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9. "Commodity" and "Commonweal": Economic and Social Problems, 1520-1560

Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251) 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. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Rising Prices and Population 04:45 - Chapter 2. Landlords and the Peasantry 21:14 - Chapter 3. Poverty 26:29 - Chapter 4. The Commonwealth's Men Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
Length: 46:42

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