CRISIS OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
The crisis of the seventeenth century.
Echoing contemporary chroniclers and historians, more recent historians have shown that the 17th century was particularly troubled. Two articles published in the British magazine Past and Present in the 1950s proved particularly influential. Although based on different premises and offering different interpretations, both represent a systemic “generalized crisis” across Europe, rooted in a common economic depression and political malaise, but with different outcomes.
Eric J. Hobsbawm’s article (published in two parts in 1954, entitled “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth-Century European Economy” and “The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century, II”) addresses Intense debate about the economic age of Europe’s transition to capitalism. While many attendees argued that the feudal economy had collapsed during the Black Death, Hobsbawm argued that many of the old socioeconomic orders were still in their prime during the “long sixteenth century.” By the end of the period, however, the feudal element posed a fatal obstacle to progress. The ensuing broad and deep “retreat” created an opportunity for structural change, a possibility fully realized in Britain, where political revolution removed barriers to profound economic change.
Hugh Trevor-Roper (1959; “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century”) turns his attention to Renaissance financial, political, intellectual and moral systems (“courts”) and reformist opponents (“State”) confrontation. This “crisis in the relationship between society and state” culminated in the Enlightenment and radical, stable, indecisive political initiatives.
Both articles have inspired critical exploration and broad acceptance. Early modernists questioned the pervasiveness, scale, and duration of the crises implied in each assumption. Soviet historian AD Lublinskaya claimed that the heterogeneity of economic structures and trends in Europe (and even within individual countries) prevented the emergence of generalized crises at all levels. Just as Roger B. Merriman’s Six Contemporary Revolutions (1938) found only history related to revolts in the mid-seventeenth century, more recent scholars have identified Discrete movement groups that emerge after specific conflicts and present different trajectories. Instead of a common seventeenth-century movement based on a common source and exhibiting similar patterns, they argue, it is multiple crises occurring at different times and in different places. Not all social groups have suffered the crisis: for example, the standard of living of employees has improved. The severity of the expected crisis has also been called into question. Immanuel Wallerstein argued that depressions represented only one phase of the contraction and stabilization of the world capitalist system that had already occurred in the 16th century. Many Dutch historians have underestimated the magnitude of the problems facing the Dutch Republic during its “Golden Age”, describing England’s economic problems as relatively benign and ephemeral rather than political problems.
A period of trouble spanning a century
A period of trouble spanning a century or more is too long for some scholars to be effectively described as a crisis (often understood as a sudden and dramatic turning point), esp. But when stagnation and instability rather than deep depressions mark longer periods of time, rebellions follow decades later. John Eliot claimed that there were more rebellions in the 16th century than in the 17th, and that rebellions in the 1560s were more violent than those in subsequent decades. Taking a longer view, some historians have argued that the crisis was actually endemic to the entire early modern period, rather than defining it as unique to a particular century.
development and refinement of crisis
The development and refinement of crisis thinking is more extensive. Drawing on Paul Hazzard’s description of the rise of intellectuals around 1700 and Roland Maisel’s identification of a broader “crisis of the century,” Theodore Raab spans the early sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. uncertain. Addressed through institutional change and knowledge reorganization exemplified by “scientific revolutions”. Central European scholars have revisited the Thirty Years’ War, previously seen as an exacerbating factor rather than a source of 17th-century troubles. He resumed the commotion because