- Series: Civilization and Capitalism : 15Th-18th Century (Book 1)
- Paperback: 623 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press (December 23, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520081145
- ISBN-13: 978-0520081147
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. I: The Structure of Everyday Life
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
From Library Journal
Originally published in the early 1980s, Civilization traces the social and economic history of the world from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution, although his primary focus is Europe. Braudel skims over politics, wars, etc., in favor of examining life at the grass roots: food, drink, clothing, housing, town markets, money, credit, technology, the growth of towns and cities, and more. The history is fascinating and made even more interesting by period prints and drawings.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"The noted French historian Fernand Braudel . . . argues convincingly that a meaningful understanding of history can be gained from studying how people ate and dressed, where they lived, and how they obtained necessities and luxuries. . . . Braudel succeeds in presenting a thorough picture of how the great trends of history were created by their smallest parts."--Elizabeth Grossman, "Saturday Review
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The copy I received has too many highlights & writing on it though. I understand that it's a used a copy, but I wish the seller made it clear in the description.
This summary covers the first 3 of 8 chapters.
CHAPTER 1: THE WEIGHT OF NUMBERS
The Effect of Disease on Populations
The Amerindian population at the end of the 15th century suffered from a demographic weakness because of the absence of any substitute animal milk. Wars and European Conquest had reduced animal populations. Mothers had to nurse their children until they were 3 or 4 years old. This made it difficult to repopulate themselves. Furthermore, the Amerindians were overtaken by a series of terrible bacterial attacks imported from Europe and Africa. Smallpox broke out in Santo Domingo in 1493. It appeared in 1519 in besieged Mexico City before Cortez reached it, and in Peru in the 1530s, before the arrival of the Spanish soldiers. It spread to Brazil in 1560 and to Canada in 1635. Other diseases included measles, influenza, dysentery, leprosy, plague, venereal disease, typhoid and elephantiasis. The Mexican population collapsed from several colossal epidemics -- smallpox in 1521, a form of plague in 1546, which appeared again in 1576-7, killing 2 million people.
Europe already had experienced bubonic plague, where buboes form in the groin and become gangrenous. Pulmonary plague (The Black Death) came in 1348 due to a virus transmitted by fleas from a black rat called Mus Rattus. At first sign of the disease, the rich took hurried flight to their country houses. No one thought of anyone but himself. The poor remained alone, penned up in the contaminated town where the State fed them, isolated them, blockaded them, and kept them under observation. In Savoy, when an epidemic was over, rich people, before returning to their carefully disinfected houses, would install a poor woman inside for a few weeks, to test at the risk of her life whether the danger had really departed.
Father Maurice de Tolon, writing about the plague of Genoa in 1656, enumerated the precautions to be taken. "Do not talk to any suspect person from the town when the wind is blowing from him towards you. Burn aromatics for disinfection. Wash or, better still, burn infected clothes and linen. Above all, pray." Meanwhile the dead piled up in the streets. The only way to rid the town of carcasses was to load them on to boats which were put out to sea and burned. Plague struck Amsterdam every year from 1622 to 1628, killing 35,000. Plague struck London 5 times between 1593 and 1665, claiming 156,463 victims.
Why did the disease disappear in the 18th century? Wooden houses were gradually replaced by stone after the great urban fires. Personal and domestic cleanliness increased. Small domestic animals were removed from homes. All these steps discouraged the breeding of fleas.
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the world consisted of one vast peasantry, where 80% to 90% of people lived from the land and nothing else. Populations increased with good harvests and declined with bad. Earth's dry land comprises 150 million square kilometers. 70% of all human beings live on 11 million square kilometers.
Preserving the Balance
There is a constant tendency towards equilibrium between the patterns of birth and deaths. What death took away, life added. In 1451, plague carried off 21,000 people in Cologne. Over the next few years, 4000 marriages were celebrated. In 1581, 790 people died at Salzewedel, a small place in the old Brandenburg Marches. Marriages fell from 30 to 10. But the following year, 30 marriages were celebrated. Immediately after a plague had halved the population of Verona in 1637, the soldiers of the garrison, almost all French, married the widows, and life gained the upper hand again.
When the balance was not restored quickly enough, the authorities intervened. Venice, normally so jealously closed, passed a liberal decree on 30 October 1348, just after the terrible Black Death, granting complete citizenship to every individual who would come and settle there with his family and possessions within the period of one year. Not until the 18th century did births begin gaining over deaths.
