big summary post on the hajnal line

*update below*

i thought i’d do a big summary post on the hajnal line, just to have everything in once place. (^_^) sorry, there is no tl;dr, so go get yourself a cup of coffee. i’ll wait here.

back already?! ok…

so, here is the hajnal line:

hajnal line

from wikipedia: “The line in red is Hajnal’s. The dark blue lines show areas of high nuptiality west of the Hajnal line.”

obviously this is a schematic map. the true hajnal line should, no doubt, be all squiggly. i also suspect that a few other areas in western europe ought to be “outside” the hajnal line as well: highland scotland most definitely and galicia in spain possibly, although that latter one is more of a guess. possibly brittany, too, while i’m at it. oh, and it also appears as though the hajnal line should run through finland somewhere, separating the east from the west, with the eastern part being INSIDE the line. more on that…someday. (*^_^*)

anyway, more from wikipedia: “The Hajnal line is a border that links Saint Petersburg, Russia and Trieste, Italy. In 1965, John Hajnal discovered it divides Europe into two areas characterized by a different levels of nuptiality. To the west of the line, marriage rates and thus fertility were comparatively low and a significant minority of women married late or remained single; to the east of the line and in the Mediterranean and select pockets of Northwestern Europe, early marriage was the norm and high fertility was countered by high mortality.

“West of this line, the average age of marriage for women was 23 or more, men 26, spouses were relatively close in age, a substantial number of women married for the first time in their thirties and forties, and 10% to 20% of adults never married. East of the line, the mean age of both sexes at marriage was earlier, spousal age disparity was greater and marriage more nearly universal. Subsequent research has amply confirmed Hajnal’s continental divide, and what has come to be known as the ‘Western European marriage pattern’, although historical demographers have also noted that there are significant variations within the region; to the west of the line, about half of all women aged 15 to 50 years of age were married while the other half were widows or spinsters; to the east of the line, about seventy percent of women in that age bracket were married while the other thirty percent were widows or nuns….

The region’s late marriage pattern has received considerable scholarly attention in part because it appears to be unique; it has not been found in any other part of the world prior to the Twentieth Century. The origins of the late marriage system are a matter of conjecture prior to the 16th Century when the demographic evidence from family reconstitution studies makes the prevalence of the pattern clear; while evidence is scanty, most English couples seemed to marry for the first time in their early twenties before the Black Death and afterward, when economic conditions were better, often married in their late teens.”

so, the two big things that hajnal discovered: late marriage common in western europe plus a lot of individuals never marrying in western europe.

hajnal’s original article on his line — “European marriage pattern in historical perspective” — was published in 1965 in Population in History: Essays in Historical Demography.
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as if that weren’t interesting enough on its own, there seems to be a lot of other things connected — or somehow related — to the hajnal line. for instance, the distribution of nuclear families in europe. here’s a map of emmanuel todd‘s traditional family systems in europe — the absolute, egalitarian, and stem families (yellow, blue, and green on the map) are all types of nuclear or small-sized families (the stem family is the immediate family plus one set of grandparents, so it has slightly more members than a pure nuclear family). as you can see, small families (nuclear and stem families) occur most frequently to the west of or “inside” the hajnal line, community or extended families more frequently outside of it (h/t m.g. for the map! — hajnal line added by me):

todd - traditional family systems of europe - hajnal line sm

the distribution of average national iqs also seems to be related to the hajnal line — in general, higher average national iqs are found inside the hajnal line rather than outside of it (h/t jayman for this map! — hajnal line added by me):

jayman's map + hajnal line

perhaps thanks to the distribution of average iqs (although i don’t think that iq is the whole story), maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to find the highest concentrations of human accomplishment in europe distributed like this, i.e. falling mostly within the hajnal line (h/t charles murray for the map! — hajnal line added by me):

charles murray - human accomplishment map - european core + hajnal line

nations west of the hajnal line tend to be stronger in democratic tendencies than nations east of the line. here’s a map of the economist’s intelligence [sic] unit’s 2012 democracy index results for europe — with hajnal line added (by me). the darker the green, the more democracy:

democracy index - europe - 2012 + hajnal line

the populations west of the hajnal line also appear to be more civic-minded than those to the east of it. civicness here is determined using robert putnam’s technique of looking at participation rates in voluntary associations. the data below are drawn from the world values survey — see more details in this post — and this one, too! (sorry, i haven’t got a map for these data, so you’ll have to make do with a table. the data for each individual country can be found in this post. the eastern european countries — circled in red — are all fully or partially east of the hajnal line. the remainder are not, although remember that southern italy and southern spain — two of the “southern europeans” here — are. note also that “anglos” includes the u.s., canada, australia, etc. — for great britain’s scores, see this post. click on table for LARGER view.)

wvs - membership voluntary organizations - totals - hajnal line

and perceived corruption is generally lower inside the hajnal line than outside. here is a map based on transparency international’s corruptions perceptions index scores for europe in 2012 (hajnal line added by me):

europe-corruption-2012 + hajnal line

populations inside the hajnal also tend to score higher on individualism on hofstede’s individualism versus collectivism (IDV) dimension, while those outside the hajnal line are more collectivistic (see this post). here is a map of these scores that i swiped off the internet. i have a few reservations about this map which i discussed in the previous post — the raw scores are also listed in that post (hajnal line added by me):

individualism-map-2 + hajnal line

and here’s a map taken from steven pinker’s Better Angels of the geography of homicide in late nineteenth century europe (hajnal line added by me). the homicide rates were significantly lower inside the hajnal line than outside of it in the late nineteenth century (more on this later in the post):

pinker - fig. 3.8 - hajnal line02_____

so, to sum up — INSIDE (or to the west of) the hajnal line we find:

– late marriage and 10-20% of adults never marrying
– small families, either nuclear or stem
– higher average iqs than outside the line
– the highest concentrations of human accomplishment in europe
– more democracy
– greater civic-mindedness or orientation towards the commonweal
– generally low perceived corruption
– high individualism
– and low homicide rates in the 19th century

why?

at first glance, the most obvious explanation would seem to be simply that these are all germanic populations to some extent or another. we’ve got the franks and co. in france and the low countries, the visigoths in northern spain, the langobards (and others) in northern italy, the swiss, the austrians, the scandinavians, and the peoples who became “the germans” in germany after they reconquered those areas during the ostsiedlung. and maybe that’s it. maybe that’s the whole story. i don’t think so, though, although it’s likely a part of the story (perhaps even a big part, i dunno).

why don’t i think that’s the whole story?

well, first of all, despite what you might’ve heard from tacitus, the pre-christian germanics did not marry late. going by the archaeological evidence (i.e. the types of grave goods found associated with girls aged around twelve to fourteen), it appears that pre-christian germanic women married young — probably right around the time they hit puberty. not sure about the men, but the case of the females indicates that hajnal’s line does not extend back into pre-christian times. odds are, too, that, like in most other societies in the world, the majority married, but i have no evidence for that either way.

additionally, the nuclear family was not the primary foundational building block of pre-christian germanic societies. while the pre-christian germanics do seem to have had residential nuclear families, it was the extended family — the kindred — that was of utmost importance both socially and legally to the germanic tribes (see for example this post). (this, btw, is similar to sicilians and other southern italians today, as well as to the greeks — these groups have residential nuclear families, but the extended family is very, *very* important in those populations. this is something that, i think, emmanuel todd overlooked. planning to work up a post on the topic…one of these days. (^_^) )

there are also no indications that the pre-christian germanics were particularly bright. they didn’t build any aqueducts anyway.

also — and i know this will get some of you riled up — the pre-christian germanics weren’t any more democratic than any other clannish populations on the planet were in the past or are today. yes, yes, i know, i know — the things! yes. i know. you’ll have to trust me on this for now — those things are not very good indicators of the presence of democracy. at least not democracy as we know it (or like to think we know it). i will come back to this in another post, i promise! for now, please just trust me on this. (for a couple of hints on what i’ll be getting at, you can have a look at this post and the first section of this post where i mention democracy in medieval iceland.)

