE BEAN  Banana  Rice  Onion  Turnip  Honeybee  Barley  Grape  Peach  SUGAR CANE  Oats  Citrus Fruits  Pear  Wheat  HORSE  Cattle  Sheep  Pigs  Smallpox  Flu  Typhus  Measles  Malaria  Diptheria  Whooping Cough  Trinkets  Liquor  GUNS

21 The Columbian Exchange From the New World to Europe Diseases: syphilis Plants: potatoes, corn, tomatoes, pineapple, tobacco, beans, vanilla, chocolate Animals: turkeys Gold and silver From Europe to the New World Diseases: small pox, measles, bubonic, plague, influenza, typhus Plants: wheat, sugar, rice coffee Animals: horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens

22 The Industrial Revolution Began in the 2 nd half of the 18 th C Period of sustained growth Raised standard of living Was it an evolution or a revolution?

23 The Industrial Revolution Revolution in Consumption  What factors increased demand for consumer goods?  Prosperity, marketing/advertising, changes in styles to bring new fashions and inventions, rise of fashion publications made all aware of new styles. Industrial Leadership in GB  What factors made GB the home of the I.R.?  Free trade, good roads w/o tolls, abundance of coal and iron, sound banking, efficient and fair taxation, mobility of society

24 The Industrial Revolution New Methods of Textile Production  What are textiles?  Cloth, which became the first mass-produced items.  How were they produced before the I.R.?  The domestic system, a.k.a “the putting out system”  How were they produced after the I.R.?  In factories

25 Inventions John Kay – Flying shuttle – increased production of weavers. (1730s) James Hargreaves – Spinning Jenny – allowed more spindles of thread to be spun (1760s) Richard Arkwright (1760s) – water-powered device to produce cotton fabric

26 The Industrial Revolution The Steam Engine***  Who invented it?  Thomas Newcomen engine (early 1700s) – very inefficient  James Watt (1760s) – Made steam engine more usable  Why is it important in the I.R.?  It became the prime mover for all industry – shipping, trains, manufacturing


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