Famine recurred so insistently that people expected it. Cereal yields were poor. Two consecutive bad harvests spelt disaster. France experienced 10 general famines in the 10th century, 26 in the 11th, 2 in the 12th, 4 in the 14th, 7 in the 15th, 13 in the 16th, 11 in the 17th, and 16 in the 18th. Between 1371 and 1791, Florence experienced 111 years when people went hungry, and only 16 very good harvests. The 1696-7 famine in Finland killed a quarter or a third of the Finnish population. In Blois in western Europe in 1662, the poor were on a diet of cabbage stumps with bran soaked in cod broth. Families ate wild plants and grass in the meadows to survive. This was Europe. Things were far worse in Asia, China, and India. Throughout northwest India in 1555 and 1596, violent shortages of rice resulted in scenes of cannibalism. Food shortages caused scurvy (especially during sea voyages), pellagra (from a diet of only maize), and beri beri in Asia. Bread was made with inferior flours and baked only once a month or every two months. It was so hard and moldy that sometimes it was cut with an ax.
In 17th century-Beauvaisis (France), one-fourth to one-third of new-born children died within 12 months. Only 50% reached their 20th year.
CHAPTER 2: DAILY BREAD
For pre-Columbian America, Africa, and Asia, men's diet between the 15th and 18th century was essentially vegetables. The reason is simple. Crop-raising fed 20 times as many people as the same surface area used to graze livestock. Europe was a region of meat eaters. This was because the European countryside had long remained half empty with vast lands for pasturing animals, and its agriculture left plenty of room for livestock.
The three most successful grains produced by mankind are wheat, rice, and maize. Wheat was primarily grown in the West. When it was in short supply, other grains were used to make bread: rye, barley, buckwheat, millet, and oats. Flour substitutes were also made from chestnuts or buckwheat. Pulses, lentils, beans, black, white, and greyish-brown peas and chick-peas were supplemental cereals and a cheap source of protein. Venetian documents called them menudi or minor foods. Excavations of early medieval villages in Bohemia show that peas rather than wheat provided the staple diet.
Barley was used to feed horses, without which the Turkish and Christian cavalries could not have conducted their battles.
Wheat cannot be cultivated on the same land for two years running. It has to be rotated. So the space required to grow it was 2 or 3 times the surface area it occupied. Land that was lying fallow regained its nourishing salts, especially when it was manured and tilled. Repeated tilling aerated the soil, prevented weeds, and prepared the ground for abundant harvests. Three tillings in spring, autumn, and winter were the rule in England and Normandy. The principal source of manure was livestock. Harnessed animals were necessary to dig the fields. A cycle was established. If productivity was to be increased, then more fertilizer was needed, and therefore more land had to be given over to livestock, horse, and cattle, at the expense of crop fields. The solution was to alternate cereal and forage crops in the same field. This reduced fallow periods, provided more fodder for horses and cattle, and increased cereal yields.
The disadvantage of wheat was its low yield. For every grain sown, the harvest reaped no more than five grains, one for the next planting, and four for consumption. By changing to forage crops and livestock farming, yields of 10 grains to 1 were achieved in England, Ireland, and the Netherlands between 1750 and 1820. Suppliers of wheat had to be accessible by sea or rivers. Poland was a large supplier of wheat. The land was owned by nobles, who required the other seven-eighths of the population, peasants, to eat bread made from barley and oats, but to export their wheat.
In Europe, grain represented about one-half of a person's daily existence. In Poitiers in 1362, Choyne bread was superior quality white bread made from sifted flour. Safleur bread contained the full, un-sifted flour. Reboulet was made from 90% whole flour, and contained fine bran. Of even higher quality than white bread, "soft bread" became popular in Paris. It was made from the finest flour, with the addition of brewer's yeast. When milk was added to the mixture it became the "Queen's Bread" that Maria de Medici adored. In France, a National School of Bakery was founded in 1780.
Rice accounted for 80% to 90% of the Far Eastern diet. Its roots require a constant supply of oxygen, so the water it is planted in must be constantly moving. Paddy fields were divided by flimsy earthbanks into sections some 50 meters along each side. Water flows in and out of them. The water is muddy which restores the fertility of the soil and does not suit the malaria-carrying mosquito. If the water became clear, regions became infected with malaria, limiting populations. Water in high places was brought in to flood the fields by bamboo conduits. Water in low-lying levels such as wells and large reservoirs was transmitted by rudimentary norias with pedal pumps, powered by human labor. Sluices were also needed to transfer the water flow from one paddy to the next.
