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The Power of Peasants: Economics and Politics of Farming in Medieval Germany
Robert Dees, author

Adult; History & Military; (Publish)

Part I provides a background understanding of how the Roman slave economy destroyed its free peasantry and thereby its source of food, taxpayers, and soldiers. Meanwhile, free farmers in northern Europe increased agricultural yields, producing more food, more farmers, more warriors until they overran the empire. Further advances in agricultural productivity made possible medieval civilization, which, with the rise of the feudal class, then collapsed into the Hundred Years War and bubonic plague. Part II is an in-depth study of the evolution of rents, debts, and forms of social control in the town of Memmingen from 1348-1650. Defeats suffered by the townspeople and farmers in the First and Second Cities Wars and the Peasant War secured the feudal class’s power and led to economic collapse and the Thirty Years War. A chapter on England and Holland shows how rights won by farmers there allowed those countries to take a very different course than Germany. Part III answers various opposing interpretations of this period of history, including the Malthus Fraud, the Little Ice Age, and others.