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53779304 No.53779304 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Is strong urbanization dangerous for a feudal society?

>> No.53779318

>>53779304
>strong

??

>> No.53779329

>>53779304
nope

>> No.53779345

>>53779304

Yes. That is how feudal lords lost their power and land.

>> No.53779359

>>53779318
Is that wrong? English is not my first language

>> No.53779384

>>53779359
Like what does it mean to urbanize strongly?

>> No.53779469

>>53779304
If managed incorrectly.

I'm assuming by feudal and with the pic that we are talking late medieval to pre-renaissance in terms of technology and knowledge.

In that time having an abundance of unhappy people all in one place could really fuck you up if they all start blaming you at the same time. Add to this that ye olde cities were breeding grounds for pestilence and things could go very bad, very quickly.

Could you imagine if 1600s London or Paris got an Ebola outbreak?

On the positive side if it's pre-printing press, there isn't a famine going on you've trained enough of the plebs to be literate you could make considerable profit in transcribing books. Also large population with nothing better to do is a great source of recruitment if you have a standing army and a great source of conscripted labour for any great works if you don't.

Also the bigger the city the more vulnerable to siege it is.

>> No.53779784

>>53779304
To a degree, what your thinking of is strong industrialization, what lead to the decay of various European monarchies until World War one, which was the final nail on the coffin.

>> No.53779825

>>53779304
Urbanization leads to people who don't have to toil the fields all day, which means people with free time.

And people with free time lead to more time people spend drinking with other people.

And drinking with other people leads to all sorts of funny ideas like "what did the nobles ever actually do for us?", "Why are we paying our taxes again?", "Have you ever considered living in an anarcho-syndicalist commune where we take turns acting as a sort executive-officer-for-the-week--...." and "this beer is shit, I bet the normanns are behind this!"

>> No.53779896
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53779896

>>53779304
>Is strong urbanization dangerous for a feudal society?
Possibly, depending on the circumstances.

Historically, in medieval Europe, the grand majority of the population lived outside of the cities and usually worked the land. If a significant portion of them moves to the city, that implies two things.
1. Agricultural output is high enough to provide for enough people to "free" their hands and send them to the city [in other words, less labor feeds more people].
2. The people who move to the city are doing *something* other than working the land.

The question that matters the most is what that *something* is. Historically, in the Renaissance (starting in France near the end of the Hundred Years War), a lot of rich burghers saw the opportunity to join the army and grow even richer on loot and plunder (once the privilege of the nobility) and became men at arms: heavily armored horsemen who were only distinguishable from knights by social rank. This is a great threat to feudal society because it undermines the very reason the nobility has to exist: as a warrior-class. To put it in the terms of pic related, the labores start doing the work of the bellatores, which raises the question why the bellatores exist in the first place.

If that *something* also includes education, this is doubly risky. First of all because the commoners now start doing the work of the clergy, invalidating their worldly power. Secondly, education also means exposure to dangerous ideas, like popular sovereignity.

That said, it is *possible* for the nobility and clergy to retain their power (hell, just look at modern England!). However, even then that systtem -where the nobility is replaced by armies of professional commoners- can barely be called feudal in its purest sense (though if you want to get really pedantic, such a diverse array of societies has been classified as 'feudal' that some historians argue that feudalism never really existed).

>> No.53779901

>>53779784
Well he didn't asked about monarchy, but about feudalism. Not necessarily the same thing, feudalism was pretty much done in France way before the revolution for example, and it was kings that phased it out.

>> No.53780088

>>53779825
Didn't Fuedal societies only work about 2/3rds of the year? Or less in some regions.

Seems like they had plenty of free time.

>> No.53780124

>>53780088
You work all year round maintaining the fields and caring for livestock, but it isn't backbreaking all year round labor. The important part is that they're still tied to the land during that time, and hence dependent on the community, protection, and laws of the manor. Once the people leave the land, manors lose their wealth and power and lords become less important.

>> No.53780129

>>53780088
Even in winter, you had plenty of work; chopping wood, processing all sorts of foodstuffs etc.