Rice fields brought high populations because they could produce 2 harvests each year, with a 3rd harvest in between of wheat, barley, buckwheat, turnips, carrots, beans, or Nankin cabbage. In Cambodia, the first tilling is after the rains, which leave pools of water. The ground is tilled once from the circumference inwards and then from the centre outwards. The peasant walks beside his buffalo so as not to leave hollows behind him that would fill with water. He has to pull up the weeds and leave them to rot, drive away the crabs that infest deep water, and carefully pull out the seedlings with his right hand and beat them against his left foot to knock the earth from the roots before planting them.
Fields were fertilized with both animal and human excrement. Compared to wheat, in France one hectare of land produced five quintals of wheat. One hectare of rice fields yielded 30 quintals.
A poor-quality rice is also grown as a dry-land plant in very underdeveloped areas. A forest in Sumatra, Ceylon, or the Annam highlands is burnt. The grain is sown broadcast on the cleared earth without any preparatory work. The trees stumps are left where they are and the ground is not tilled. The ashes serve as fertilizer. It ripens in five and a half months. This same ground cannot be used again for ten years, so another section of the forest must be cleared. This method supports only small populations.
Improvements in rice production enabled Japan under the Tokugawa (1600-1868) to grow to a population of 30 million. These included improvements in rice seeds, the invention of the senbakoki, a giant comb for raking the rice, and using better fertilizers of dried sardines, colza, soya or cotton cakes.
Maize most likely originated with the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations. Fossilized corn pollen was found around Mexico City to a depth of 60 meters, or thousands of years ago. When the Incas came down the Andes mountains, they cut steps into the hillsides, linked them with stairways, and irrigated them with canals. Peasants made holes with digging sticks and women followed along planting the seeds. Forests were also burned to plant corn. Where maize and wheat were grown, peasants ate maize and sold their wheat, for which they could get double the price.
Maize is a miraculous plant. It grows quickly and its grain is edible before it is ripe. Yields of 70 to 80 grains from one seed occurred in dry colonial Mexico. 150 to 1 was considered low in Michoacan. 800 to 1 occurred near Queretaro. Two harvests could be obtained in hot Mexico, one with irrigation and one from rainfall. Peasants only had to work 50 days per year, one day in seven, to grow it. They perhaps had too much free time, often resorting to drinking too much beer made from sprouted or mashed maize, chicha, or strong Peruvian beer, sora. Both were dangerous drinks vainly forbidden by sensible authorities.
After the discovery of America, rice, wheat, sugar cane, and coffee came to the New World. To the Old World America sent maize, potatoes, haricot beans, tomatoes, manioc, and tobacco.
Potatoes grew in the Andes region since about 2000 B.C. They were planted all over America, and were one of the reasons for the population growth in Europe. The potato reached Ireland in the first half of the 17th century and became, with a little milk and cheese, an almost exclusive diet of the peasants. The Irish could feed two people with potatoes grown from the same land where wheat could feed one person.
The People of the Hoe
The vast extent of land where work is done either with a digging stick or a hoe forms a belt around the world. These are communities where cultivation requires little work because of the great fertility of the soil. Their homes are rectangular and have one story. They make coarse pottery, use rudimentary hand looms for weaving, prepare fermented drinks (but not alcohol), and raise small domestic animals -- goats, sheep, pigs, dogs, chickens, and bees. They also live off the local vegetables: bananas, bread-fruit trees, oil palms, calabashes, taros and yams. The people of the hoe were settled communities, unlike people who lived without agriculture. These survived by gathering plants, hunting, and fishing, going wherever animal populations thrived. American Indian hunters were chased out by the fur traders on Hudson Bay and the Saint-Lawrence seaway, in search of trapping deer, lynxes, martens, squirrels, ermine, otters, beavers, hares and rabbits.
CHAPTER 3: SUPERFLUITY AND SUFFICIENCY -- FOOD AND DRINK
Sugar was a luxury before the 16th century, pepper before the 17th, as were alcohol, swansdown beds, silver cups, table forks, and flat plates. Italian deep plates were mentioned in 1653. Glass window panes originated in Venice. After the 15th century they were no longer made with potassium but with soda, making the windows more transparent. Today the chair is still a luxury in Islam and India.