it’s also unlikely that the pre-christian germanics were particularly oriented towards the broader commonweal either. pre-christian germanic society was, as i said, structured around the extended family, or the kindreds, and blood-feuds between kindreds were common (and legal). in any other society that i know of which is structured like that — like afghani society today, for instance (although there they have even tighter clans — the germanic kindreds had a looser configuration) — the members are not interested in the common good. they are interested in their extended family’s good. that’s it. in such societies, too, individualism usually runs second to collectivism — again, that’s a collective attitude toward the extended family, not the broader society. not sure how much individualism there was in pre-christian germanic society. still need to find that out (if possible).

finally, the violence/homicide rates in pre-christian germanic societies were undoubtedly high. the omnipresent blood-feuds — not to mention all of the whopping great germanic swords and the seaxes — indicate that this was probably the case.
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the historic evidence for the existence of the hajnal line goes back to the 1500s, but no one’s quite sure when the pattern first emerged. the only thing that’s clear is that it was sometime between the introduction of christianity to the germanics in northern europe (which started in something like the 400s) and the 1500s.

two of the biggest changes to this area of europe beginning in the early medieval period were: the introduction of new mating patterns thanks to the catholic church and the introduction of manorialism. these two elements of medieval european society were present in the areas inside the hajnal line and were absent to various degrees in the areas outside the line. in fact, hajnal’s line lies exactly at the limits of western christendom and the (bipartite) manor system in eastern europe (and southern italy and spain and ireland, etc.). this is not my idea, but something i picked up from the historian michael mitterauer’s book Why Europe? [pgs. 45-45]:

“The most significant expansion of the model agricultural system [manorialism] in the Frankish heartland between the Seine and the Rhine took place toward the east. Its diffusion embraced almost the whole of central Europe and large parts of eastern Europe….. This great colonizing process, which transmitted Frankish agricultural structures and their accompanying forms of lordship, took off at the latest around the middle of the eighth century. Frankish majordomos or kings from the Carolingian house introduced manorial estates (*Villikation*) and the hide system (*Hufenverfassung*) throughout the royal estates east of the Rhine as well…. The eastern limit of the Carolingian Empire was for a long time an important dividing line between the expanding Frankish agricultural system and eastern European agricultural structures. When the push toward colonization continued with more force in the High Middle Ages, newer models of *Rentengrundherrschaft* predominated — but they were still founded on the hide system. This pattern was consequently established over a wide area: in the Baltic, in large parts of Poland, in Bohemia, Moravia and parts of Slovakis, in western Hungary, and in Slovenia.”

but note that the manor system was introduced into these eastern regions much later than it had been in the west. more from mitterauer:

Colonization established a line streching roughly from St. Petersburg to Trieste. We will come across this line again when studying European family systems and their diffusion. The sixteenth century witnessed the last great attempt to establish the hide system throughout an eastern European region when King Sigismund II of Poland tried it in the Lithuanian part of his empire in what is modern-day Belarus. The eastward expansion of Frankish agrarian reform therefore spanned at least eight centuries.”

mitterauer also discusses the hows and whys of the absence of manorialism in southern italy, spain, ireland, etc. — in other words, all of the populations which are today outside the hajnal line [pg. 54]:

“Over against this ‘core Europe’ was a ‘peripheral Europe’ that did not acquire these structures until a relatively later date — or not at all. Here we can list Ireland, Wales, and Scotland in the West; the area of eastern Europe beyond the Trieste-St. Petersburg line that was unaffected by the colonization of the East; the entire Balkan region; southern Italy, which was formerly Byzantine, along with the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula that was under Moorish rule for so long a time. The political, economic, and social evolution of many regions in ‘peripheral Europe’ took a different turn because of their clinging to other, traditional agricultural systems.”

there’s no map in Why Europe? showing the areas of europe that were “manorialized” according to mitterauer, so i gave a shot at creating one based on mitterauer’s descriptions in the book (frisia was never manorialized, btw):

extent and spread of manorialism

yup! looks pretty much just like the hajnal line.

manorialism is important for at least two reasons — and probably many more that i haven’t thought about. firstly, the whole system was based on nuclear families. in the bipartite manor system, peasants or serfs or whomever (depending on time and place in western europe) lived on and managed their own farms (let out to them by the manor owner) and also worked on the manor or paid rent to the manor. extended families very much did not fit into the manor system as it operated in western europe (there was a different development in eastern europe where extended families were very much part of the package). so manorialism — at least western manorialism — “pushed” for the nuclear family. as early as the 800s in northwestern france, families that lived and worked on manors were very small, most often being only two generations (parents and children) and occasionally including a grandparent.

the second reason manorialism was so important was because this was the vehicle via which the ecclesiastical and secular laws against cousin marriage could be enforced. as greying wanderer commented the other day:

“Not only was the land owned by the Lord of the Manor rather than by the village commune as it was elsewhere the manor with its central manor house and church was a model of combined civil and religious authority. Those villagers who wanted to get ahead with their own little plot of land had to be respectable and that meant if married it had to abide by the church’s rules.”

exactly!

so, because the populations in peripheral europe missed out on manorialism, they also missed out on the “push” for nuclear families and the more stringent enforcement of the cousin marriage bans.

however, mitterauer makes the point that it appears as though conversion to christianity was needed first before manorialism could be successfully introduced [pg. 77]:

“The introduction of Christianity always preceded the introduction of the hide system throughout the entire colonization in the East — often by only a slight difference in time, but occasionally centuries earlier. The time sequence was never reversed, anywhere. The western agrarian system at all times found a state of affairs where Christian conversion had either relaxed or weakened older patrilineal patterns. This process had already paved the way for the transition to a bilateral system of kinship and the conjugal family.”

medieval christianity weakened the old patrilineal clannish (or kindred-based) systems because it insisted upon the avoidance of cousin marriage which reduced the genetic ties between extended family members and set the stage for the selection of very different behavioral patterns in parts of northwestern europe — “core” europe. orthodox christianity in eastern europe also banned close cousin marriage, but this came later in that area of the world (since they adopted christianity later), and enforcement was not as firm as in the west — the secular regulations on marriage in medieval russia, for instance, flip-flopped several times and do not seem to have backed up the orthodox church’s canon laws as consistently as secular authorities had tended to do in the west (see here and here for example). and, again, the manor system was a very late arrival in eastern europe, and in many places it was not a bipartite system based upon nuclear families. the eastern european extended family networks were incorporated into the manor system which developed there, because the extended family had never been broken apart in the east, since the cousin marriage bans were adopted at a later point in time and were not as strongly enforced.
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the long-term outbreeding of northwestern europeans, which began in the early medieval period, resulted in a new social environment for these populations. gone were the clans and kindreds, gone were the extended families, gone was the close genetic relatedness between extended family members (in inbreeding societies, the probability that first cousins share genes [alleles] in common can be nearly double of that in outbreeding societies). this was all replaced by a society based upon individuals and their nuclear families — and each of these “new europeans” were more unique genetic individuals than those in more inbred societies who share more genes in common with their relatives.

with a new environment — in this case a new social environment — comes new selection pressures. the question to ask with regard to these big changes in medieval western europe is who succeeded in this brave new world? what sort of individuals managed to do well in life and reproduce successfully? the most. what sorts of personality traits did “the fittest” have? intelligence levels? behavioral patterns? what sorts of genes got selected for in this new environment?

the new patterns of genetic relatedness between individuals would’ve (i think) changed the speed at which alleles for different sorts of behavioral traits — especially those related to altruistic behaviors — might’ve been selected (see here for example). in a long-term outbreeding society, it might pay to be altruistic towards two brothers or eight cousins, but if you’re from a long-term inbreeding society, you might only need to be altruistic towards four or five cousins to achieve the same genetic payoff. and, if you actually are altruistic towards the full number of eight cousins, whatever “genes for altruism” that you and your cousins carry will be selected for faster than in an outbreeding society, since you all carry more copies of them than outbreeding individuals do.

in the societies outside the hajnal line, then, where the populations experienced, to differing degrees, more long-term inbreeding than those inside the hajnal line, people continue to favor their family members (or those whom they consider “one of theirs”) more. such behaviors continued to pay — genetically speaking — for longer, so these “altruistic” behaviors never got weeded out of those populations — or not so much anyway. therefore, the individuals in populations outside of the hajnal line tend to exhibit innate behaviors that favor themselves as members of extended families as opposed to favoring themselves as individual players in a broader community. this common thread of favoring the family (and/or intimate allies) can, i think, explain the common characteristics of societies that are outside the hajnal line: being comprised of large, tightly-knit extended families; having low average iqs (because individuals don’t have to fend for themselves as much?); having less democracy, less civic-mindedness, and greater amounts of corruption (including nepotism) since everyone is more oriented towards their own than to unrelated strangers; and having higher homicide rates.

