Western Evolution of Serfdom

Western Evolution of Serfdom - EUROPE 1. How did the...

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EUROPE 1. How did the evolution of the institution of serfdom in the Eastern differ from that of serfdom in Western Europe? 2. How was it possible for the nobility to re-establish serfdom in Eastern Europe? Between roughly 1400 and 1650, nobles and rulers re-established serfdom in the eastern lands of  Bohemia Silesia Hungary , eastern  Germany,  Poland Lithuania , and  Russia .  The East gained a certain social and economic unity in the process.  But eastern peasants lost  Western Evolution of Serfdom Eastern Evolution of Serfdom Drop population in the 14th century, mainly  because of the Black death created  tremendous labor shortages and hard times  for nobles Lords demanded that their kings and  princes issue laws restricting or eliminating  peasants right of moving freely Lords confiscated peasant lands and  imposed heavier labor obligations Serfdom consolidated between 1500 and  1650 with the reestablishment of hereditary  serfdom in Poland, Russia and Prussia The period saw growth of estate agriculture.  Food prices increased due to the influx of  gold and silver from the America The legal system was monopolized by the  local lord Surpluses in wheat and timber were sold to  big merchants who exported them to feed  the wealthier west Eastern Lords had more political power Constant warfare in eastern Europe and  political chaos resulted in noble landlord  class increasing their political power at the  expense of monarchs. Peasants were weaker politically. Their  uprising did not succeed, peasants solidarity  was weak Landlords undermines medieval priviledges  of towns and power of urban classes.  Population of towns and importance of  urban middle classes declined significantly. 
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their rights and freedoms.  They became bound first to the land the worked and then, by  degrading  obligations, to the lords they served.  Anxious to attract German settlers to sparsely populated lands, the rulers and nobles of Eastern Europe offered potential newcomers  economic and legal  incentive     s   .  Large numbers of incoming settlers obtained land on excellent terms and gained much personal freedom.  These benefits were also gradually extended to the local  Slavic  population, even those of central Russia.  Thus by 1300 a very general  improvement in peasant conditions had occurred in Eastern Europe; serfdom had all but disappeared.  Peasants bargained freely with their  landlords and moved about as they pleased.  Opportunities and improvements east of the Elbe had a positive impact on Western Europe,  where the weight of serfdom was also reduced between 1100 and 1300. After about 1300, however, as Europe’s population and economy both declined 
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Western Evolution of Serfdom - EUROPE 1. How did the...

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