Eating Habits, Forks, and Spoons
Prior to 1350, Chinese food was healthy, tasty, varied and inventive, making admirable use of fresh vegetables and soya proteins in place of meat. The French made good use of local resources: meat, poultry, game, cereals, wines, cheeses, homegrown fruits and vegetables, butter, lard, goose grease, olive or walnut oil. For a time, the peasants did not eat such foods. They ate millet and maize and salt pork once a week, and sold their wheat, poultry, eggs, kids, calves and lambs at the market. The rich ate the better foods. However, after the Black Death, meat and wine became daily staples for poor people. Real salaries rose, because fewer workers could demand higher wages. So from 1350 to 1550 Europe experienced favorable individual living standards.
After the mid-1500s, prices went up and wages declined, and European peasants once again struggled to put meat and cereals on their tables. In Holland, diet remained unbalanced until the end of the 18th century: beans, a little salted meat, bread made from barley or rye, fish, a small quantity of bacon. For poor townspeople, it was turnips, fried onions, and dry or mouldy bread. For the Dutch middle class, the evening meal was gruel made from left-over bread soaked in milk.
While fresh meat declined, smoked and salted meat increased. It was used to feed ships' companies at sea, along with the traditional long biscuit. Salt beef came primarily from the north, particularly Ireland, which also exported salted butter. In China, meat was rare. There was just the household pig, fed at home on scraps and rice, poultry, game, and even dog. In the late 1700s, in Peking, the surplus of population obliges the Chinese to do without the aid of oxen and herds, because the land on which they would live is required to feed the people. Consequently, there is no manure for the fields, no meat on the tables, no horses for battle. In Egypt in 1693, Turkish meals are composed of bad bread, garlic, onion and sour cheese. Meat was plentiful, however, in Eastern Europe and South America. Coastal towns and black plantation slaves ate meat dried in the sun (carne de sol of Brazil). Charque, meat that was boned and dried in Argentina, was invented in the 16th century.
The common use of knife, spoon, and fork became widespread in the 16th century. Prior to that people ate with their fingers. This explains the many napkins offered to table-guests and the custom of hand-washing several times during a meal, using a jug and bowl of water. Among the thousands of paintings of Christ's Last Supper, Christ's meal with Simon, the Wedding at Cana, and the pilgrims at Emmaus, no fork appears before 1600 and almost no spoon either. Jacob Bassano (1599) painted one of the first forks to appear in The Last Supper.
Salt was used everywhere for preserving meat and fish. All governments had an interest in it. It so happened that all the salt-pans of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, needing a sunny climate, were in Catholic countries, while their salt was in much demand among northern fishermen, who were Protestants. The trade was always carried on, regardless of wars, to the great profit of merchants. Blocks of salt from the Sahara braved the desert, carried by camel to Black Africa, in return for gold dust, elephants' tusks, and black slaves.
Cheese, a source of cheap protein, was one of the great foods of the people of Europe. French peasants made fortunes in 1698 carrying cheeses to the fighting armies in Italy and Germany. Cheeses arrived in Paris from Brie and Normandy. Cheese from Montreuil and Vincennes was sold freshly curdled and drained, in little baskets woven from wicker or rushes. Sassenage cheese was a mixture of cows', goats' and ewes' milk, boiled together. In Turkey, milk products were almost the sole food of the poor: sour milk (yoghourt) with cucumbers or melons, an onion, a leek, or stewed dried fruit. The Chinese systematically ignored milk, cheese and butter. Cows, goats, and sheep were raised purely for meat. The Japanese peasant still does not eat dairy products and thinks them unwholesome. He draws his oil from soya. Eggs were an everyday food for Europeans.
In Europe, demand for fish (fresh, smoked, and salted) increased during the 166 fast days, including Lent. Meat, eggs, and poultry could not be sold during Lent. The Atlantic sea yielded salmon, mackerel and cod. Herring came from the Baltic and North Seas. Fresh water fish abounded. The Loire produced salmon and carp; the Rhine produced perch. In Spain, sometimes Burgos and Medina de Risoseco had so much trout they could feed half the town!