on the other hand, what sorts of traits would’ve been selected for in individuals in long-term outbreeding societies where there would’ve been less of a genetic payoff in being altruistic towards extended family? i think you would (or could) have greater selection for individuals having behavioral traits which drive them to contribute more to the broader community. since the payoff for aiding extended family was no longer so great in “core” europe after many generations of outbreeding (i.e. avoiding close cousin marriage), it might’ve begun to pay equally well — or well enough — to aid non-family members (rather than extended family members) — to cooperate with them in the hopes of receiving aid back. in a society where one doesn’t have an extended family to fall back on, it might be very useful to possess traits which enable the successful collaboration with non-family — being trusting and trustworty, for instance. a society of such individuals might very likely: be comprised of small-sized families; have a higher average iq since individuals had to fend for themselves more; have more (liberal) democracy, more civic-mindedness, and less corruption since everyone would be more oriented towards the commonweal and not towards their extended family members. homicide rates would be low, too.
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if this hajnal line divide between western and eastern europe sounds a lot like huntington’s civilizational divide which steve sailer posted about the other day, that’s because it probably is very much the same divide. but the divide is not just between the western and eastern churches, it’s a divide between a long history of different mating patterns and family types in the west versus the east — much more outbreeding (i.e. the avoidance of close cousin marriage) for a longer period of time, and the development of and emphasis upon small families as opposed to large extended families, in the west and not in the east — and the divergent selection pressures that the two european civilizations underwent thanks to the differing mating patterns/family types. from huntington:

“The most significant dividing line in Europe, as William Wallace has suggested, may well be the eastern boundary of Western Christianity in the year 1500. This line runs along what are now the boundaries between Finland and Russia and between the Baltic states and Russia, cuts through Belarus and Ukraine separating the more Catholic western Ukraine from Orthodox eastern Ukraine, swings westward separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania, and then goes through Yugoslavia almost exactly along the line now separating Croatia and Slovenia from the rest of Yugoslavia. In the Balkans this line, of course, coincides with the historic boundary between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The peoples to the north and west of this line are Protestant or Catholic; they shared the common experiences of European history — feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution; they are generally economically better off than the peoples to the east; and they may now look forward to increasing involvement in a common European economy and to the consolidation of democratic political systems. The peoples to the east and south of this line are Orthodox or Muslim; they historically belonged to the Ottoman or Tsarist empires and were only lightly touched by the shaping events in the rest of Europe; they are generally less advanced economically; they seem much less likely to develop stable democratic political systems.”

the earliest start to what i’ve (jokingly!) dubbed The Outbreeding Project in europe that i’ve found so far occurred in northeast france/the low countries and southeastern england. this, i think, is the core of “core europe”:

hajnal line - core europe

outbreeding began earliest in this region as did manorialism, and both radiated out from this central core mainly to the south and east. my bet is that there exists a gradient or clinal(-like) spread of whatever genes (alleles) are connected to the civicness behavioral traits belonging to the long-term outbreeding western european populations and that that spread starts in and around the area of the green circle (if the theory is right at all, that is! (~_^) ).

one set of behaviors that definitely began in this region and radiated out from it was the marked reduction in violence (homicides) in the middle ages as discussed by steven pinker in Better Angels. a fellow named manuel eisner found [see previous post]:

“[T]he data suggest that the secular trajectories of low homicide rates differ among large geographic areas. It appears that English homicide rates were already considerably lower in the late sixteenth century than during the late Middle Ages and that they declined continuously along a log-linear trend over several centuries. Extant estimates for the Netherlands and Belgium suggest a very similar structure trend in these areas. In the Scandinavian countries, the transistion to the decreasing trend occurs notably later, namely in the first decades after 1600. Despite huge gaps in the data, the German-speaking areas may also be assumed to have joined the declining trend from the early seventeenth century onwards. For Italy, however, all the available data indicate that acts of individual-level lethal violence remained very frequent until the early nineteenth century. It is not until the mid-nineteenth century that the rate begins to decline, but then very steeply.”

as i said in my previous post:

“hmmmm. now where have i heard a pattern like this before? england, the netherlands, germans earliest in *something*…scandinavians later…italians last.”

liberal democracy also starts in this core of “core europe” — it was pretty much invented by the english. the dutch pretty much invented capitalism (per daniel hannan). and t.greer points out that this is exactly where the great economic divergence began earliest:

“A few months ago I suggested that many of these debates that surround the ‘Great Divergence’ are based on a flawed premise — or rather, a flawed question. As I wrote:

“‘Rather than focus on why Europe diverged from the rest in 1800 we should be asking why the North Sea diverged from the rest in 1000.‘

“By 1200 Western Europe has a GDP per capita higher than most parts of the world, but (with two exceptions) by 1500 this number stops increasing. In both data sets the two exceptions are Netherlands and Great Britain. These North Sea economies experienced sustained GDP per capita growth for six straight centuries. The North Sea begins to diverge from the rest of Europe long before the ‘West’ begins its more famous split from ‘the rest.’

“[W]e can pin point the beginning of this ‘little divergence’ with greater detail. In 1348 Holland’s GDP per capita was $876. England’s was $777. In less than 60 years time Holland’s jumps to $1,245 and England’s to 1090. The North Sea’s revolutionary divergence started at this time.”
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so, apart from indicating patterns of nuptuality in late medieval and modern europe, hajnal’s line also represents the extent of both manorialism and The Outbreeding Project on the continent. both of these together set up a very new and different sort of social environment for western europeans — a new, and quite unique, social environment which exerted some very different sorts of selection pressures on the populations, particularly on social behaviors, but perhaps on other traits as well.

i’ve been wondering lately what sorts of selection pressures the manor system on its own might’ve had on the population. time preference might be a big one — and this is where all of the late marriage comes in. couples often had to wait for a small farm to become available on a manor before they could marry and begin having kids. those who could wait may very well have been more successful than those who couldn’t (and who would’ve been shipped off to monasteries and nunneries for their lack of chastity). perhaps higher iq individuals, who could successfully manage their own farms as part of the manor system, also did well.

that’s it for now!

many thanks, btw, to all of you out there who have been thinking this through with me for the last couple of years! (^_^) i would name names, but then i’d probably forget to mention someone — ya’ll know who you are! thank you, thank you, thank you! (^_^)
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update 03/12: see also Rise of the West and the Hajnal line from mr. mangan, esq!

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see also: How Inbred are Europeans? from jayman.

previously: the hajnal line and todd’s family systems and the hajnal line and behind the hajnal line and “core europe” and human accomplishment and civic societies and civic societies ii and national individualism-collectivism scores and historic european homicide rates…and the hajnal line and outbreeding, self-control and lethal violence and medieval manoralism and the hajnal line and more on the origins of guilt in northwestern european populations and whatever happened to european tribes?

also, please see the “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column for posts dealing with specific populations.

(note: comments do not require an email. john hajnal!)

89 Comments

  1. A suggestion: I invite you to read “A History of the Countryside” by the landscape historian Oliver Rackham. I’d love to hear what you make of his inferences about (principally) England from your biological anthropology point of view.

    Reply

  2. Very good roundup. As I am a significant bit Polish and was recently hanging out/chatting with another artist of Polish descent about Poland I spent a good part of yesterday reading up on the History of Poland. One thing I noted is that the north and west of Poland, roughly the part you have inside the Hajnal line is predominantly lowland with larger populations and more mixed Germanic ancestry, heck a large part of today’s northern Poland was Prussia at one time. I’ll have to look more into Early Poland during the Medieval period because I can only imagine that they knew they were different from people to their East (to this day the Poles and Russians can’t stand each other in EPIC fashion) and that that difference informed their culture/attitudes.

    ~S

    Reply

  3. Quite a post! I’m going to send a copy to that guy at Stanford (Aveneri (sp?) that got you started on a lot of this — don’t know if he follows you or not, though I told him about you a couple of times.

