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Snapshot Martha Howell

The average duration of a marriage in Northern Europe between 1300-1600 was 10 years. Because usually somebody died.


At the 17 minute mark.

This makes likelihood that men and women remarrying very high. (Links to capitalism, multiple children, multiple marriages, dowry, inheritance …)

Capitalism as generating the ideal of love, as spiritual. Ideal of love as Bourgeois. Marriage as spiritual and love emerges to make up for the volatility of capitalism. (Feminist Critique of romantic love. It erases the social and economic purposes of marriage so that just falling out of love allows you to divorce without any attention to all the economic aspects.) But Proto-modern family introduces love to provide stability in order to give some assurances that the bond won’t be dissolved and the assets would be gone with it, as assets become more profit oriented and  mobile as they become high risk wealth.


1500 as dividing line between medieval and modern. For historians. Shouldn’t, no cut off.

Gifts: people supposed to give lest gifts as capitalism develops. Gift economy disappears with capitalism. Author says it actually explodes in 1600s doesn’t disappear. Becuase they are not proto-capitalists, thye use a different logics.

Why do cities give so much gifts, not religious, secular and it takes a lot of ther income. Is it Bribes? Author thinks that the gifts do cultural work necessary to support market exchange. Market exchange been becoming increasingly anonymous. No one could gaurantee the security of your trade, when trade became more frequent with India through the near east. Hard to trust the people, goods or money in market exchange. Money different currencies all the way from india. Gifts on the other hand are made publicly and from a known institution to another one. THis public aspect is one of trust formation. Ceremonialism was recorded as proof of exchange.

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