Sunday, January 20, 2008
Major Apologies to S.M. Stirling!
S.M. Stirling isn't just the international best-selling author who has made a permanent mark on science-fiction and fantasy literature. He isn't only a major influence on how I think about history, as a result of his Draka trilogy.
He also joins the ranks of those unlucky enough to have their comments eaten by blogspirit's awful spam filtering system.
Fortunately, Mr. Stirling sent in his comment through email, so I could manually publish it. However, whenever people complain to me about blogspirit's brain-dead anti-community "spam" filtering, I think of the dozens or hundreds who give up, and whose voices are never heard.
First, it provided a self-regulating population-control mechanism because marriage (and birth) rates tracked the economy, with a lag. When times were hard by customary standards, people married later and more never married; for example, the population of England stopped growing in the 1640's and didn't start up again until the 1720's, for exactly that reason -- as many as a quarter of the women in late Stuart England never had children, and the average age of marriage was as high as 26....
Hence the Industrial Revolution in England didn't have to pry people out of time-encrusted customary communities of peasants 'rooted in the soil', because if any such had ever existed they'd been dissolved a long, long time before.
Read the rest!
So did the extended family networks in the cities come from family traditions of northern and eastern Europeans, then?
Posted by: Michael | Monday, January 21, 2008
"So did the extended family networks in the cities come from family traditions of northern and eastern Europeans, then?"
I wonder if the higher fertility of the European rich led to large family sizes on top, and lower ones on the bottom.... and as the top replaces the bottom, this norm simply spread throughout the culture.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Possible. I'm also wondering if maybe the presence of large employers for extended periods of time weakened traditions of labor mobility.
Posted by: Michael | Wednesday, January 23, 2008