    One little question: you mention that under manorialism the peasants farmed their own plots, and, in addition owed services to the lord of the manor. How does this relate to the importance of Yeoman farmers?

    Reply

  4. “two of the biggest changes to this area of europe beginning in the early medieval period were: the introduction of new mating patterns thanks to the catholic church and the introduction of manorialism. these two elements of medieval european society were present in the areas inside the hajnal line and were absent to various degrees in the areas outside the line.”

    Well, that’s not true. Scandinavia didn’t develop manorialism – and it’s not just absent to various degrees, the north skipped feudalism entirely.

    Sweden and Finland (and Norway perhaps but I don’t know much about Norway) developed rather unique rural social structures for various reasons – never having had feudalism, very low rural population densities, farming at the edge of where grains even grow (so, the famines make that Irish one look mild in comparison, more land was needed to support a person etc). The most obvious difference to Britain was the very high number of free farmers instead of hereditary titles.

    I can easily tell to a Swede that knows Swedish rural history who was who in my 100 % Finnish hometown back in the 1800s because all the social classes etc have 1:1 equivalent matches in Swedish. I can’t talk about these things easily with anyone else because the social structure didn’t exist elsewhere so the words don’t even exist in any other languages besides Swedish and Finnish. Whether or not there was a persistent difference between age of marriage etc I don’t know but if there was it existed despite identical social structures and laws that distinguished Sweden and Finland together from the rest of Europe.

    Reply

  5. Where is the proof that Germanic women married early?

    The book by Poggio, who he claimed had been written by Tacitus, and where no manuscript exists, and this bit?

    “The evidence from the Anglo-Saxon cemetaries shows that teenage girls were often buried in forms of dress that made them indistinguishable from adult women from about the age of twelve onwards. That would fit with a predictable, marriageable age from the very young teens onwards, which we know of from comparable societies.”

    I have never seen information that married and unmarried women were separated in dress, for anything but the headdress i Scandinavian society, in addition to the wedding ring.

    @Jaakko Raipala

    Norwegians have always thought Swedes were oppressed, but I don’t know if it was Danish propaganda, so Norwegians continued to build and man the Danish navy and and fight the Swedes and Finns voluntarily when they attacked, or if it is much truth to it, if non-Norwegians were to take a look at history.

    As for famines, Norway haven’t really had them. The worst famine in Norwegian history was during the British blockade during the Napoleonic wars, when something like 8000 people died. The explanation is found in the name Norway, the North Way, that is the sheltered shipping route from Denmark to the Russian Border. Since Norway is basically a shipping route, and the country is so rugged, everything had to be moved by boat, making it easy to emigrate if life was better elsewhere.

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  6. @volksverhetzer – “I have never seen information that married and unmarried women were separated in dress….”

    sorry. that’s not a difference in dress/grave goods for married vs. unmarried women — that’s a difference between female children (girls) vs. adult women. girls (young women) who had just hit puberty — aged 12-14 — were buried with the same sorts of grave goods that adult women were buried with. this indicates that they were considered adults and, so, were probably considered of marriageable age. the vast, vast majority of human societies are/have been so, so this isn’t surprising.

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  7. @alrenous – “Do you know offhand what manorialism was competing against? What was the alternative?”

    estates with slaves versus free peasants/serfs. the roman catholic church pushed for the abolishment of slavery in western europe (something else to thank the church for), but i also suspect that the slave trade just collapsed in places like gaul when the roman empire disappeared. might’ve been difficult to get in new slaves, although why western europeans didn’t get into breeding their own slaves, i don’t know. might be down to the church’s intervention again.

    there had also been independent family farms as well, but they disappeared as people “signed up” for manorialism. the early medieval period saw so much unrest and violence that a lot of people voluntarily joined manors in western europe for protection. the manor owner — the local lord — would’ve been the guy in your neighbor keeping the peace (as much as possible) — with his retinue of knights, etc. a lot of these independent farmers were probably forcibily “signed up,” too, i imagine.

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  8. @dearieme – “A suggestion: I invite you to read ‘A History of the Countryside’ by the landscape historian Oliver Rackham.”

    oh! interesting! i’ll put it on The List. high up on the list! (^_^)

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  9. So free farmers would have been dissimilar to the manors, but the slave estates would have been a similar system? Basically, free-ish labour vs. unfree labour?

    Though there seems to be a path from free farmer to manor holder. Get mercenaries to fend off blood feuds. Rope in your neighbours to help pay for mercs. Build a fort to house the mercs in…and you’re basically a manor at that point. Mercs settle down and become knights.

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  10. @sisyphean – “I’ll have to look more into Early Poland during the Medieval period because I can only imagine that they knew they were different from people to their East (to this day the Poles and Russians can’t stand each other in EPIC fashion) and that that difference informed their culture/attitudes.”

    you should have a look at chapter 12 — Manorialism and Rural Subjection in East Central Europe, 1500-1800 — in this book. just read it last night — very interesting stuff! complicated — still haven’t gotten my head around it fully yet. (^_^)

    quite a bit on poland in the chapter. yes, there were settlers from germany in western areas of poland (some of them invited in by the piast kings — rulers are so often traitors, i’m tellin’ ya!). and there was some region in the north — don’t remember where now — that had quite a different manor system than the rest of poland. where the standard labor-for-land manor system was set up in most of poland, there was a cash-rent-for-land system in this northern location along the coast. not so serf-like.

    the timing of the introduction of manorialism to the east is so interesting, though. just as it’s disappearing in the west (ca. 1400s), it’s getting adopted in the east!

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  11. @alrenous – “Basically, free-ish labour vs. unfree labour?”

    yeah. pretty much. the chapter/book that i just referred sisyphean to in my comment above makes the point that slave-based plantation systems and peasant/serf-based manorialism had both been present in western europe in the early medieval period, but disappeared by the late medieval period — but the slave-based planation system was eventually introduced by western europeans to the new world (ca. 1700s?), while the manor system was introduced to/adopted by east central europe (beginning in ca. 1400s — east central europe is eastern europe minus russia).

    @alrenous – “Though there seems to be a path from free farmer to manor holder. Get mercenaries to fend off blood feuds. Rope in your neighbours to help pay for mercs. Build a fort to house the mercs in…and you’re basically a manor at that point. Mercs settle down and become knights.”

    could be. i think you’d have to have been a free farmer of some means, though. you’d have to have some capital to invest in — whatever — paying all these knights and building a manor house, etc., etc. but probably could’ve been done. not sure if those were the guys who did become lords of manors, or if it was more from the top down (the second sons of kings or princes), but maybe.

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  12. @luke – “Quite a post! I’m going to send a copy to that guy at Stanford (Aveneri (sp?) that got you started on a lot of this — don’t know if he follows you or not, though I told him about you a couple of times.”

    avner greif — yeah, between him and michael mitterauer, they’ve ruined (translation: greatly enhanced!) my life! (~_^) i think i emailed him once, too — at least i had a mind to. didn’t get a response. *sigh* [edit: guess it wouldn’t be strange to not get a response if i never in fact emailed him. (~_^) ]

    @luke – “One little question: you mention that under manorialism the peasants farmed their own plots, and, in addition owed services to the lord of the manor. How does this relate to the importance of Yeoman farmers?”

    the yeoman farmers are really only found in england, afaik (are there continental equivalents?) — and they don’t appear until the late medieval period or right around the time that manorialism starts dying out in western europe. so — and here i’m guessing — they probably represent a rising new class of independent farmers as the bipartite manor system (labor-for-land) disappeared.

