"Commodity" and "Commonwealth": Economic and Social Problems, 1520-1560 by Yale / Keith Wrightson
Video Lecture 9 of 25
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Date Added: June 15, 2011

Lecture Description

Professor Wrightson surveys the changing economic landscape of early modern England in the early sixteenth century. He notes that, throughout the period, population levels rose and, at the same time, inflation caused a rise in prices, and real wages fell. While many landowners were able to raise rents on their lands and profit from enclosing land, and many yeoman farmers prospered, these trends also resulted in a measure of social dislocation and a growth in poverty and vagrancy. Moral outrage at these developments was voiced by the so-called Commonwealth's Men, and popular discontent resulted in large scale rebellions, such as the Pilgrimage of Grace and Kett's Rebellion. Professor Wrightson ends by discussing the economic thought of Sir Thomas Smith, which influenced government initiatives to combat these problems.

Course Index

Course Description

This course is intended to provide an up-to-date introduction to the development of English society between the late fifteenth and the early eighteenth centuries. Particular issues addressed in the lectures will include: the changing social structure; households; local communities; gender roles; economic development; urbanization; religious change from the Reformation to the Act of Toleration; the Tudor and Stuart monarchies; rebellion, popular protest and civil war; witchcraft; education, literacy and print culture; crime and the law; poverty and social welfare; the changing structures and dynamics of political participation and the emergence of parliamentary government.

Course Structure:
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.

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