Dutch Proverbs , Pieter Bruegel the Elder ,C.1525-1569
Historical Ecology: Accounting for European dominance
food crises were cyclical
The Miracle of the Indies:
Crosby, 151-152, 157.
Three Revolutions or one?
An ecological invasion accounts for the revolutionary changes we see that occurred after 1493.
All of these sweeping cultural, intellectual, financial, and technological changes were contributing to a rapid increase in the European family size, survival rates of women and children, and a more productive use of land. As sheep grazing expanded due to better cropland practices, money surpluses accumulated.
Demographic and agricultural changes began undermining the feudal traditions that had solidified after the rise of Islam (750 AD).
The long term past:
AD first millennia
632, death of Mohammed
700, Arabs take N. Africa
751, Arabs defeat China in central Asia
843, Division of Europe by Charlemagne's heirs
846, Arabs sack Rome
930, Cordoba became the seat of Arabic Learning in Spain
964, New Mayan Empire
AD second millennia
1075, Turkish domination in Syria and Palestine
1090, 1st clock, Beijing
1096, start of 1st Crusade
1125, mariner's compass described in Europe
1145, 2d Crusade
1158, Munich focus of the salt trade
1187, Saladin takes Jerusalem
1193, Indigo imported to Britain from India, dye
1218, fall of Persia, Iran, to Genghis Khan
1225, cotton cloth made in Spain
1267, Aztecs migrate to lake Texcoco, Mexico
1280, Kublai Khan conquers China
1282 Florence as finance center of Europe
1312, Canary islands found by Genoa
1315, silk manufacture in Lyon
1325, AZTECS establish TENOCHTITLAN
1332, Bubonic plague begins in India
1333, Arab zenith in Grenada, Spain
1337, 100 Years War starts, Britain - France
1347, Bubonic Plague, or the Black death hits Europe
1349, German cities' persecute Jews
1351, 75 million dead of the plague
1415, Jan Hus condemned and burned
1453, Fall of Istanbul to Ottoman Turks
1453, Gutenberg's printing press, Mainz
1464, first mail service in Europe, by France
1477, Netherlands become a Hapsburg fief
1492, Pivotal Year
Turks invade Hungary
Castille recaptures Grenada from Arabs
August 3rd, Columbus and 70 men departed Palos.
1509, start of the Slave trade in the Americas
1517, Coffee brought from Arabs to Europe.
1517, Luther defies the Church
1520, chocolate from Mexico
1531, the Great Comet !
1532, earliest sugar planted in Brazil
1537, Mercator's first map: Flanders
1541, Hernando de Soto crosses the Mississippi River
1557, influenza in Europe
1567, Rio de Janeiro established by Portugal
1575, Italy produces imitation Chinese porcelains
1580, Portugal unites with Spain, potatoes from Peru appear in Europe
1605, Santa Fe, N. Mexico founded by Spain
1609, Kepler's Laws of Motion
1717, Assiento gives Britain control of Spanish slave trade
1750, Crosby's benchmark date
1789, French Revolution
1803, Anglo-Franco Peace
1814, Congress of Vienna
1846, beginning of the Irish famine
Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world between Portugal and Spain, bitter Iberian rivals.
"The European pioneers were accompanied and often preceded by their domesticated animals, walking sources of food, leather, fiber, power and wealth, and these animals often adapted more rapidly to the new surroundings and reproduced more rapidly than their masters."
The wealthiest, most sophisticated, and advanced place on earth in 1600.