What were the factors affecting social and economic relations ?
10 - marks question 

Dear Student,

Please refer the following points:

The social structure of Europe was marked by changes and was determined by the following processes:

a. Environment: Changes in the climatic conditions in Europe did impact the society. Till about 10th century the region witnessed  thick  patches of forests, less availability of agrarian land, cold climatic conditions that impacted the overall productivity.  Later,  from 11th century the region witnessed warm weather conditions, that increased the growing season . This increased the overall cultivation and increased use of land for agriculture.

b. Land:  Europe was characterised by primitive method of production, more manual labour was involved in digging and sowing .
 Further, lack of effective crop rotation techniques also impacted the productivity and deteriorated the land. Worst impacted were the peasants since they were compelled to pay huge taxes to the lords and at the same time survive on the meagre produce. They were hit by famine, mal nutrition and thus resorted to silent resistance.

c. New technological development:  From 11th century we witnessed changes in the technology in agriculture which increased the area under cultivation and brought in use latest changes for instance iron-tipped ploughs came to be used. There was also increased use of wind and water energy. There was an increase in food production, all this helped in  improving the situation of the cultivators.

d. Economic transactions : This was followed by increased economic transaction in the economy.  Rent could  now be paid in cash, which became more convenient mode , further there was increased use of money. This period also witnessed increased urbanisation, where people migrated to cities from rural areas in search of better opportunities.

All the above factors weakened the old social structure of Europe.


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