You definitely didn't spend it at the bar.

There's a reason revolutions start from there.

>> No.53780182

>>53780129
>There's a reason revolutions start from there.
You mean bars? Well, salons are close enough I guess.
Or do you mean the land? Because -while famine did play a role- the most instrumental figures in the revolution were wealthy and well educated (Robespierre was a lawyer for example [ironically enough one who opposed the death penalty]). And that was exactly their problem: they were rich, they were educated but they were denied good positions for arbitrary reasons of descendance.

>> No.53780200

>>53779896
That means education should be monopoly of clergy, hueheh.

>> No.53780208

>>53779384
the urban area is quickly expanding and snuffing out rural areas in the region choking out large plots of land usually used for agriculture.

Hills are becoming quarries, mountains becoming mines, rivers becoming water mills and fishing posts all the while cramped housing is continuing to spread

For a city to have strong urbanization is for the country to diminish all the while the borders of the walls expanding and population grows pretty quickly.

>> No.53780213
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53780213

>>53780200
>That means education should be monopoly of clergy
Isn't that exactly what the clergy did for a long time? Wasn't that also why everything important was written down in Latin, the language of the clergy?

>> No.53780256

>>53780182
Well, except the fact that the French revolution started from the Dauphiné, a rather agricultural region of France.

>> No.53780274

>>53780213
No, that was because everyone educated was fluent in Latin.

>> No.53780347

>>53779896
Not feudal, but there are too many parallels not to bring it up.

The same thing happened in Rome. The landed aristocracy didn't want to start giving rights to the equites, but because of how plundered land distribution worked out there wasn't a large enough fighting class to do their job properly

>> No.53780413

>>53780347
Well, Rome also fell because the aristocracy started to actively fuck over the plebeians until there was literally nothing else to do for them than bum around in the city and get pissed off. Most of them would have gladly stayed where they were and worked the fields if they could have.

>> No.53780436
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53780436

>>53780347
>The same thing happened in Rome
That's Western History in a nutshell for you.
I still insist France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium need to become one neo-Latin country.

>> No.53780449

>>53780436
Not the fucking flemish tho.

Not Brussels neither.

>> No.53780484

>>53780182
>You mean bars? Well, salons are close enough I guess.

Bars, saloons, coffee places.

Everywhere where people sit down to talk politics.

Yeah, famines and other stuff also helps/can prompt one, but that's beyond the purview of OP's question about urbanization.

>> No.53780495

>>53780413
>>53780436
Talking about Republican Rome, not the latter stuff. I think this was contemporary with the Graccus brothers so maybe ~200BC. This was prior to the ascent of Rome, but helped pave the way for it (including the endemic corruption that was patched instead of fixed)

>> No.53780497

Yes. It gives powers to the kings. Cities are rarely ruled by feudal lords.

>> No.53780578

>>53780436
What's to gain from that? It'd be a shitshow because of the massive language barriers and economic differences.

>> No.53780593

>>53780497
In a setting ive been playing in its the opposite the most powerful fuedal lords have great cities

>> No.53780595

>>53780578
>What's to gain from that?
Rome
>It'd be a shitshow because of the massive language barriers and economic differences.
B-But muh Rome. Muh Romance languages. It'd still be more viable than the EU on every front imaginable.

>> No.53780726

>>53780578
>>53780595
No, you'd wind up with some kind of simpler, common, trade lingua Franca, which would become it's own distinct language like French hundreds of years later if your empire were to dissolve.

>> No.53780743

>>53780347

Yeah, but the army wasn't ever an aristocrat-based thing. Actually aristocracy per se isn't really an idea someone before the middle ages would grasp quickly, the ancients had stratified societies mostly based on census, not something of a binary dicotomy nobles/commoners. Even the history of the families weren't such a big deal.

Anyway I think the problem with late Rome was, oddly enough, more about the countryside. Remember that in imperial times there was.. well, perhaps peace isn't the exact term, but the land was a reasonable investment.

Great estates run mostly by slaves= a whole lot of unoccupied farmers.

