Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

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Mail

(3,057 words)

Author(s): Beyrer, Klaus
1. IntroductionThe establishment of the mail has a particular prominence among the accomplishments in early modern communication. From the 16th century until well into the 19th, the mail was crucial to the infrastructure of all land transportation, and thus for the transportation and conveyance of letters and news, monies, goods, and passengers (Land transport; Passenger transportation). Founded by the future Emperor Maximilian I for the purpose of conveying government dispatches, the mail soon d…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mail, inviolability of the

(7 words)

See Censorship
Date: 2019-10-14

Mains, water

(5 words)

See Water supply
Date: 2019-10-14

Maintenance

(1,044 words)

Author(s): Scholz-Löhnig, Cordula
1. IntroductionMaintenance is the provision of payments to people who are unable to support themselves. A distinction is made between maintenance between spouses and between other relatives, especially parents and children. Maintenance obligations in the early modern period were regulated by law. Marriage contracts generally contained no such provisions.Cordula Scholz-Löhnig2. Claims between parents and children 2.1. Early modern periodIn the first centuries of the early modern period, the right to maintenance was not yet found as a distinct legal in…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mainz, Republic of

(1,343 words)

Author(s): Reichardt, Rolf
1. HistoryUnlike the later Républiques-sœurs of revolutionary France, the Republic of Mainz [6] was still true to the ideology of liberation of the early days of the French republic, with its slogan “Friede den Hütten, Krieg den Palästen” (“Peace to the shacks, war on the palaces” (French Revolution [1789]). Although it was subject to the directives of an occupation, it developed a striking political life of its own, insofar as this was possible in just six months. A few days after the flight of the El…
Date: 2019-10-14

Maize

(809 words)

Author(s): Mahlerwein, Gunter
The domestication of maize ( Zea mays) from the wild grass teosinte took place 6,000 years ago in what is now southern Mexico. From there, the cultivation of maize spread across North, Central, and South America [5]; [6], and it formed the nutritional basis for the pre-Columbian high cultures [3. 166]. The European history of maize began with the very first voyage of Columbus, who discovered and described maize plantations on the islands of the West Indies in 1492. Participants in his second expedition took the first kernels to Europe [6]; [5]. The crop spread rapidly in Europe, …
Date: 2019-10-14

Majority (legal age)

(11 words)

See Criminal responsibility | Guardianship | Person
Date: 2019-10-14

Majority principle

(888 words)

Author(s): Strohmeyer, Arno
1. DefinitionThe majority principle is a key technique for decision-making in groups, committees, and organizations. It depends on equating the will of the majority with that of the entire body, and therefore stands in potential conflict with unanimity and personal freedom. Distinctions are made between absolute majority (majority of all possible votes), simple majority (majority of votes actually cast), relative majority (or plurality, with one proposal receiving more votes than any other), and qualified majority (defined majority, e.g. two-thirds).Arno Strohmeyer2. Earl…
Date: 2019-10-14

Malaria

(3 words)

See Fever
Date: 2019-10-14

Malediction

(3 words)

See Curse
Date: 2019-10-14

Malnourishment, malnutrition

(10 words)

See Famine and food riots | Food
Date: 2019-10-14

Malthusianism

(1,096 words)

Author(s): Ferdinand, Ursula
1. Concept: origins and developmentIn his  Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), the English theologian and economist Thomas Robert Malthus asserted that the human population naturally grew more quickly than did the production of the resources necessary for its sustenance. He therefore introduced a pessimistic turn in the debate on human progress (Humankind, human being), founding a paradigm shift in thinking on the theory and politics of population (see below, 2.) [10]; [11]. Malthus’ “law of population” made poverty a necessary consequence of populatio…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mamluks

(875 words)

Author(s): Fuess, Albrecht
1. IntroductionMamluk (from the Arabic  mamluk, “in possession”) is the name given to the slave dynasties that ruled Egypt and Syria from 1250 to 1517 [5], and the military leaders and governors ascended from the slave class who managed to achieve substantial autonomy in the course of the 18th century in various Arabic provinces of the Ottoman Empire (especially Egypt, Baghdad, and Mosul) [7]; [8]; [9]. The phenomenon of military slavery was important in the history of Muslim societies from as early as the 9th century. Young slaves were bought outside th…
Date: 2019-10-14