Cod from Newfoundland
Cod fishing off Newfoundland was inexhaustible. A shallow plateau drew plankton to feed on. Every year the town of Olonne on the coast of France sent several thousand men in a hundred ships to Newfoundland on the other side of the Atlantic to fish for cod. The merchants loaned them money to buy salt, naval stores, flour, wine, alcohol, lines and fish-hooks. The merchants would be repaid only if the captain returned victorious with a load of cod. Sometimes one man would catch as many as 300 or 400 in a day. He would throw in the line, haul one up, gut it, and put the guts back on the hook for the next one. "It is God who gives us cod in Newfoundland," wrote a native of Marseilles in 1739. Cod fat was converted into oil and used for lighting and soap. Annual cod-yields reached 90,000 tons.
In 1572, cartographer Abraham Ortelius wrote about sugar, "What used to be a medicine, only obtainable in the shops of apothecaries, is nowadays eaten as a food. People devour it out of gluttony." In 1800, England consumed 150,000 tons of sugar, almost 15 times more than in 1700. Sugar cane cultivation was limited to hot climates. It demanded a large labour force and expensive installations. The cane had to be crushed by rollers and worked by animals, waterpower, or wind. In Japan the cane was twisted by hand. The sap of the plants required treatment, preparation, precautions and long heating in copper vats. When crystallized in clay molds it produced raw sugar or muscovado. Sugar-growing colonies could not feed themselves, as the cane left little space for food crops. Their food had to be imported. In 1783 England sent 16,526 tons of salt meat, beef and pork, 5188 flitches of bacon and 2559 tons of preserved tripe to its own West Indies (Jamaica). In exchange they received sugar and rum.
Drinks, Stimulants, and Drugs
Whole towns were poorly supplied with water. In Venice, rainwater fell into cisterns half-filled with fine sand. The water was filtered and decanted and then oozed into the central well-shaft. When it did not rain, boats delivered water daily from the River Brenta on the mainland. In Paris, the chief source of water remained the Seine River. Twenty thousand carriers made a (poor) living supplying Paris with water, taking some thirty loads (two buckets at a time) even to the top floors at two sous a load. The Perier brothers installed two steam pumps at Chaillot in 1782 which raised water 110 feet from the low level of the Seine by ordinary steam from boiling water. In China the water carrier used two pails, as in Paris, balancing them at each end of his pole. Egyptian women carried a large jug on their heads supported by their left hand, and a smaller one held flat on the right hand by the graceful movement of the bent arm. Many fountains were built in Istanbul as a result of the religious requirement to wash frequently every day under running water. The water drunk there was probably purer than anywhere else, which may be why Turks today still pride themselves on being able to recognize the taste of the water from the different springs. The Chinese attributed different qualities to water according to its origin. Storm water was dangerous. Rainwater in early spring was beneficial. Water from melted hailstones, frost in winter, or collected from stalactites in caves was a sovereign remedy. Any suspect water should be first boiled. Hot drinks were the rule in China which no doubt kept the population healthy. In the Mediterranean, the Knights of Malta were supplied by boats loaded with snow from Naples. In 1754, they said they would die if they did not have "this sovereign remedy" to break their fevers.
The whole of Europe drank wine, but it could only be produced below the forty-ninth parallel because of the cold. Grape vines followed the Europeans to Mexico, Peru, Chile (reached in 1541) and Argentina in 1580. Vines were not planted in California until the Spanish came in the 17th and 18th centuries. Selim, the son of Suleiman the Magnificent, was only too fond of Cyprus liqueur wine. Northern Europeans preferred wines with a high alcohol content. Englishmen established the reputation of Malmsey, liqueur wines from Candia and the Greek Islands. Later they launched port, malaga, madiera, sherry, and marsala. Southern Europeans looked jeeringly upon northern drinkers who emptied their glass in one gulp. German soldiers were famous for becoming dead drunk after a battle. German engravings would always show one guest turning round on his bench to throw up his excess drink. Drunkenness increased everywhere in the 16th century. Consumption in Valladolid, Spain reached 100 litres per person per year. In Venice, the Signoria had to take severe action against public drunkenness in 1598. Taverns became the ruin of peasants. Mass consumption began with the establishment of the guingettes outside Paris where the wine was not taxed. The Castilian peasant called wine a quita-penas, a drowner of sorrows.