Compared to this, the middle republic problems with equites not given rights were laughable.

>>53780436
>>53780595


Of all things it's more or less what apperas to be Francoiberia in Civilization: Beyond Earth. Italy status isn't that clear, but big chunks are there.
Plus some north africa.

>and actually it's a pretty sweet civilization all around, Elodie is so insufferably French that shes's my favorite leader next to Kozlov

>> No.53780773
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53780773

>>53780743
>Plus some north africa.
Islam ruins everything it touches.

>> No.53780851

>>53780726
And how do you plan to hold such a culturally, economically and linguistically diverse area together until even a commonly accepted language forms?

>> No.53781012

>>53780851
Look at it that way:
North Italy has more in common culturally and economically with southeastern France than with Southern Italy. Same for Catalonia and french Roussillon compared to Madrid or Paris.

Yet nobody bats an eye when you say that France, Spain and Italy are unified.

>> No.53781032

>>53780743
One directly led to the other. The tenant farming situation grew out of control very quickly and land offerings of plunder became a super easy way to raise private armies, since so many people wanted land.

>>53780851
It literally takes a single generation before you get a functional creole language. So maybe five years for the kids to be old enough and ten years for fluency to be a thing.

Also keep in mind that modern English is hilariously complex with a crazy number of words, which makes it distinct from both contemporary romance languages as well as their historic antecedents which formed hundreds of years ago throughout the Roman empire

>> No.53781040
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53781040

>>53780851
>Culturally
Is it really THAT diverse? They're all Latin cultures, all Catholic, all have roughly the same values. Even economically they're not all that radically different (France being the odd one out, as usual).
>Linguistically
Between French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese that's a grand total of four languages. It wouldn't even make it the most linguistically diverse country in Europe let alone the world. On top of that, these languages all have a certain degree of mutual intelligibility. For example, French and Italian have a lexical similarity of nearly 90% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexical_similarity) which means that in linguistic terms they're not so much separate languages as dialects of one another. If we add to that Academie Française-esque institutions in all four language spheres that subtly but agressively seek to harmonize the languages we could see slow but steady integration. It would probably start out as a federation though, much like Switzerland.

>> No.53781053

>>53781012
Seconding. Borders become very firm, very fast. The middle East is a traditional example--virtually no border shifts since the completely arbitrary post WW1 lines were drawn, which reapportioned states and cities that had existed for thousands of years

>> No.53781072

>>53781040
>much like Switzerland
Which, incidentally, has four main languages of which I think three are romantic (might be all of them though)

>> No.53781091
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53781091

>>53781032
>Also keep in mind that modern English is hilariously complex with a crazy number of words, which makes it distinct from both contemporary romance languages
Where did you get that utter bullshit from? The "English has 1 million words, French has 80,000 words" meme? That comes from comparing the Oxford dictionary to the Larousse dictionary, and what this signifies is mostly cultural differences in terms of making dictionaries. In France a dictionary is seen as a reference guide for the most commonly used terms, whereas in England it's more of a catalogue of all the words in the language (including highly technical and archaic terms).

In the 1960s a French dictionary was arranged using the exact same methodology as the English use. The end result puts French slightly ahead of English with a total of 1.2 million words (https://books.google.nl/books?id=JYDOrzMpgGcC&pg=PT85&lpg=PT85&dq=english+french+words+1.2+million&source=bl&ots=gYWDIVrh-x&sig=GDhrzmGya9y3ikoZ7EKj7qabIBU&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi2of_4jLvUAhWQalAKHV_ZDKIQ6AEIQjAC#v=onepage&q=english%20french%20words%201.2%20million&f=false).

I sincerely hope we can consign this old myth to the garbage where it belongs.

>> No.53781093

>>53781040
>Even economically they're not all that radically different (France being the odd one out, as usual).
They really aren't that different. I'd argue that Andalusia and southern Italy are the odd ones.

>> No.53781165

Yep, a lot of independent peasant republics (like Dithmarschen) and independent merchant cities sprung up in late medieval times due to urbanization, and were pretty much a nuisance to the authority of both kings and nobles a like.

