By Christopher Dyer
Christopher Dyer examines the transition within the financial system and society of britain among 1250 and 1550. utilizing new resources of proof, he demonstrates that vital structural alterations after 1350 equipped at the advertisement progress of the 13th century. He indicates that improvement of person estate, reaction to new intake styles, and use of credits and funding, got here from the peasantry instead of the aristocracy. An Age of Transition?, an important new paintings through a most sensible medievalist, unearths how England used to be set on track to turn into the 'first commercial nation'.
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Extra resources for An Age of Transition?: Economy and Society in England in the Later Middle Ages (The Ford Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford in Hilary Term 2001)
88 Z. Razi and R. M. Smith, ‘The Origins of the English Manorial Court Rolls as a Written Record: A Puzzle’ and P. R. ’, in Z. Razi and R. M. ), Medieval Society and the Manor Court (Oxford, 1996), 50–67, 69–102. 89 C. Dyer, ‘Memories of Freedom: Attitudes Towards Serfdom in England, 1200–1350’, in M. L. ), Serfdom and Slavery: Studies in Legal Bondage (Harlow, 1996), 277–95; M. Mu¨ller, ‘The Aims and Organisation of a Peasant Revolt in Early Fourteenth-Century Wiltshire’, Rural History: Economy, Society, Culture, 14 (2003), 1–20.
Technical innovations tended to come from below, born out of the practical experience of peasants and artisans. The modern reputation for inventiveness enjoyed by monks, and particularly those of the Cistercian order, does not stand up to critical investigation. In the late fourteenth century the aristocracy were in danger of losing control, and struggled to keep powers over their tenants and to keep direct management of their demesnes. In the next century they learned to manage change, and minimize their loss of wealth and power, but they were nonetheless struggling against disadvantages.
Rents for land were still often fixed in relation to the power of lords and the restraints of custom, rather than by market forces. A high proportion of agricultural production was destined for consumption in the households of the producers. And a great deal of labour was performed by peasants and artisans, or by members of their family, rather than by a hired work-force. Many of the workers had a small amount of land, or were working in their youth in the expectation of gaining a holding of land or a workshop of their own in later life.