A Two-Tiered Demographic System: 'Insiders' and 'Outsiders' in Three Swabian Communities, 1558-1914
67 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 2013
This paper presents first results from a project to reconstitute the demographic behavior of three villages in Württemberg (southern Germany) from the mid-sixteenth to the early twentieth century. Using high-quality registers of births, deaths, and marriages, and unusual ancillary sources, we improve on the family-reconstitution techniques pioneered by Louis Henry and applied to good effect by the Cambridge Group and other scholars. This paper focuses on simple, standard demographic measures, in order to provide a broad overview and support comparisons with other places. An extreme system of demographic regulation operated in these Württemberg communities until around 1870. This regulation created a two-tiered demographic system. A group of “insiders” were able to marry, and experienced both high marital fertility and high infant and child mortality. A second group of “outsiders” were prevented from marrying. Many, especially the males, left the community; those who stayed contributed to growing illegitimacy and associated levels of infant and child mortality that were even higher than for the offspring of “insiders”.
Keywords: Fertility, Mortality, Nuptiality, European marriage pattern, institutions, community, politische Ehekonsens, Germany, Württemberg, proto-industry
JEL Classification: N33, J12, J13, K0, O17
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