Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany

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9780521526876: Rural Society and the Search for Order in Early Modern Germany

Sixteenth-century Europeans launched a struggle for order with an intensity and urgency that finds no parallels in modern European history. For the rural societies of Germany, the early sixteenth century brought massive upheavals that eroded the basis of social, political, economic, and religious life. In this probing study of village life, based on rich manuscript sources from the Old County of Hohenlohe, the author seeks to understand how petty German princes, Lutheran pastors, and villagers struggled to create order out of their confusing world. He shows that the foundations for social stability so evident in Germany after 1648 were laid in the forgotten era of German history, in the years after the early Reformation and before the Thirty Years' War.

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Book Description:

For the rural societies of Germany the early sixteenth century was a time of massive upheavals. In this probing study of village life in the County of Hohenlohe, Thomas Robisheaux seeks to understand how petty German princes, Lutheran pastors, and villagers struggled to create order out of their confusing world.

Review:

"Thomas Robisheaux provides a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on what has until very recently been a rather neglected period of German history--that between the the Peace of Augsburg and the Thirty Years' War. His meticulously researched and gracefully written book examines rural life in the small patrimonial estate of Hohenlohe in southwest Germany from roughly 1500 to 1680, with special emphasis on the period 1550 to 1620. Using an enviable variety of sources, Robisheaux both tests the theories of other historians regarding peasants and other rural groups and develops his own. The author uses a good blend of statistics, narrative, and analysis, and includes a chapter-by-chapter bibliographic essay rather than a standard bibliography." Merry E. Wiesner, The Sixteenth Century Journal

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