Book chapter

Feeding inequalities: the role of economic inequalities and the urban market in late medieval food security. The case of fourteenth-century Ghent

Stef Espeel
University of Antwerp, Belgium - ORCID: 0000-0002-8082-7715

Sam Geens
University of Antwerp, Belgium - ORCID: 0000-0001-9758-3182


ABOUT THIS CHAPTER

Although the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) revised their theoretical model of food security for over two decades ago, historians have been slow in adopting these new insights to study pre-modern societies. Showcasing the potential of the holistic approach proposed by the FAO, this paper analyses the evolution of food security in the calamitous fourteenth century in Ghent, one the most populated cities at that time. In the long-term, access to food seem to have bettered during the second half of the century thanks to increased wages, wealth and investments into farmland. While these gains can partly be linked to demographic evolutions, we found no evidence of an often-hypothesized Malthusian ceiling before the Black Death.
Read more

Keywords: economic inequality, economic history, low countries, ghent, pre-industrial age

Formats

PDF

Pages: 389-428

Published by: Firenze University Press

Publication year: 2020

DOI: 10.36253/978-88-5518-053-5.25

Download PDF

© 2020 Author(s)
Content licence CC BY 4.0
Metadata licence CC0 1.0

XML

Publication year: 2020

DOI: 10.36253/978-88-5518-053-5.25

Download XML

© 2020 Author(s)
Content licence CC BY 4.0
Metadata licence CC0 1.0

References

  1. Albers H., Pfister U. and Uebele M. (2018), The Great Moderation of Grain Price Volatility: market integration vs. climate change, 1650-1790, «EHES Working Papers in Economic History», 135: 9-15.
  2. Alfani G. (2015), Economic Inequality in Northwestern Italy, «Journal of Economic History», 75, 4: 1058-1096.
  3. Alfani G. and Ammannati F. (2017), Long-term trends in economic inequality, «Economic History Review», 70, 4: 1072-1102.
  4. Alfani G. and Ó Gráda C. (eds.) (2017), Famine in European History, Cambridge.
  5. Allen R. , Bengtsson T. and Dribe M. (2005), Living Standards in the Past. New Perspectives on Well-Being in Asia and Europe, Oxford.
  6. Allen R. (2001), The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War, «Explorations in Economic History», 38, 4: 411-447.
  7. Anderson J. E. and Van Wincoop E. (2004), Trade Costs, «Journal of Economic Literature» 42: 691-751.
  8. Bateman V.N. (2011), The evolution of markets in early modern Europe, 1350-1800: a study of wheat prices, «Economic History Review», 64, 2: 447-471.
  9. Bigwood G. (1906), Gand et la circulation des grains en Flandre du XIVe au XVIIIe siècle, «Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftgeschichte», 4, 3: 424-426.
  10. Blockmans F. (1938), Het Gentsche stadspatriciaat tot omstreeks 1302, Antwerp.
  11. Blockmans W. (1980), The social and economic effects of plague in the Low Countries: 1349-1500, «Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire», 58, 4: 833-863.
  12. Boone M. (1990), Gent en de Bourgondische hertogen ca. 1384 - ca. 1453: een sociaal-politieke studie van een staatsvormingsproces, Koninklijke academie voor wetenschappen, letteren en schone kunsten van België, Brussels.
  13. Bourin M. and Menant F. (2004), Les disettes dans la conjoncture de 1300 en Méditerranée occidentale, in Bourin M., Menant F. and Drendel J. (eds.), La conjoncture de 1300 en Méditerranée occidentale, Roma: 9-33.
  14. Campbell B.M.S. (2016), The Great Transition. Climate, Disease and Society in the Late-Medieval World, Cambridge.
  15. Canbakal H. and Filiztekin A. (2013), Wealth and Inequality in Ottoman Bursa, 1500-1840, Unpublished paper presented at the conference on the Political Economy of the Muslim World, Houston.
  16. Chilosi D. et al. (2013), Europe’s many integrations: geography and grain markets, 1620-1913, «Explorations in Economic History» 50: 46-68.
  17. Collet D. (2010), Storage and Starvation: Public Granaries as Agents of Food Security in Early Modern Europe, «Historical Social Research», 35, 4: 234-253.
  18. Cournot A. (1838), Recherches sur les principles mathematiques de la theorie des richessesses, Paris, [eng. trans. 1897, Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth, New York].
  19. Dambruyne J. (2001), Mensen en centen: het 16de-eeuwse Gent in demografisch en economisch perspectief, Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent, 26, Ghent.
