Early Modern Period 1500 To 1800

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Early Modern Period 1500 to 1800

In early modern Europe, the study of historical demography faces pitfalls as it was in preliminary statistical age. However, there are ways to provide a reasonably accurate picture of population growth between the period 1500-1800. The parish records before the reform and land registers are the most reliable forms of demographic data and information relating to the population of individual cities. Population growth is due to natural increase, which is when there are more births than deaths, and also due to migration. Indeed, population growth, with a healthy and fertile population is crucial for the government in the early modern period. If the state had to be economically successful and to compete well against other states, he should have had a thriving population. Population growth during the period was unpredictable to say the least. For example, often people were vulnerable to extreme conditions that would cause famine and death as a result of increased sense there would be no loss of population. In addition, the disease would have devastating consequences of population growth in the absence of complicated remedies for dealing with them.

From 1500 the population of Europe is still experiencing growth from the recovery period after the Black Death that ravaged Europe. During the century the population of Europe as a whole began to increase possibly due to the relative absence of destructive wars and a lull in attacks, frequent epidemics. However, this growth has been uneven, with the highest population growth rates in the north in Scandinavia, Britain and the Netherlands. Scandinavian countries for 1600 is registered to two-thirds of their 1500 levels. As described by Stone urbanization has been a notable feature of the period.

Besides greater food safety after the 1500 harvest in the period meant there were more marriages at an earlier age due to increased pay dowry and social pressure to marry and provide heirs. Age at marriage is regarded as crucial for fertility, as mature women produce fewer children. If women have more children is more likely that one or more children will survive to adulthood and produce children themselves. Thus, it is through the multiplier effect that human population growth.

However, there is little evidence of this assumption because the parish registers were not kept systematically in this period. If we look at figure 1.1 clearly in Europe during the pre-1750 that most women married at the age of twenty-five years, in fact it is about four-fifths of women were married at the age of 25 in this period.



Mean Age











(Figure 1.1) Mean Age of Women at First Marriage, pre 1750


                At the end of the 16th century and into the 17th century the period of population expansion came to an end. Instead much of Europe was entering into a period of demographic stagnation, on account of negative population influences which brought about mortality. The principal features of mortality behaviour are dramatic fluctuations brought about by a high endemic and epidemic incidence of infectious diseases. Plague was the most virulent ...
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