Beer was made by brewing wheat or oats, barley, rye or millet, or even spelt. The addition of hops originated in the monasteries in the 8th century. Brandy appeared in the 16th century. It was obtained by distilling or "burning" wine in a vase with a long neck. At first it was used as a medicine, especially against the plague. But in 1493, a Nuremberg doctor wrote, "In view of the fact that everyone has got into the habit of drinking aqua vitae, it is necessary to remember the quantity that one can permit oneself to drink and learn to drink it according to one's capacities, if one wishes to behave like a gentleman." Production rose rapidly. Sete, France, exported 2250 hectolitres in 1698, 37,500 hectolitres in 1725, and 65,926 hectolitres in 1775. It soon became the custom to give alcohol to soldiers before battle. In addition to wine, brandies were also made from cider, pears, plums, and cherries. Competitors were alcohols made from grain: kornbrand, vodka, whiskey, Hollands, and gins.
Alcohol outside Europe
Any fermentation of a vegetable product produces alcohol. Canadian Indians found their solace in maple juice. Mexicans made "pulque" from agaves. The poorest Indians in the West Indies or South America used maize. The Tupinambas in Rio de Janeiro drank a beverage made from manioc chewed up and left to ferment. Northern Europe made mead from fermented honey water. In Gujerat, India, "terri" was a sweet liqueur made from coconut palms. A strong brandy called "arac" was made from rice, sugar, and dates. Chinese wine was made from coarse millet or rice. Europe's poisoned gifts to the civilizations of America were brandy, rum, and "agua ardiente" (alcohol made from cane). Distilling the heart of the agave produced mezcal which was much more alcoholic than the "pulque" made from the same plant. The Indian peoples suffered tremendously from this alcoholism. In 1786, the Viceroy of Mexico, Bernardo de Galvez, recommended that alcohol be spread among the still innocent Apaches in the north of Mexico.
Chocolate, Tea, Coffee
Chocolate came from Mexico to Spain in 1520, to France after 1606, and to England in 1657. Tea came with the Portuguese, Dutch, and English from China. The tea plant was a bush from which the Chinese peasant plucked leaves. The smaller, tender leaves produced the best tea. Leaves were dried either by heat from a fire (green tea) or the sun, the tea then fermented and blackened to form black tea. Both types were rolled by hand and sent out in large chests lined with lead or tin. Tea arrived in England by way of Holland and the cafe proprietors in London launched it in 1657. The East India Company began importing tea from Asia in 1669. In China and Japan no guest would ever be received without being offered a cup of tea. Coffee came from either Persia or Ethiopia, not before 1470, and spread throughout the Muslim world, reaching Mecca by 1511. Coffee reached Venice in 1615, Paris in 1643, and London in 1651. The most famous cafe in Paris, Procope (still there today!) was established by a former waiter. He knocked down the partitions between two adjoining houses, hung tapestries and mirrors on the walls, chandeliers from the ceilings, and sold preserved fruit, drinks, and coffee. To lessen dependency on Arabian coffee, Europeans planted coffee shrubs in Java in 1712, on Bourbon island in 1716, on the island of Cayenne in 1722, in Martinique in 1723, in Jamaica in 1730 and Santo Domingo in 1731.
Tobacco conquered the world between the 16th and 17th centuries. It originated in the New World. When Columbus arrived in Cuba on 2 November 1492, he saw the natives smoking rolled tobacco leaves. Tobacco plants were then cultivated in Spain (1558), France, England (1565), Italy, the Balkans and Russia. By 1588 it was in Virginia. It could adapt to various climates and soils. It was smoked by pipe and later rolled into cigars. Then later came cigarettes. By the end of the 18th century everyone in China smoked!
I had never heard of the author until he was recommended to me and now, after I finish Vol II and III, I am going to look for other authors from the same school of analysis. Books like this I judge by how many times I have stopped reading and thought about what was on the page I had just digested. It happened frequently during this book. Well written, and a deceptively easy read.
What were some of the things this book left me pondering?
Cities; why they exist; what they represent; how they are organized.
China; the transfer of technology; social structure and the use of manpower
Energy; how it transforms and what reliance on oil could mean.
First Stage-V.1 :The material civilization of every day life. A lively description of material every day life between 15th-18th century. It's mind blowing and It's like being in a time capsule. This first volumne sets the stage and the foundations of Braudel's three stage model:
1st stage: The structure of every day life (the material life)
2nd stage: The emergence of capitalism
3rd stage: The upper layer of social structures that control and manipulate the 2nd and the 1st stage by creating intentionally (or not) "zones of turbulence" in order to extract social and material benefits and their class reproduction.
Most recent customer reviews
There are several notable aspects to the writing.Read more