  20. Dambruyne J. (2012), Interregional grain trade in the Low Countries and its economic and social effects on sixteenth-century Ghent, in Van Cruyningen P. and Thoen E. (eds.), Food supply, food demand and food trade: aspects of the economic relation between town and countryside (middle ages - 19th century), Turnhout: 49-83.
  21. De Pauw N. (1885), De voorgeboden der stad Gent in de XIVe eeuw, Ghent.
  22. De Vos A. (1958), Inventaris der landbouwpachten in de Gentse Jaarregisters van de Keure, Ghent.
  23. De Wever F. (1978), Pacht en verkoopprijzen in Vlaanderen (16e-18e eeuw), «Bijdragen tot de Geschiedenis», 59: 268-269.
  24. Deblonde-Cottenier K., Van Damme-De Mey L. and Prevenier W. (1973), Prijzen en lonen in de domeinen der Gentse abdijen (St. Pieters en St. Baafs) (13e-14e eeuw), in Verlinden C. et. al. (eds.), Dokumenten voor de geschiedenis van prijzen en lonen in Vlaanderen en Brabant, 4, Bruges: 230-325.
  25. Demuynck R. (1951), De Gentse oorlog 1379-1385. Oorzaken en karakter, «Handelingen der maatschappij voor geschiedenis en oudheidkunde te Gent», 5: 314-316.
  26. Derville A. (1987), Le grenier des Pays-Bas Médiévaux, «Revue du Nord», 273: 267-280.
  27. Dijkman J., Curtis D., Lambrecht T. and Vanhaute E. (2017), Low Countries, in Alfani G. and Ó’Gráda C. (eds.), Famine in European History, Cambridge:123-125.
  28. Elmes M. (2018), Economic Inequality, Food Insecurity, and the Erosion of Equality of Capabilities in the United States, «Business & Society», 57, 6: 1045-1074.
  29. Epstein S.R. (2000), Freedom and Growth: The Rise of States and Markets in Europe, 1300-1750, London.
  30. FAO (1996), Rome declaration on World Food Security, Roma.
  31. FAO (2018), The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the world, Roma.
  32. FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (2018), The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. Building climate resilience for food security and nutrition, Roma.
  33. Farmer D. (1988), Prices and Wages, in Hallam H.E. (ed.), The Agrarian History of England and Wales, 1042-1350, London: 715-817.
  34. Farmer D. (1993), Prices and Wages, 1350-1500, in Miller E. (ed.), The Agrarian History of England and Wales, 1348-1500, London: 431-525.
  35. Federico G. (2011), When did European markets integrate?, «European Review of Economic History» 15, 1: 93-126.
  36. Federico G. (2012), How much do we know about market integration in Europe?, in «Economic History Review», 65, 2: 470-497.
  37. Federico G., Schulze M.-S. And Volckart O. (2018), European goods market integration in the very long run: from the Black Death to the First World War, «Economic History Working Papers», 277.
  38. Geens S. (2018), The Great Famine in the county of Flanders (1315-17): the complex interaction between weather, warfare, and property rights, «The Economic History Review», 71, 4: 1048-1072.
  39. Ghedolf A. (1868), Coutume de la ville de Gand, Brussels.
  40. Hatcher J. (2011), Unreal Wages: Long-Run Living Standards and the ‘Golden Age’ of the Fifteenth Century, in Dodds B. And Liddy C. (eds.), Commercial Activity, Markets and Entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Richard Britnell, Woodbridge: 1-24.
  41. Hatcher J. and Bailey M. (2001), Modelling the Middle Ages. The History and Theory of England’s Economic Development, Oxford.
  42. Hesselberg J. and Yaro J. (2006), An assessment of the extent and causes of food insecurity in northern Ghana using a livelihood vulnerability framework, «GeoJournal», 67: 47-48.
  43. Holsters A. (1983), Moord en politiek tijdens de Gentse opstand 1379-1385, «Handelingen der maatschappij voor geschiedenis en oudheidkunde te Gent», 37: 89-111.
  44. Howell M. (1986), Women, Production, and Patriarchy in Late Medieval Cities, Chicago.
  45. Jacks D.S., O’Rourke K.H. and Williamson J.G. (2011), Commodity price volatility and world market integration since 1700, «Review of Economics and Statistics», 93, 3: 800-813.
  46. Jordan W.C. (1996), The Great Famine: Northern Europe in the Early Fourteenth Century, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  47. Kelly M. (1997), The dynamics of Smithian Growth, «The Quarterly Journal of Economics» 112, 3: 939-964.
  48. Lindert P. (1986), Unequal English Wealth since 1670, «Journal of Political Economy», 94, 6: 1127-1167.
  49. Lucas H.S. (1929), The Low Countries and the Hundred Years War, 1326-1347, Ann Arbor.