>> No.53781247

>>53779469
>Could you imagine if 1600s London or Paris got an Ebola outbreak?

Probably fairly similar to the Great Plague of London that left about a quarter of the population dead?

>> No.53781281

>>53781247
I always assumed that Ebola spread more reliably than Bubonic Plague.

Plague needed you to be bitten by fleas that had been feeding on infected rats to spread, Ebola just needs you to come into physical contact with the afflicted.

>> No.53781286

Over urbanization in Europe created a few key problems:

>Workable land to population ratio goes down

>Waste removal more difficult, fecal-oral route diseases spike

>d/t lowered nutritious food availability, underfed peasants at higher risk of disease

>d/t lands being needed for food, less alcohol production including wine

>>53779469
Peasant insurrections were not as killer as alliances. See: the early Holy Roman Empire, Emperor vs the German princes

Also, London had a plague outbreak in 1603. Plague it's cyclical. It comes and goes thanks to some animal populations being great reservoirs.

This Anon is right about siege vulnerabilities, right up until you get to very large cities with access to multiple bodies of water.

>> No.53781308

>>53781281
I think Ebola wouldn't transmit as easily. It kills too fast and doesn't have nearly as effective a vector as rats

>> No.53782163

>>53779304
Rome was ruled by elites and that was all about urbanisation. The most dangerous thing to a feudal society is probably guns and running out of land to properly practice feudalism on, thus causing peasant plots to become smaller and the peasants more unhappy and more people crowding to cities where there is less of a single community and less feudal role.

You can still have a feudal society with high urbanisation, it helps to have a majority of people in towns and villages rather than cities because , the pattern of landholding and direct rulership underpinned medieval feudalism . Feudalism is about a pyramid of power, so there has to be a community and a lord. You need many seperate communitites, when you start getting massive ones they generate their own pyramid, which while including the feudal lords as long as the society lasts, is more beholden to the whim of the very large amount of people, quite a few of them richer, gathered there.

Yet i suppose you could term much of what happened in the 18th+19th.c cities as industrial feudalism, minus the lord's feudal obligations. We also cant pretend that land ownership is not important anymore in a city, indeed it is perhaps more important. But due to the nature of the city this presents itself as more of an earning base rather than a power base, and so you get more capitalism than feudalism proper.


>>53780182
The French Revolution was basically the city of Paris bullying and cajoling everyone not in Paris.

>> No.53782185

>>53782163
>The French Revolution was basically the city of Paris bullying and cajoling everyone not in Paris
so, nothing has changed?

>> No.53782186
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53782186

>>53782163
>French history was basically the city of Paris bullying and cajoling everyone not in Paris.
FTFY

>> No.53782489

>>53782163
>The French Revolution was basically the city of Paris bullying and cajoling everyone not in Paris.
Except it started in rural areas, was a rural phenomenon just as much as a urban one and whoever control Paris at the time was often trying to calm down revolutionaries provincials.
The idea that Paris exerted some sort of tyranny over the rest of the country was mostly propaganda by various factions over time.
Basically when you lose the ideological debate, you make it a city/countryside issue.

>> No.53782521

>>53780436
We tried that once but you fucking spaniards and fenchies went all about "muh freedom" and "not my pax romana"

>> No.53782790

>>53782489

It did not start in the rural areas, it started in paris, its focus was always paris, whoever found themselves at the top of that mess tried their best to rein it in according to their own ideals/ abilities, as it was a mess of book clubs and revolutionary commitees as well as many other commitees of many different factions all channelled either through the sans-culottes mob, middle classes or civil servants, depending on the faction.

>> No.53782959

>>53782790
I'm sorry, you just don't know what you are talking about. The role of the peasantry is very important in the French revolution, "the great fear" is one of the major event of the revolution.
I'm not saying nothing happened in Paris, but the rest of the country didn't just sat on their asses either.
And calling the sans-culottes a mob doesn't really show you've got a great understanding of the period.

>> No.53783016

>>53779304
Educating anyone outside of a small number of nobility is bad for a feudal society. It wouldn't be long before the craftsmen and merchants would want more power and influence.