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  13. @jaakko – “Well, that’s not true. Scandinavia didn’t develop manorialism – and it’s not just absent to various degrees, the north skipped feudalism entirely.”

    yes. first we need to keep the two separate — manorialism and feudalism. as far as i know, you are correct in saying that scandinavia never had feudalism (the hierarchical system of everyone swearing loyalty to one another).

    manorialism as it existed in central or eastern europe didn’t exist in scandinavia either — except for a small bit in southern sweden, but not very much and quite late in the medieval period.

    however, sweden did have a sort-of a serfdom — it’s own kind (not sure about denmark, norway, or finland): there was the torpare system which was a labor/cash-for-land exchange (same as the manor system), the statare (seems like this was more common in the south on large farms), and the backstugusittare (living on someone’s land and working for them, but with no land to work for themselves). all of these groups correspond to the different sorts of peasants/laborers attached to manors — ya’ll just don’t seem to have had the large manors (except for those few in the south). on wikipedia, it’s described how the statare might even fall into a state of serfdom, not being able to move off the farm they worked for [google translation]:

    “Even if the estate-workers’ conditions were regulated in a binding contract in a year, ouppsägligt for both parties during the year, many became statare in practice serfs on the farms where they were employed. In the absence of cash salary stapled many indebted to the farm shop where various supplies sold, and could not resolve the debt. Thus , they could not move to another service when the contract expired.” (“Även om statarnas villkor var reglerade i ett bindande kontrakt på ett år, ouppsägligt för båda parter under året, blev många statare i praktiken livegna på de gårdar där de var anställda. I brist på kontantlön häftade många i skuld hos gårdens butik där olika förnödenheter såldes, och kunde inte lösa skulden.”)

    a couple of questions then: how long were these various classes of workers around in sweden — for how many years, i mean? what percentage of the population at any given time were members of these “serf-like” classes? and how much control over the lives of these people did the big farmers to whom they were indebted have? were they able to dictate in any way who married whom, or when? Further Research is RequiredTM! (^_^)

    another thing about sweden is that the swedes seem to have taken the cousin marriage bans of the church very seriously. even after the reformation, when many other protestant nations abandoned the cousin marriage bans, sweden kept them in the form of secular laws against cousin marriage. right up until the mid-1800s. that’s being serious about outbreeding!

    (thanks to the scandi person who pointed me to these wikipedia articles! sure are a lot of you nordic folks interested in hbd! not that there’s anything wrong with that. (~_^) )

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  14. re yeoman thing – I am reading about what yeoman was and I am thinking that there were something at least arteficially similar in Poland and Czech. There was more complicated hierearchy initially than just serfs-knights. Those middle-levels owned their own land, and usually were either absorbed in to the serfs (pretty much all of Poland – because initially being serf wasn’t that bad choice – you lose the freedom, but economically you gained) or into nobility (Masovia – their kept their freedoms though initially they pretty much lost economically). The terms were włodycy and panoszowie, again I _think_

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  15. Absolue nuclear falily……. The only areas with absolute nuclear family are ethnically AngloSaxonor AS colonised ( ie Danish) : Denmark, South Sweden, Enga-lond Normandy,

    David Willets book said historically only Holland and Denmark were like England .To be reductionalist, it’s the digit ratio that lies beind the marriage systems in my opinion. And Denmark is the ground zero.

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  16. This also explains, in a way, why the project of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the so called “first Poland”, as we call it (yes, another Pole here) was most probably doomed to fail. It was trying to unite under one rule a “west of hajnal” society (the Poles) with a bunch of “east of hajnal” ones (Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine). This lead to too much internal tensions, which gradually torn the country apart. Not without external help, of course. Regards!

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  17. “i also suspect that the slave trade just collapsed in places like gaul when the roman empire disappeared.” Could be, but the Romano-Britons kept slaves, as did the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. Slavery seems to have died in England some time after the Conquest. In Ireland outside The Pale it presumably went on for centuries after that.

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  18. @Luke Lea

    “One little question: you mention that under manorialism the peasants farmed their own plots, and, in addition owed services to the lord of the manor. How does this relate to the importance of Yeoman farmers?”

    Mostly timing I think although you might almost see the yeoman farmers as the **product** of the selective process put in place by manorialism.

    .

    @Jaakko Raipala

    “Well, that’s not true. Scandinavia didn’t develop manorialism – and it’s not just absent to various degrees, the north skipped feudalism entirely. Sweden and Finland (and Norway perhaps but I don’t know much about Norway) developed rather unique rural social structures for various reasons”

    How significant was slash and burn type agriculture in these differences?

    .

    @Alrenous

    “Do you know offhand what manorialism was competing against? What was the alternative?”

    If we assume a lord and priest could exert a lot more social control on a concentrated village-manor than they could on scattered farms then one of the main factors determining how strictly the cousin ban could be applied would simply be the proportion of concentrated village-manors in any particular region.

    Some of the factors determining that proportion might have been simply geographical e.g.

    1) hilly and/or more marginal terrain being more suited to scattered farms
    2) the heavy clay soil in northern Europe needed the heavy plow and the heavy plow needed a large team of oxen/horses to pull it which meant it needed a village to support a heavy plow (until giant horses and horse collars were developed so it only needed one horse to pull a plow).

    Gratuitous shire plow horse pic cos shire horses are so great

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  19. “the heavy plow needed a large team of oxen/horses to pull it which meant it needed a village to support a heavy plow”

    as always should have been, “which *might* have meant”

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  20. The hilarity is that diversity makes altruism towards non-family and frowning upon nepotism maladaptive.

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  21. @jayman – “Do we have data on historical digit ratios across Europe?”

    technically that should be possible — i mean at this point in time. there should be plenty of skeletal remains out there. wonder if anyone has looked at this?

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  22. An acquaintance of mine provided another thesis for my consideration, that I’d like to hear your thoughts on:

    Summary: Hajnal Europe got wealthy and advanced first because it was spared the Mongol invasion that pillaged China and other similar catastrophes. With more infrastructure and knowledge preserved, this region also had more of an opportunity to grow rich from overseas trade and expansion. The higher wealth levels from these and other factors drove changes in mating patterns as a secondary effect. Lower fertility among the wealthy is more or less a global constant (less need/use for children as extra labor/old age support), and the Hajnal region got its family changed by wealth (not the other way around) and got its wealth through luck.

    I have some quibbles over how much causation goes both ways between lowered fertility and higher wealth, especially here where the lower marriage rate is a factor that I haven’t seen taken into account in most other contexts; and he has some more points like the relative crop power of wheat to rice – but quibbles aside, he has an interesting point that Hajnal Europe got geohistorically lucky in some ways. I can’t think of any big disasters that happened to the Netherlands/Wessex/etc the way Mongols happened to China and Huns happened to Rome. There was the Black Death, but it struck Asia too…

    Also I think I want to cross-reference with Farewell to Alms on this.

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  23. I’m open to attempts to reduce further the pattern of inbreeding/outbreeding seen across the world, particularly NW Europe, but do keep in mind that that may not be possible.

    But, a couple of interesting observations. It appears that outbreeding arises under unusual circumstances, particularly among farming peoples (even more rarely among pastoral peoples). Other than NW Euros, we do have a few other examples, but only a few: the Semai, some sub-Saharan Africans, possibly the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. But the real enthusiastic outbreeders seem to have been the Germanics. The question can then be asked: why the Germanics? Was there something special about them to begin with? Or did they just come under special historical circumstances?

    Of course, the answer could be the latter, frustrating attempts to reduce what we see even further.

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  24. @erik – Hajnal Europe got wealthy and advanced first because it was spared the Mongol invasion that pillaged China and other similar catastrophes. With more infrastructure and knowledge preserved, this region also had more of an opportunity to grow rich from overseas trade and expansion. The higher wealth levels from these and other factors drove changes in mating patterns as a secondary effect.

    nope. doesn’t work. the mating patterns changed waaaay before the mongols ever showed up on the scene, beginning at the earliest in the 500s, but definitely solidly by the 800s (amongst the franks). the economic divide (the Great Divide), too, begins in the 1000s.

    i’m sure that being spared the mongol invasion was great in many ways for western europe, but i don’t think that that’s what led to the general nature of western europeans today. started earlier.

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  25. @sean – “To be reductionalist, it’s the digit ratio that lies beind the marriage systems in my opinion. And Denmark is the ground zero.”

    i don’t think denmark is ground zero, since all the really neat things — like liberal democracy and capitalism (based on corporations), etc. — were invented in the anglo-low countries region. i’ll try to work up a post on denmark soon regarding the history of their mating patterns, family types, etc. — i did promise all the scandis out there that i would start looking at the nordic world this year, and look! it’s already march! =o

    @sean – “David Willets book said historically only Holland and Denmark were like England.”

    which book?

