Global Crisis : War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
by Geoffrey Parker
Editor: Yale University Press
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Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides – the calamities of the mid-xviii century, were not only unprecedented, they were agonisingly widespreadThe global crisis of the extent of England in Japan, and of the Russian Empire for sub-Saharan AfricaNorth and South America, also suffered from the turbulenceThe eminent historian Geoffrey Parker examines the first-hand accounts of men and women around the world by describing what they saw and suffered during a political sequence, the economic and social crises that extended from 1618 onwards, for the 1680sParker also deploys scientific evidence concerning the climatic conditions of the period, and his use of’natural’, as well as’man’ archives transforms our understanding of the World CrisisChanges in the prevailing weather patterns in the 1640s and 1650s – more and colder, cooler and wetter winters, summers disrupted growing seasons, causing scarcity, malnutrition and disease, with more deaths and fewer birthsSome contemporaries, about a third of the world is dead, and many survivors of historical evidence take up their pessimismParker’s demonstration of the link between climate change and worldwide disaster 350 years ago is an extraordinary historical achievementAnd the contemporary implications of his study are just as important: are we all ready today for the disasters that climate change could cause tomorrow
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