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Affluence and Inequality in the Low Countries
The City of 's-Hertogenbosch in the Long Sixteenth Century, 1500-1650

Authors:  Hanus J.

Year: 2014
ISBN: 978-90-429-3146-6
Pages: 356 p.
Price: 67 EURO

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Did the inhabitants of Ďs-Hertogenbosch benefit from the economic ebb and flow of the long sixteenth century (1500-1650)? Through this central question, Affluence and inequality addresses wider issues of economic growth and decline in an (advanced) pre-industrial economy. Challenging traditional questions with innovative and ground-breaking methods leads to a fresh perspective on the economic and social history of the early modern Low Countries.
Building on individual and household experience, connecting fiscal, financial, occupational and social dots, Jord Hanus shows that the so-called structural decline of the seventeenth-century Southern Low Countries was in fact a next step in a series of structural transformations characterizing the Low Countries during the pre-industrial period. Also, even though poverty was very real for a minority of the urban populace, for the majority, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought agreeable living standards. In contrast to a range of southern European cities framed equal in poverty, the urban centres of the Low Countries were both unequal and affluent.

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