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  26. @konrad – “This also explains, in a way, why the project of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the so called ‘first Poland’, as we call it (yes, another Pole here) was most probably doomed to fail. It was trying to unite under one rule a ‘west of hajnal’ society (the Poles) with a bunch of ‘east of hajnal’ ones (Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine).”

    ah ha! yes, that would make sense — and probably make it awfully difficult.

    all this talk about poland is making me hungry. i’m gonna have to go make some golumpki (as we call them in the u.s.)! mmmmm! (^_^)

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  27. @grey – “Mostly timing I think although you might almost see the yeoman farmers as the **product** of the selective process put in place by manorialism.”

    yes. i would bet on that!

    @grey – “Gratuitous shire plow horse pic cos shire horses are so great”

    they are wonderful! so tall! (^_^)

    @grey – “Some ongoing Danish research into the significance of the heavy plow which might seal that part of the story”

    thanks!

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  28. […] TO EXPLAIN THE RISE OF WESTERN EUROPE: hbd* chick’s Big Summary Post on the Hajnal Line. (I have taken liberties with the formatting of the text here. For the original formatting, click […]

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  29. @hbd chick

    In this post:
    “the historic evidence for the existence of the hajnal line goes back to the 1500s”
    “In 1348 Holland’s GDP per capita was $876. England’s was $777. In less than 60 years time”
    These are both well after Genghis Khan (crowned 1206, dead 1227, successors kept Mongol’ing people for a while, but then you reply with a link to the Franks in 800s and something else in the 1000s. Shouldn’t that go in the original post? It seems like you’ve understated your case, unless for some reason the early cousin marriage bans among the Franks aren’t historical evidence. Were they left out because this is a summary post and it can’t cover everything?

    I guess there’s a lot more reading I can do!

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  30. “there was the torpare system which was a labor/cash-for-land exchange (same as the manor system),”

    A torpare was no serf. They were not the lowest class and there would usually be plenty of men around eager to get into a torp. They were not a uniform class in wealth and ranged from people who had to work extra jobs just to feed their families to some who could rent enough land to need servants of their own. A younger son of a landowner might become a torpare on the family land and it would not be too scandalous for an especially well off torpare to marry the daughter of a minor landowner.

    Conversely, a landowner did not have the responsibilities that a lord would have. A lord of a manor was expected to provide law and protection while landowners had very few responsibilities to torps. A son of a torpare could leave and do whatever he wanted but if he wanted to continue on the torp he had no guarantee that the landowner would rent it to him.

    “and the backstugusittare (living on someone’s land and working for them, but with no land to work for themselves).”

    This didn’t become a legally defined position until the law of 1762. It was supposed to help the poor start families by forcing landowners to build a small house (the backstuga) for any hireling that got married but it backfired (give landlords obligations towards tenants and landlords will insist on giving tenants obligations towards landlords).

    “on wikipedia, it’s described how the statare might even fall into a state of serfdom, not being able to move off the farm they worked for [google translation]:”

    This is no different from how we handle debt now here. If you fail to pay a debt as the final measure the state will take everything you have, move you into minimal cost social housing and confiscate your future income. The depression of the early 1990s left us with a mini class of people who have been expected to work but haven’t been legally able to own more than necessities or earn income for 20 years. Do we have serfdom?

    Finding serfdom in Swedish history has been a big obsession for some ever since Marx made international socialism all about the analysis of feudalism, class oppression and the “inevitable” progression from feudalism to capitalism to socialism. Imagine how left out Swedish intellectuals felt. (They have another round of this problem now that the big thing is condemning your own country’s racist past and Sweden doesn’t have enough of that either.)

    “were they able to dictate in any way who married whom, or when?”

    If you’re looking for that, the clergy of course had more than informal power over marriages and the church was also a major landowner – there would be torps on church lands etc. Some of the clergy turning into almost hereditary noblemen with estates etc was another unusual Swedish thing.

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  31. @erik – “In this post ‘the historic evidence for the existence of the hajnal line goes back to the 1500s'”

    yes, remember that the hajnal line is specifically the late marriage and the no marriage of the 10-20%. the historic evidence for that goes back to the 1500s, but the extistence of those two things could go back further — but we don’t know, because the historic evidence for those things doesn’t exist for the time period before the 1500s — or it hasn’t been discovered yet.

    the hajnal line isn’t about cousin marriage — i’ve just discovered (via mitterauer) that the two are related. evidence for early bans of cousin marriage is not evidence of the existence of the hajnal line.

    confusing, i know!

    @erik – “‘In 1348 Holland’s GDP per capita was $876. England’s was $777. In less than 60 years time'”

    yes. but earlier in that quote, t.greer had said: “‘Rather than focus on why Europe diverged from the rest in 1800 we should be asking why the North Sea diverged from the rest in 1000.‘”

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  32. @jaakko – “A torpare was no serf. They were not the lowest class and there would usually be plenty of men around eager to get into a torp. They were not a uniform class in wealth and ranged from people who had to work extra jobs just to feed their families to some who could rent enough land to need servants of their own.”

    all of that could also be said of the peasants or serfs who worked on manors in western europe — even eastern europe at a later date. no difference. not so much russia. russia’s a different, special case altogether.

    the point is that there were some amount of not entirely free farmers in scandinavia — the question is what were those numbers?

    @jaakko – “Conversely, a landowner did not have the responsibilities that a lord would have. A lord of a manor was expected to provide law and protection while landowners had very few responsibilities to torps.”

    interesting. so who enforced the laws?

    @jaakko – “This didn’t become a legally defined position until the law of 1762.”

    this, i think, might be the basic confusion when discussing “manorialism” and “feudalism” in scandinavia. people look at the dates at when these things were present in western europe (early- to mid-middle ages) and then look at scandinavia and say, nope! we didn’t have those things here! but the point is, those institutions — or forms of them — arrived later in scandinavia, as they did in east central europe and other peripheral areas (like ireland). see here for instance (chapter 3). i could be wrong. (^_^)

    @jaakko – “Do we have serfdom?”

    perhaps you do! (~_^)

    @jaakko – “If you’re looking for that, the clergy of course had more than informal power over marriages….”

    thanks! yes, this is one of the key points of the whole research project — in places where there were regulations that demanded outbreeding, how well enforced were those regulations?

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  33. ahh that explains it, I’ve been thinking a bit sloppily about “hajnal europe” as this collection of related features that could be generalized from the initial line, following the same geographic pattern.

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  34. Greying Wanderer :

    “How significant was slash and burn type agriculture in these differences?”

    Very significant for Finns, not for Scandinavians. Most of Europe was doing this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_field_system

    This was the rule in southern Sweden but obviously you aren’t going to have this model with slash and burn. The Swedes kept trying to build according to that model everywhere in the kingdom but it didn’t catch on outside southern and coastal strips. Eventually they started importing slash and burning Finns to populate inland Sweden:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Finns

    Until very recently slash and burn was the only option for agriculture in Finland outside coasts and for inland northern Sweden. The Finnish countryside looks very different from European norms, there aren’t any clear cut rural villages like in places that had open field systems, just a very scattered population with market towns and cities here and there.

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  35. This looks persuasive, except for one thing:

    It seems that the Hajnal line is an awfully good fit for the western boundary of the former Communist world. It is no exaggeration to say that Communism ruins social capital and civic-mindedness (killing 100 million people and brutally stamping out religion for two generations will tend to do that). It also improverishes like nothing else.

    As for Russian accomplishment, they did beat us in the space race, nuclear weapons were a piece of cake for them, and Russians seem be among the most successful of all immigrant groups in America.

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  36. I think it’s interesting and ironic how, even though it was where the Catholic Church’s influence lasted the longest, the individualistic core of Western Europe became the center of Protestantism, as well as its more modern successors such as liberalism and modernism — French, Dutch, and German Catholics are notorious for being liberal in Catholic circles — while orthodox Catholicism was shoved toward the European semiperiphery.

    In today’s Europe, Catholicism appears strongest in countries on the Hajnal border — Ireland, Poland, Austria, Portugal, northern Italy, Switzerland, Transylvania. The only area in the core where Catholicism still has some strength appears to be Belgian Flanders, and that may be due to a reaction against the overbearing Belgian and EU state structure (as with the Irish in the UK). But oddly enough, it’s even coming back to England and Sweden as some Anglicans and Lutherans disenchanted with the liberal state churches tilt toward it.

    Likewise, in the United States, Catholicism is associated mainly with the Irish and (southern) Italians, who are non-Hajnal pockets in Western Europe.

