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Peasant Life

  • Janine Garrisson
Chapter
Part of the European Studies Series book series (EUROSTUD)

Abstract

After the long period of demographic decline induced by the disasters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the later fifteenth century witnessed a dramatic resurgence of population that was obvious even to contemporaries. The Burgundian chronicler Jean de Clercq went to the heart of the matter in 1466: ‘From Easter until the middle of August there were more marriages in the towns and villages of Artois and Picardy than the older folk can recall ever having seen before, or having heard of from their forebears.’1 Other commentators remarked on the effects of this demographic blossoming, waxing lyrical over the reclamation of land for cultivation and the buoyancy of trade and industry. Claude de Seyssel, Louis XII’s official panegyrist, welcomed the rise in population as the engine of economic growth: ‘with the people increase also goods, revenue, and wealth’. Leaving aside his flattery, we should nevertheless recall that, if Louis himself was hardly the stuff of greatness, at least he presided over demographic and economic expansion.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1995

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  • Janine Garrisson

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