  50. Martins V. et al. (2011), Long-lasting effects of undernutrition, «International journal of environmental research and public health», 8, 6:1817-46.
  51. Monclús P.B (2013), De Labrousse a Sen. Modelos de causalidad y paradigmas interpretativos de las crisis alimentarias preindustriales, in. Id. (ed.), Crisis alimentarias en la Edad Media, Lleida: 15-32.
  52. Munro J.H. (2003), Wage Stickiness, Monetary Changes, and Real Incomes in Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries, 1300-1500: Did Money Matter?, «Research in Economic History», 21: 185-297.
  53. Munro, J.H. (2005), Builders’ Wages in Southern England and the Southern Low Countries, 1346 -1500: A Comparative Study of Trends in and Levels of Real Incomes, in Cavaciocchi S. (ed.), L’Edilizia prima della rivoluzione industriale, secoli XIII-XVIII, Atti delle Settimana di Studi e altri convegni, n. 36, Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica Francesco Datini, Firenze: 1013-1076.
  54. Munro J. H. (2012), Values of English and Flemish Coins, Department of Economics, University of Toronto, <www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/MoneyCoinage.htm> [05/20].
  55. Nicholas D. (1970), The population of fourteenth-century Ghent, «Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Geschiedenis en Oudheidkunde te Gent», 24: 97-111.
  56. Nicholas D. (1971), Town and Countryside. Social, Economic, and Political Tensions in Fourteenth-Century Flanders, Bruges.
  57. Nicholas D. (1972), Artevelde, Jacob van, kapitein van Gent, in Nationaal Biografisch Woordenboek, Vol. 5, Brussels: 22-36.
  58. Nicholas D. (1978), The Scheldt trade and the “Ghent War” of 1379-1385, «Handelingen van de Koninklijke Commissie voor Geschiedenis», 144: 189-359.
  59. Nicholas D. (1987), The Metamorphosis of a Medieval City: Ghent in the Age of the Arteveldes, 1302-1390, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
  60. Niles M. and Brown M. (2017), A multi-country assessment of factors related to smallholder food security in varying rainfall conditions, «Scientific Reports», 7: 1-11.
  61. Ochinksky D. (ed.) (1971), Walter of Henley and Other Treatises on Estate Management and Accounting, Oxford.
  62. Persson K.G. (1999), Grain Markets in Europe, 1500-1900: Integration and Deregulation, Cambridge.
  63. Phelps Brown E.H. and Hopkins S.V. (1956), Seven Centuries of the Prices of Consumables, Compared with Builders’ Wage Rates, «Economica, New Series», 23, 92: 296-298.
  64. Prevenier W. (1983), La démographie des villes du comté de Flandre aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles, «Revue du Nord», 257: 255-275.
  65. Prevenier W., Sosson J.-P. And Boone M. (1992), Le reseau urbain en Flandre (XIIIe-XVIIIe siècle): composantes et dynamique, in Le reseau urbain en Belgique dans une perspective historique (1350-1850). Une approche statistique et dynamique. Actes du 15e colloque international. Spa, 4-6 Sept. 1990, «Crédit communal, Coll. Histoire», série in 8°, 86: 157-200.
  66. Rogghé P. (1944), Het Gentsche Stadsbestuur van 1302 tot 1345: En een en ander betreffende het Gentsche Stadspatriciaat, «Handelingen der Maatschappij voor Oudheidkunde en Geschiedenis te Gent», new series 1: 135-63.
  67. Rogghé P. (1955), Vlaanderen en het zevenjarig beleid van Jacob van Artevelde: Een critische-historische studie, 2 Vols, Eeklo.
  68. Roosen J. and Curtis D. (2019), The ‘light touch’ of the Black Death in the Southern Netherlands: an urban trick?, «Economic History Review», 72, 1: 32-56.
  69. Sassi M. (2018), Understanding Food Insecurity, Cham.
  70. Schofield P. (2013), Approaches to famine in medieval England, in Monclús P.B. (ed.), Crisis alimentarias en la Edad Media, Lleida: 71-86.
  71. Scholliers E. (1960), Loonarbeid en honger. De levensstandaard in de XVe en XVIe eeuw te Antwerpen, Antwerp.
  72. Sen A. (1981), Poverty and Famines. An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford.
  73. Slavin P. (2014), Market failure during the Great Famine in England and Wales (1315-1317), «Past and Present», 222, 1: 9-49.
  74. Smith M., Pointing J. and Maxwell S., Household Food Security, Concepts and Definitions: An annotated Bibliography, Brighton.
  75. Soens T. (2009), Spade in de dijk?, Ghent.
  76. Sosson J.-P. (1999), Les niveaux de vie au bas Moyen Âge: en guise d’introduction, in Sosson J.-P., Thiry C., Thonon S. and Van Hemelryck T. (eds.), Les niveaux de vie au Moyen Âge: mesures, perceptions et representations, Louvain-la-Neuve: 13-17.
