By Fernand Braudel
The 1st quantity during this superbly illustrated and hugely acclaimed monetary and social historical past of the realm from the center a while to the commercial Revolution covers the richness and complexity of lifestyle - nutrients, drink, gown, housing, cash, the advance of cities - with the means of a pointilliste.
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Extra resources for Civilization and Capitalism, Volume 1: 15th-18th Century
The Europeans had hardly set foot in the New World before smallpox broke out in Santo Domingo in 149 3 ; it appeared in 1 5 19 in besieged Mexico City, even before Cortez reached it, and in Peru in the 1 5 30s, before the arrival of the Spanish soldiers. 8 This disease, against which Europe had become partially immunised, made deep inroads into the native population. The same was true of measles, influenza, dysentery, leprosy, plague (the first rats are said to have reached America in 1 5 44-6) , venereal diseases (a large subject which will be dealt with later) , typhoid and elephantiasis .
38 Our figures, if they are accurate, would represent a compensation and then a further addition. All this is obviously very debatable. The old inadequate explanations The question at issue mentioned at the beginning of the discussion remains: the general rise in world population. The old account must in any case be revised in the light of the demographic increase in China, which was as marked and as undeniable as in Europe. Historians may not like this: they have persisted in explaining Western demographic movements by the fall in urban mortality (which in any case remained very high ) /9 the advance in hygiene and medicine, the decline in smallpox, improvements in the supply of drinking water, the decisive fall in infant mortality, plus a general fall in the mortality rate and a younger average age of marriage.
V: ..... • Warsaw in 179 5 . Soup being d istributed to the poor near the column of King Sigismund (Photo A lexandra Skarzynska . ) III. more incomplete. Yet everything, both in the short and long term, and at the level of local events as well as on the grand scale of world affairs, is bound up with the numbers and fluctuations of the mass of people. Ebb and flow Between the fifteenth and the eighteenth century, if the population went up or down, everything else changed as well. When the number of people increased, production and trade also increased .