for their persons and property was threatened by the insecurity of society. Guilt and dread of failure coloured their actions as they went about the inequitable business of capitalism. The rapid spread of disease among people living in extremely close quarters threatened their very health.
Demands for assistance made by this increasingly urbanized population forced a reaction from both the ecclesiastical and secular imperial authorities. As these two entities were locked in a larger political wrestling match, cities and citizens were often
birth of European capitalism. The leaders of independent city-states vied for political control with local bishops and distant emperors and popes, and created innovative civic institutions to replace traditional rural-based, class- and religion-centred, facilities. The case of Ospedale Santa Caterina serves as an example of the path taken by citizens as well as the civic and ecclesiastical authorities to organize a response to the needs of the community.
In his will, recorded on 31 March 1335, Moderno Caccialepre entrusted his wife and three
is the onset of capitalism and the birth of the printing press which facilitate the beginnings of nationalism. Thus the medieval period is for Anderson a period of ‘great religiously imagined communities’. 38 The emergence of capitalism, the birth of administrative vernaculars, the printing press and the Reformation eroded the hegemony of such ‘great religiously imagined’ communities of the middle ages. The gendered ordering of such communities and why imagined communities might sustain gender differences if incorporated into this analysis would be a fruitful way
(eds), Imagining the Books: Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe
(Turnhout: Brepols, 2005), pp. 1–14, pp. 1–2.
Salter, Popular reading in English.indd 233
234 Popular reading in English c. 1400–1600
19 For a very useful discussion of the complex relationships between technology,
invention, and changes in practice see F. Braudel, The Structure of Everyday
Life: The Limits of the Possible, Civilization and Capitalism 15th–18th
Century (London: Collins, 1981), pp. 334–5. Braudel explains that technological development is never
is not employing too modern an expression to say that the profits [people] realized were put to work as fast as possible to augment [their] revolving capital’ (Pirenne, 1925 : 118). While Ireland after the Black Death was not a capitalist economy, certainly elements of capitalism existed, with the tower house used as a means of advancement. In particular, it is reflective of consumption and was used as both an investment and a statement.
The use of the tower house as a declaration of social advancement was nothing new: material culture
discussion on the matter.
47 Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism 15th–18th Century,
vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible, trans.
Siân Reynolds (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), pp. 491–520 (p. 511).
48 Lorraine Attreed, ‘Urban identity in medieval English towns’, Journal
of Interdisciplinary History, 32:4 (2002), 571–92 (585–90). Sarah Rees
Jones, ‘York’s civic administration, 1354–1464’, in Sarah Rees Jones
(ed.), The Government of Medieval York: Essays in Commemoration of the
1396 Royal Charter, Borthwick Studies in
Married Women and the
Law , pp. 133–154; Stevens, ‘London’s married women’, pp.
115–132. On early modern women, see Cathryn Spence, ‘“For his
interest”? Women, debt and coverture in early modern Scotland’, in Beattie and
Stevens (eds), Married Women and the Law , pp. 173–190; Joanne Bailey,
‘Favoured or oppressed? Married women, property and “coverture” in
England, 1660–1800’, Continuity and Change , 17 (2002), 351–371; Amy
Louise Erickson, ‘Coverture and capitalism’, History
Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 348.
On women’s creditworthiness and credit ties as revealed in
borough court litigation, see Teresa Phipps, ‘Creditworthy women and town courts in
late medieval England’, in Elise Dermineur (ed.), Women and
Credit in Pre-Industrial Europe (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018), pp. 73–94.
Martha C. Howell,
Commerce Before Capitalism in Europe, 1300–1600 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2010), p. 25
models have also tended to be more or less to the fore, their prominence a product of, inter alia , the contribution of particularly active and compelling historians and the perceived rigour of their argument, as well as political trends (such as the rise and subsequent decline of far left politics in the West) and wider socio-economic contexts (for instance, the expansion of global capitalism and the rise of market economies in the 1980s and 1990s). To apply a broad chronology to these developments, we can suggest that a population-driven model, associated especially
as a model of the process of transition from feudalism to capitalism. Interestingly, Rodney Hilton, in his introduction to the 1956 English translation of Kosminsky’s book on the agrarian history of England in the thirteenth century, draws a firm and critical line between Kosminsky’s contribution to the study of rent and ‘many previous writings’ which, he at least implied, were less theoretically charged in their approach:
[Kosminsky’s] emphasis on rent is not simply due to a more or less arbitrary selection for special attention of one