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  37. Jaako Rappala

    “Very significant for Finns, not for Scandinavians … Until very recently slash and burn was the only option for agriculture in Finland outside coasts and for inland northern Sweden.”

    That’s what I was wondering. I do think Scandinavia may have taken different routes to get to a similar place as it looks to me like there might be at least four separate geographical chunks of Scandinavia (relevant to this context):

    1) Finland and inland north Sweden (slash and burn)(kindreds until modern times?)
    2) Fjords Norway (geographically enforced kindreds?)
    3) Coastal Sweden
    4) South Sweden and Denmark (manorial?)

    (when i say kindreds in this context i don’t mean the specific early Germanic thing but the result of long-term exogamous marriage within a small population leading to a situation where everyone in the population is closely but equally related).

    The other thing is averages. If – for the sake of argument – south Sweden had been more or less manorial and Hajnally but the north wasn’t but the south had a lot more population then the *average* might be Hajnally even if most of the country geographically wasn’t – in a similar way that the south and east of England was different to the north and west.

    (mostly guessing here)

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  38. I think you really have to stretch the definition of serfdom, if you want to find it Finland. In Sweden and Finland the crown did not allow manors that kind of total control of their people that is characteristic of feudalism in the proper sense of the word. In a manorial system, the lord of the manor is not just your landlord, he is also your government, the official authority instead of a state bureaucracy.

    In the 17th Century, there was a tendency towards an unfree peasantry, when the government during queen Christine`s reign donated large estates to nobility. However, the resistance of peasants in the diet and the turn to absolutist rule by Charles XI turned the tide.

    In the 18th Century the population growth was rapid. Because farms could not be divided, there was an increasing number of torpare and backstugusittare. A large landless proletariat was emerging, which became a major problem in the 19th Century. There was legislation that compelled people with no farm of their own to find employment in manors or peasant farms. If you didn`t find a job, you could be treated as vagrant, which often meant forced labor or compulsory military service. If you want to find unfree people in the early modern Finland, you must look at those people on the bottom of the rural society. It was the crown that limited your freedom. Manors or independent peasants were not the kind of authority that could tie you to land or decide who marries whom.

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  39. “the point is that there were some amount of not entirely free farmers in scandinavia — the question is what were those numbers?”

    Zero. I inherited some land and buildings and I’m renting it out – do I have a “serf”? Is the guy running the farm “not entirely free”? Everyone in the world is a serf by the standards you’re proposing.

    The point of distinguishing capitalism from feudalism is that capitalism means freedom to negotiate contracts while feudalism dictates inherited reciprocal bonds concerning all aspects of life between people that can’t be negotiated or changed by the individuals making the bond unless they’re the King. They would invite the village or the court or whatever, have a big ceremony where the liege and the vassals would make vows, the vassals would kneel before the liege and then a priest would do sacred rites to sanctify the bond.

    The torp as a legal concept started off in the 1600s as a way to run a standing army instead of conscripting by force whenever a war surprised the King. All farms were expected to recruit soldiers, to designate torps for their families and to give them some chickens etc. The men of these soldattorps would not pay rent and had no obligations towards the landowners, their only obligation would be to fight in wars when needed. These torps were all over the place as that was the height of the Swedish Empire and Sweden with its tiny population certainly could not have been a dominant military power without being constantly ahead of continental Europe in social modernization.

    With the economic liberalization of the 1700s landowners were gradually given the right to rent out similar torps for profit and the torpare population exploded. This was not serfdom, it was actually the other extreme: very pure capitalism with very lightly regulated freedom to negotiate contracts. This was not a surprising development in the century that kicked off classical liberalism (in which Sweden was again a forerunner – some of us are still a little pissed off at Adam Smith getting the international credit for concepts that people like Anders Chydenius first developed for the Swedish debate).

    “this, i think, might be the basic confusion when discussing “manorialism” and “feudalism” in scandinavia. people look at the dates at when these things were present in western europe (early- to mid-middle ages) and then look at scandinavia and say, nope! we didn’t have those things here! but the point is, those institutions — or forms of them — arrived later in scandinavia”

    Nonsense. Estonia is a rowboat distance away from Finland and at first it developed identically with a Swedish coastal population and similar interaction with Swedes but when it was taken by the Teutonic Knights they immediately imposed feudalism and serfdom on Estonians. The idea that it could have taken half a millenium for the idea to cross the trivial distance from Estonia to Finland and Sweden is rather silly. Estonia had true serfdom and it’s EXTREMELY clear by comparison of how things worked out for Estonians and Finns that Sweden never had anything remotely close to serfdom (except when they conquered Estonia and Latvia and gave the Germans special permission to continue serfdom there…).

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  40. “orthodox christianity in eastern europe also banned close cousin marriage, but this came later in that area of the world (since they adopted christianity later)”

    I’m sure you’ll come up with reasons to explain away the Greeks. They probably just didn’t listen to the Eastern church’s even stricter prohibitions or something.

    “outbreeding began earliest in this region as did manorialism, and both radiated out from this central core mainly to the south and east. my bet is that there exists a gradient or clinal(-like) spread of whatever genes (alleles) are connected to the civicness behavioral traits belonging to the long-term outbreeding western european populations and that that spread starts in and around the area of the green circle (if the theory is right at all, that is! (~_^) ).”

    My sides. Your modesty slays.

    “yes. but earlier in that quote, t.greer had said: “‘Rather than focus on why Europe diverged from the rest in 1800 we should be asking why the North Sea diverged from the rest in 1000.‘”

    What? The “divergence” there started happening in the 13th-14th centuries, “1000” was meant as a general reference. Hell…Britain in particular seems to beat the rest handily only by the time the Industrial Revolution kicks in. So “Black Death,” “Mongols” and whatever else you wanna bring into it (discovery of the “New World” perhaps, that’s a favorite) is quite correct as historians have actually done to explain the “Great Divergence”s they see. Disagreements on limited data and that’s what you get. But of course you gotta connect this whole process to your pet theories! Damn the details, explanatory power can always be had by non-stop tweaks to theories that had little evidence to them in the first place. Any new “facts” that pop up can gel perfectly to the core.

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  41. @lollerskates – “I’m sure you’ll come up with reasons to explain away the Greeks. They probably just didn’t listen to the Eastern church’s even stricter prohibitions or something.”

    the eastern church never had stricter marriage prohibitions than the roman catholic church. at the height of the middle ages, the catholic church banned marriage out to and including SIXTH cousins. none of the orthodox churches ever had anything like that. they’ve mostly had second cousin marriage bans (maybe third, too, i’m not sure).

    i don’t have to “come up with” any reasons to explain away the greeks. they explain themselves. they’ve apparently had a preference — at least in some regions — for third cousin marriage. (not so much today, of course.) if that was a general pattern up until recently, then, like i say, the greeks explain themselves.

    (edit: btw, don’t take any of this personally. my own people are a bunch of corrupt long-term inbreeders. that’s just how it is.)

    @lollerskates – “The ‘divergence’ there started happening in the 13th-14th centuries, ‘1000’ was meant as a general reference.”

    nope. follow the link to t.greer’s post and read it again. carefully. if you ever read it in the first place.

    @lollerskates – “My sides. Your modesty slays.”

    look. i won’t be made fun of on my own blog. (nor will i allow any of my readers to be made fun of.) if you have something intelligent to say, say it in an adult manner and politely. if you can’t do that, then i simply won’t allow your comments anymore. grow up! this isn’t middle school anymore.

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  42. Well Democracy was invented in Ancient Greece well beyond the Hajnal line, but apart from this glaring mistake the rest of your blog post is full of platitudes and generalizations.

    Generally speaking Europeans did not have nuclear families until well unto the 19th century.

    Second manorialism did not exist in Scandinavia while on the other hand a form of manorialism did develop in the Byzantine Empire (see the pronoia system).

    Third I don’t understand how you can make such sweeping generalizations concerning IQ and genetic intelligence, while connecting it with crime and corruption.

    So in your mind there is a pattern where Western Europe becomes more democratic and advances more than eastern Europe Barring the fact that the European Union does not even have a semblance of democracy or that fascism and Nazism originated in Western Europe?

    I’m failing to understand what sort of progress you have in your in mind?

    Also explain to me how collectivist East Asian societies are so completely above in the IQ index than any western country?

