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Power to the PeopleEnergy in Europe over the Last Five Centuries$
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Astrid Kander, Paolo Malanima, and Paul Warde

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143620

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143620.001.0001

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Constraints and Dynamics

Constraints and Dynamics

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter Four Constraints and Dynamics
Source:
Power to the People
Author(s):

Malanima Paolo

Astrid Kander

Paul Warde

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691143620.003.0004

This chapter examines the dynamics of the early modern European economy in order to highlight both the possibilities for development and the constraints of the old European world. It first considers population and climate, focusing on two main changes: saving land, which implied a transition in the kind of energy carriers, and saving labor, which indicated a transition in the kind of converters used to engender mechanical work. The chapter proceeds by discussing the demographic transition in Europe, the last phase of the Little Ice Age, and the output of the soil in Europe. It also assesses energy scarcity, taking into account energy prices, real wages and living conditions, fuels, the decline in energy consumption per head, and the rise in efficiency. Finally, it describes the use of coal and peat in Europe.

Keywords:   energy, European economy, population, climate, labor, fuels, energy consumption, coal, peat, land

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