Worlds within Worlds: Structures of Life in Sixteenth-Century London / Edition 1

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The enormous growth of London during the early modern period brought with it major social problems, yet, as Steve Rappaport demonstrates in this innovative study, Tudor London was essentially a stable society, subject to stress but never seriously threatened by widespread popular unrest or other forms of instability. Professor Rappaport looks once again at the nature, causes, and effects of the principal threats to the capital's stability in the sixteenth century - the threefold increase in population, the economic impact of such demographic expansion, the substantial rise in prices and the inequitable distribution of wealth and power - and concludes that historians have hitherto exaggerated the severity of such problems and over-simplified their effects. Professor Rappaport's researches suggest that the institutional superstructure of the capital was more adaptable, its small social organisations more resilient, and opportunities for social mobility far greater than many historians have acknowledged. Worlds Within Worlds combines sophisticated quantitative analysis with vivid empirical detail, and mounts a major challenge to much current thinking about urban life in early modern Britain.

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Table of Contents

List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Note on conventions; 1. Introduction; 2. The nature and extent of citizenship; 3. The growth of population; 4. Demographic growth and Tudor London's economy; 5. The standard of living; 6. The substructure of society; 7. Structural inequality; 8. Patterns of mobility; 9. Social stability in sixteenth-century London; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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