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

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  43. @john Mars:

    “your blog post is full of platitudes and generalizations.”

    Generalization is what science is all about, my friend.

    “Well Democracy was invented in Ancient Greece well beyond the Hajnal line”

    1. The Hajnal didn’t exist back then.

    2. Ancient Greek democracy was quite a different animal from the modern democracy invented by English folks.

    3. Even if they were the same, the question would then become why was democracy re-invented by NW Euros?

    “Generally speaking Europeans did not have nuclear families until well unto the 19th century.”

    Look at the pattern of when and where…

    “Third I don’t understand how you can make such sweeping generalizations concerning IQ and genetic intelligence, while connecting it with crime and corruption.”

    Because data, that’s how.

    “So in your mind there is a pattern where Western Europe becomes more democratic and advances more than eastern Europe Barring the fact that the European Union does not even have a semblance of democracy or that fascism and Nazism originated in Western Europe?”

    How democratic are the individual countries, past and present?

    As for the Nazi bit:

    Germania’s Seed? – The Unz Review

    “Also explain to me how collectivist East Asian societies are so completely above in the IQ index than any western country?”

    Because similar forms of selection for IQ (primarily, Clark-Unz selection) took place there:

    Does the Clark-Unz model apply to Japan and Korea? – The Unz Review

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  44. Actually there is an additional very big factor in the success of The Netherlands and Britain: The two east India companies, remember those?
    Also these countries may have used their large colonial projects as a saveti valve to move a significant number of violent individuals overseas (contributing to the lower metropolitan murder rate).

    Reply

  45. @Devil’s Advocate:

    “Actually there is an additional very big factor in the success of The Netherlands and Britain: The two east India companies, remember those?”

    Why did Britain and the Netherlands have those companies. Why were they so successful?

    Think cause, effect, common symptom…

    Reply

  46. ““The region’s late marriage pattern has received considerable scholarly attention in part because it appears to be unique; it has not been found in any other part of the world prior to the Twentieth Century. ”

    Obviously whoever wrote this didn’t study the Americas. You can find pre-20th-century societies with late marriage and high rates of non-marriage in the Americas before the 20th century. Do Your Research.

    Interestingly, they share the same characteristics: a tendency towards democracy, civic-mindedness, low homicide rate.

    Reply

  47. P.S. If you follow up on the Americas lead (which you should if you have any academic integrity), please note the high preference for outbreeding in Haudenosaunee culture, for instance. A culture which invented democracy and was well ahead of the English with regard to it…

    So Christianity certainly isn’t the cause here!

    What’s the common element between Western European society and Haudenosaunee society which leads to this pattern?

    My argument, along with that of many economic historians, is *deprivation*. Cultures rich in natural resources don’t develop the attitude. Cultures poor in natural resources marry later, have fewer children, and have more civic-mindedness.

    Reply

  48. Dead smack in the middle of that whole map is this little place called Neander Tal. Surrounding that epicenter would be populations with high percentages of Neanderthal DNA in their genetics. One will find that the populations occupying that area today still have a genetic foundation very much acquired over 600 000 years living in Ice Age Europe as Neanderthals. Low fertility, lower birthrates, longevity, a deference of sorts by males to females (not found anywhere in the world), an at times fanatical belief in egalitarianism, a much more robust immune system (-80 below typically weeds out the weak ones), and the difference between guilt and shaming (blushing).

    I think surplus and disposable income is a function of the Holocene. Low time preference makes the acquisition of wealth that much easier. That map above is the difference between ants and grasshoppers, Neanderthals and Sapiens about as obvious as it is going to get.

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  49. Pages 17-20 of this book (in Polish) talk about marriage in Old Poland and Hajnal Line. According to this information, the Hajnal Line did not cut through the middle of Poland, but rather was along the present-day eastern border of Poland, with regions such as Mazovia and Lesser Poland marrying late (women after 23 years of age, men after 26 or after 27 years of age) and regions such as Red Ruthenia (today Western Ukraine) marrying early (around 18-19 years of age): http://homoeconomicus.uwb.edu.pl/pdf/Struktury_demograficzne.pdf
    Basically – this yellow line looks like a more accurate eastern Hajnal Line:
    https://hbdchick.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/extent-and-spread-of-manorialism.jpg?w=460&h=455

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  50. The marriage patterns you present for Europe west of the Hajnal’s line are shockingly modern, and essentially counter-human evolution until then, and vulnerable, e.g. from immigration of more fecund groups. The question that arises from that is, how did they manage their sexuality up to that point? There were some other societies where men married later in their life with much younger brides, like the elites of ancient Athens, but then marriage was mostly utilitarian to make heirs, and they had the luxury of prostitution and concubines, like in East Asia. In christian Europe though, even though prostitution was in existence, it was frowned up on, and we can assume that not all men would go to them, as it was particularly unsafe. We can assume that mostly lower status men and sailors would frequent them. What did they do? Also, what did women do? Ok, women it is said have a lower sexual drive in comparison to men, but how long they must wait? Did that system select for asexuality and alternative sexual expression, like more homosexuality? On the other hand, teen sex is shockingly common even in disciplined Scandinavia, and the Netherlands are well-known of their sexual openness, compared to Southern Europe for example. Also, where does the gradual evolution of equality of the sexes fit in this picture? Could women have taken more power as family size shrunk and less male relatives had authority over them? So what they did back then? That is not a trivial question. Think that in modern times, young muslim men who have no sexual outlet due to their restrictive culture, blow themselves up to meet the 72 virgins in heaven.
    I would disagree in describing germanic tribes like any other tribal system in the world. They were much like homeric Greece, an early indo-european society, but much more indipendent. Individuals were praised and remembered if they managed something heroic, so there was somewhat more individualism like in homeric Greece, but the most important of all, they were not religious fanatics. There are instances in germanic epic literature, were a man, disappointed of all the bad things that have afflicted him, denounces the existence of all gods. That would be unthinkable in the Iliad. Yes, the first attested existence of atheism is in Ancient Greece, but this was a more advanced civilization than the germanic tribes some centuries later. And although still tribal, they expressed such progressive ideas. Isn’t that admireable?
    Second, we can’t dub germanic tribes as not particularly bright because they didn’t build aqueducts. First, their populations were too small for such grand projects, and second, they were for a long time quite cut off advanced civilizations. You can be very intelligent, but if your population is small and consequently most behaive the same, you don’t need to innovate. Mesopotamians were the starters of civilization. By your token, they must be the brighter stars of humanity, but they are not. They simply created a large population base due to favorable climate and cirplus of food, on which a centralized state with burocracy started to grow. Then Greeks came in contact with the Near East. They took off. Then Romans made contact with Greece and the other cultures of the Mediterranean, and they also took off. Then Germanics made contact with Roman civilization, took off, and surpassed everyone else. At the same time, Africans had ample time to be influenced by Ancient Egypt, but they didn’t change, at least appreciably.
    Goths also infiltrated the Balkans, but don’t seem to have influenced them much culturaly. Why should we assume the opposite for Italy and Spain, where germanic tribes got quickly assimilated? Also, I have read that the genetic influence of germanics to northern Italy is overestimated. I might be wrong, as I do not remember where I found the info, I think Wikipedia, and the truth might be that Germanics influenced it more. But why should it be a germanic influence rather than a Roman remnant? Core Romans had many similarities to Germanics in their values and behaivior, rather than Greeks for example.
    Also, why the church was fixed on banning cousin marriages? Was it to break the clans, or for supposed moral reasons? And why should it be considered immoral?
    And final question, given these changes brought by manorialization and changed mating patterns, and the great cultural divide between “Western Europe” and other parts of Europe, what should periphery countries do today? Apparently they cannot compete with the real West, and they are very vulnerable to colonization by it. Should they be in the EU in the first place?

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  51. I think northern Italy (Tuscany included) played a bigger role than England in contributing to the birth of early forms of “capitalism” (agree with Netherlands/Flandres though).

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  52. […] out-group cooperation that greased the skids for the scientific & industrial revolutions in NW Europe also produced sentiments that liberated women from traditional roles. Some thinkers, such as […]

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  53. […] 64% of Blacks, and 73% of Hispanics. More precise ethnic categories only sharpen the pattern. The Hajnal Line, which divides Europe’s most committed (north-western) out-breeders from their more tribalistic […]

    Reply

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