  77. Stabel P. (1995), De kleine stad in Vlaanderen: bevolkingsdynamiek en economische functies van de kleine en secundaire stedelijke centra in het Gentse kwartier, 14de-16de eeuw, Brussels.
  78. Studer R. (2008), India and the Great Divergence: Assessing the efficiency of grain markets in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century India, «Journal of Economic History», 68, 2: 393-437.
  79. Thoen E. (1988), Landbouwekonomie en bevolking in Vlaanderen gedurende de late Middeleeuwen en het begin van de Moderne Tijden. Testregio: de kasselrijen van Oudenaarde en Aalst (eind 13de- eerste helft 16de eeuw), Ghent.
  80. Thoen E. and Soens T. (2010), Vegetarians or Carnivores? Standards of living and diet in late medieval Flanders, in Cavaciocchi S. (ed.), Economic and biological interactions in the pre-industrial Europe from the 13th to the 18th centuries, Atti delle «Settimana di Studi» e altri convegni, n. 41, Firenze: 495-527.
  81. Tits-Dieuaide M.-J. (1975), La formation des prix céréaliers en Brabant et en Flandre au XVe siècle, Brussels.
  82. Tits-Dieuaide M.-J. (1984), Le grain et le pain dans l’administration des villes de Brabant et de Flandre au Moyen Âge, in L’initiative publique des communes en Belgique : fondements historiques (Ancien Régime). Actes du 11e colloque international, Spa, 1-4 September 1982, «Crédit communal, Coll. Histoire», série in 8°, 65: 485-487.
  83. Tits-Dieuaide M.-J. (1985), The Baltic grain trade and cereal prices in Flanders at the end of the Middle Ages: some remarks, in Minchinton W. (ed.), The Baltic grain trade, five essays, Exeter.
  84. Unger R.W. (1999), Feeding Low Countries Towns: the Grain Trade in the Fifteenth Century, «Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire», 77, 2: 329-358.
  85. Unger, R.W. (1983), Integration of Baltic and Low Countries grain markets, 1400-1800, in Wiertinga W.J. (ed.), The interactions of Amsterdam and Antwerp with the Baltic region, 1400-1800, Leiden: 1-10.
  86. Van Camp L. (1965), Het buitensteeds onroerend bezit van de Gentse gegoede stand in de XIVe eeuw, Unpublished MA thesis, Ghent.
  87. Van der Wee H. (1963), The Growth of the Antwerp Market and the European Economy (Fourteenth - Sixteenth centuries), The Hague: 407-422.
  88. Van Werveke H. (1967), De Middeleeuwse Hongersnood, «Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, Klasse der Letteren», 29, 3: 5-12.
  89. Vandenborre C. (1999), Prijzen, lonen en levensstandaard in Brugge en omgeving tijdens de 14de en het begin van de 15de eeuw, unpublished MA-thesis, Ghent University.
  90. Vanhaute E. (2011), From Famine to Food Crisis: What History Can Teach Us About Local and Global Subsistence Crises, «Journal of Peasant Studies», 38, 1: 47-65.
  91. Verbruggen J.F. (1991), Vlaanderen na de Guldensporenslag. De vrijheidsstrijd van het graafschap Vlaanderen 1303-1305, Bruges.
  92. Verbruggen J.F. (2002), The battle of the Golden Spurs (Courtrai, 11 July 1302): a contribution to the history of Flanders’ war of liberation, 1297-1305, De Vries K. (ed.), Woodbridge: 1-18.
  93. Verhulst A. (1965), Prijzen van granen, boter en kaas te Brugge volgens de ‘slag’ van het Sint-Donatiaanskapittel (1348-1801), in Verlinden C. et. al. (eds.), Dokumenten voor de geschiedenis van prijzen en lonen in Vlaanderen en Brabant, 2A, Bruges: 33-71.
  94. Vervaet L. (2014), Goederenbeheer in een veranderende samenleving. Het Sint-Janshospitaal van Brugge ca.1275- ca.1575, Unpublished Phd, Ghent.
  95. Wyffels W. (1965), Prijs van rogge te Gent (14de-16de eeuw), in Verlinden C. et. al. (eds.), Dokumenten voor de geschiedenis van prijzen en lonen in Vlaanderen en Brabant, 2A, Bruges: 161-162.
  96. Wynant L. (1973), Peiling naar de vermogensstruktuur te Gent op basis van de staten van goed 1380-1389, in Studiën betreffende de sociale strukturen te Brugge, Kortrijk en Gent in de 14de en 15de eeuw, Heule (UGA, Standen en Landen, 63): 48-138.
  97. Wynant L. (1985), Regesten van de staten van goed: 1349-1400, Brussels.

Export citation

Selected format

Usage statistics policy

  • 19Chapter Downloads

Cita come:
Espeel, S.; Geens, S.; 2020; Feeding inequalities: the role of economic inequalities and the urban market in late medieval food security. The case of fourteenth-century Ghent. Firenze, Firenze University Press.


Distributori


Indici e aggregatori bibliometrici