>> No.53783152

>>53782959
I get the impression you read the wikipedia page and now fancy yourself an expert, for having failed to appreciate the nuance in my reply i cannot take your statement as being well thought out.

>> No.53784238

>>53783152
Oh I am in no way an expert, but you cannot simply write off the rural side of the French revolution.
Though I will admit establishing the starting point of the revolution is largely arbitrary.

>> No.53789212

>>53779896
Wait, in medieval times, knights that went to war and got murdered were nobles, not peasants?

And after a lost war, the peasants outnumber the knights a trillion to 1 and they didn't rebel?

What gives?

How can it be thousands upon thousands of nobles for an army exist while still maintaining a stable economy?

What gives? x2

>> No.53789295

>>53789212
>Wait, in medieval times, knights that went to war and got murdered were nobles, not peasants?
Not an expert, but it was mostly knights and their retainers (who would mostly form the infantry and cavalry, I think?). Knights were the specialized warrior class because they could afford the horses and armor neccessary to become the most effective warriors. That, and due to codes of chivalry (and good armor) it generally wasn't the idea that knights died in significant numbers.

>And after a lost war, the peasants outnumber the knights a trillion to 1 and they didn't rebel?
>What gives?
The other kingdom over there and their knights who will easily trample a group of angry peasants. The warrior class existed with a purpose: to protect the farmers who no longer had anyone protecting them after the Roman Empire collapsed. To put it simply, a feudal system basically functions like the maffia, and the nobility are the enforcers demanding protection money. No protection money, no protection from other crime families. It's generally not a good idea to break your local enforcers kneecaps, even if you could.

>How can it be thousands upon thousands of nobles for an army exist while still maintaining a stable economy?
Because a standing army wasn't a thing between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the end of the Hundred Years War. For wars, kings and other rulers called in as many knights and their retainers as they could. This is why the liege-lord relationship was so important: a king was only as powerful as he had loyal vassals.

>> No.53789638

>>53780274
And why was Latin fluency part of education.

>> No.53792272

>>53779469

>the bigger the city the more vulnerable to siege it is.

I thought the opposite was the case, with large structures like skyscrapers functioning as effectively secondary citadels and fortesses, like Pavlov's house. Megacities are a nightmare to besiege using traditional methods, and when you knock down an extremely large building its rubble continues to give its occupants cover, rendering cannons and bombards of limited effectiveness at best.

>> No.53793436
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53793436

>>53782790
>It did not start in the rural areas, it started in paris,

>> No.53793558

>>53792272
it's actually kind of a reverse bell curve in terms of sieges. scattered houses are damn near impossible to siege cost effectively, but the more clustered things get and the more reliant on outside sources of food the easier it gets to siege. Of course a clustered area is stronger against just about every other military tactic, so it still ends up being the best decision, but in the area of sieges until you hit modern mega cities being in a city could be rough. No way to get out. Its in mega cities that sieges swing back to the defenders, where someone with a gun can lean out a window, shoot at a passing patrol and leave without much of a trace and that can be a minor victory.

>> No.53793586

Food production is the problem, making rivers a major artery for same. To get past some hard demographic limits, you have to solve numerous technical issues: sewage, transport of food, population density, construction heights and more. Urbanization is only going to happen once people produce enough food to not have to work 24/7 to survive.

The 'great' cities were all ports or on rivers, otherwise about 30,000 was a limit, Really fertile lands might support 50,000, but it would be wrecked by a bad harvest.

>> No.53793659

>>53779304
>Is strong urbanization dangerous for a feudal society?

Dense population combined with lack of sanitation, and low medical skills can be a disaster. (Ask London how that whole 'Black Plague' thing worked out for them...)

>> No.53793762

>>53789638
English teacher here. The tradition of English education extends directly from the initial transcription training of illuminators. It's why many students learned English in a manner more suited to translation, with a heavy focus on grammar and usage rather than inflection and craft. It's also why the essay was bastardized into its modern apocryphal form - I could go on but I won't. Shit's frustrating.

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