By David Levine
At the sunrise of Modernity highlights either "top-down" and "bottom-up" alterations that characterised the social adventure of early modernization. within the former classification are the Gregorian Reformation, the imposition of feudalism, and the advance of centralizing nation formations. Of equivalent value to Levine's portrait of the rising social order are the bottom-up demographic relatives that established daily life, as the making of the fashionable international, in his view, additionally all started within the judgements made via numerous women and men concerning their households and conditions. Levine ends his tale with the cataclysm unleashed through the Black demise in 1348, which introduced 3 centuries of progress to a grim end.
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Additional info for At the Dawn of Modernity: Biology, Culture, and Material Life in Europe after the Year 1000
41. Karl Leyser, “The Crisis of Medieval Germany,” Proceedings of the British Academy 69 (1983): 409–43; also Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany, 72–134. This argument is contested by Gillingham, who situates the “real decline” a century later, between 1198 and 1215, during the Welf-Hohenstaufen struggle for the crown (The Kingdom of Germany in the High Middle Ages, 5). While Gillingham’s criticisms are cogent, they do not seem to me to undermine the standard interpretation, which locates a crucial transformation in the course of development in the crisis of the 1070s.
Exercising the principle of association, which was immanent in the governing process, constituted the way in which the whole ruling class participated in royal rule. Lordship and association interacted dialectically in the same force field. Although power was decisive, it was a subjectively defined right. Norms were evident before they were publicly expressed in law. The social formulation of the law, then, consolidated what had already been there in traditions, ethical values, and religious prescriptions.
24 The ancient social system was weakened when its roots in the countryside were cut so that taxes no longer rose to the cities. The supersession of the state’s functions created a breathing space in which new solutions were found to the problem of governance. The state had been the keystone of the ancient system of urban domination, and its decline led to the ruralization of society. Towns withered. Trade shrank through the contraction of urban demand and the diminished circulation of money. Relaxing the fiscal vise that had characterized ancient state formations was a key factor contributing to rural growth.
At the Dawn of Modernity: Biology, Culture, and Material Life in Europe after the Year 1000 by David Levine