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Why Europe? : The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path

By: Mitterauer, Michael.
Contributor(s): Chapple, Gerald.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2014Description: 1 online resource (432 p.).ISBN: 9780226532387.Subject(s): Civilization, Medieval | Electronic books. -- local | Europe -- Civilization | Europe -- History -- 476-1492 | European federation -- HistoryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Why Europe? : The Medieval Origins of Its Special PathDDC classification: 940.1 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents -- Translator's Note -- Preface to the English Edition -- Introduction to the First Edition -- 1. Rye and Oats: The Agrarian Revolution of the Early Middle Ages -- 2. Manor and Hide: The Manorial Roots of European Social Structures -- 3. The Conjugal Family and Bilateral Kinship: Social Flexibility through Looser Ties of Descent -- 4. The Feudal System and the Estates: A Special Path of Feudalism -- 5. The Papal Church and Universal Religious Orders: Western Christendom as a Highly Organized Religious Community
6. The Crusades and Protocolonialism: The Roots of European Expansionism -- 7. Preaching and Printing: Early Modes of Mass Communication -- Conclusion: "Through what concatenation of circumstances . . . ?" Interacting Determinants of Europe's Special Path -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
Summary: Why did capitalism and colonialism arise in Europe and not elsewhere? Why were parliamentarian and democratic forms of government founded there? What factors led to Europe's unique position in shaping the world? Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Why Europe? tackles these classic questions with illuminating results. Michael Mitterauer traces the roots of Europe's singularity to the medieval era, specifically to developments in agriculture. While most historians have located the beginning of Europe's special path in the rise of state power in the modern era, Mitterauer establishes i
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Contents -- Translator's Note -- Preface to the English Edition -- Introduction to the First Edition -- 1. Rye and Oats: The Agrarian Revolution of the Early Middle Ages -- 2. Manor and Hide: The Manorial Roots of European Social Structures -- 3. The Conjugal Family and Bilateral Kinship: Social Flexibility through Looser Ties of Descent -- 4. The Feudal System and the Estates: A Special Path of Feudalism -- 5. The Papal Church and Universal Religious Orders: Western Christendom as a Highly Organized Religious Community

6. The Crusades and Protocolonialism: The Roots of European Expansionism -- 7. Preaching and Printing: Early Modes of Mass Communication -- Conclusion: "Through what concatenation of circumstances . . . ?" Interacting Determinants of Europe's Special Path -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index

Why did capitalism and colonialism arise in Europe and not elsewhere? Why were parliamentarian and democratic forms of government founded there? What factors led to Europe's unique position in shaping the world? Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Why Europe? tackles these classic questions with illuminating results. Michael Mitterauer traces the roots of Europe's singularity to the medieval era, specifically to developments in agriculture. While most historians have located the beginning of Europe's special path in the rise of state power in the modern era, Mitterauer establishes i

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this wide-ranging theoretical work, Mitterauer (Univ. of Vienna) examines developments unique to medieval Europe, beginning with the introduction of rye and oats, grains suitable for the northern climate and its heavy soils. He links cereal-based agriculture to the rise of the two-tiered labor system of the manor, with the work divided between the lord's fields and those of the individual family. A manorial holding could support a nuclear family, rather than an extended one, leading to flexibility in family and non-kin relationships, such as vassalage and "life-cycle" servants. Especially interesting are the author's ideas about the impact of Western Christianity and the papal church. Mitterauer points out that the church was fully integrated into the feudal system of Europe, and yet was independent of any particular secular overlord. It worked as a transnational force, operating through the international monastic orders and the system of papal legates. The culmination was in the papal organization of the Crusades, with its international armies. Mitterauer tentatively compares developments in China and the Islamic world, calling for further comparative study. Every scholar of medieval studies will find something of interest here. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. Edson emerita, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Michael Mitterauer is professor emeritus of social history at the University of Vienna and the author of numerous books, including A History of Youth . Before his retirement Gerald Chapple was associate professor of German at McMaster University.

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