Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century

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Yale University Press, Mar 15, 2013 - History - 904 pages

The acclaimed historian demonstrates a link between climate change and social unrest across the globe during the mid-17th century.

Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides, government collapses—the calamities of the mid-seventeenth century were unprecedented in both frequency and severity. The effects of what historians call the "General Crisis" extended from England to Japan and from the Russian Empire to sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.

In this meticulously researched volume, historian Geoffrey Parker presents the firsthand testimony of men and women who experienced the many political, economic, and social crises that occurred between 1618 to the late 1680s. He also incorporates the scientific evidence of climate change during this period into the narrative, offering a strikingly new understanding of the General Crisis.

Changes in weather patterns, especially longer winters and cooler and wetter summers, disrupted growing seasons and destroyed harvests. This in turn brought hunger, malnutrition, and disease; and as material conditions worsened, wars, rebellions, and revolutions rocked the world.


The Americas Africa and Australia
Early Tokugawa Japan
The Parameters of Popular Resistance
Aristocrats Intellectuals Clerics and dirty people of no name
The Great Divergence
The Crisis Anatomized

Russia and the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth 161886
The Ottoman tragedy 161883
The lamentations of Germany and its Neighbours 161888
The Agony of the Iberian Peninsula 161889
France in Crisis 161888
The Path to Civil War 160342
Britain and Ireland from Civil War to Revolution 164289
Its the climate stupid
Escaping the Crisis
From Warfare State to Welfare State

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About the author (2013)

Geoffrey Parker is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books. He is Andreas Dorpelan Professor of History at Ohio State University.

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