Man

(6 words)

See Humanity | Humankind, human being
Date: 2019-10-14

Manchu

(980 words)

Author(s): Theobald, Ulrich
The Manchu (or Manchurians) were one of the peoples of the northern forest and steppe zone of east Asia, who succeeded in establishing an imperial dynasty in China as foreign rulers. The derivation of the term Manchu has not been established with certainty. It was first mentioned in 1599, and from 1635 it officially replaced the old ethnonym Jurchen. Ethnically and linguistically speaking, the Manchu belonged to the Tungusic group of the Altai peoples. They inhabited the northeastern region of China (now Manchuria).The Manchu tribes always had close relations with the China …
Date: 2019-10-14

Mandarin

(942 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim
1. Concept The word “mandarin,” first attested in English and German ( Mandarin) around 1630, derives from the Portuguese  mandarim, which in turn goes back to the Malay menteri and Sanskrit mantrin (“minister,” “advisor”; from Sanskrit mantra, “advice”). In this sense, the Portuguese were the first to apply it to members of the Chinese bureaucratic class, and many other European languages adopted the usage. The term was later extended to other areas of the Chinese cultural sphere, especially the northern dialect of the formal spoken language “Mandarin [Chinese]” (Chinese  guanhua…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mandate

(775 words)

Author(s): Strohmeyer, Arno
In a broad sense, a mandate is any form of commission from a third party. In a political context, it implies a central theme of the modern discourse on parliamentarianism, namely the binding of the elected deputy to the will of the electorate. The problem dates back to the instructing of delegates to the late medieval estates assemblies (Estates, assembly of) and the scope of their entitlement to negotiate. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the problem of the mandate acquired a new dimension…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mandate of Heaven

(5 words)

See Emperor
Date: 2019-10-14

Mandatory loan

(867 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
A bond is a documented promise to pay, with a stipulated interest rate, term, and method of redemption. Unlike credit or a loan for consumption, a bond is negotiable, that is, it can be resold. In this sense, a bond is similar to a bill of exchange, but the latter usually has a term of less than a year, whereas a bond has a longer term. The distinction between the money market and the capital market is analogous. Ever since the latter was created in the 17th century, bond trading has been its primary activity. The payment promised at final maturity represents a rate of 100%. Both…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manier, maniera

(4 words)

See Mannerism
Date: 2019-10-14

Manifest Destiny

(1,176 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan
1. ConceptThe complex of ideas associated with the concept of the Manifest Destiny of the United States is best described as the notion of its quasi-divine mission of territorial expansion (Expansionism) and of the history of the United States as the fulfillment of that mission.  John L. O'Sullivan, a New York journalist and politician of the Democratic Party, coined the phrase in an 1845 essay in the periodical he edited, the United States Magazine and Democratic Review: “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manifesto, Communist

(5 words)

See Communist Manifesto
Date: 2019-10-14

Mankind

(8 words)

See Humanity | Humankind, human being
Date: 2019-10-14

Männerbund

(5 words)

See Men's associations
Date: 2019-10-14

Mannerism

(4,770 words)

Author(s): Kanz, Roland | Zymner, Rüdiger | Langenbruch, Anna
1. IntroductionMannerism in art, literature, and music is generally defined as the characteristic of a self-consciously elaborate or artificial style, and in art history in particular as an epoch located between the Renaissance and the Baroque. The term was coined in art studies in the late 18th century as a derivative of  “manner” (see below, 2.1.). In this context, it refers to a period between around 1520/30 and 1590/1600, a phase supposedly displaying symptoms of decadence in art and architec…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manners

(1,434 words)

Author(s): Walther, Gerrit
1. A social idealManners were understood from the late 15th century as the sum of all behaviors that expressed politeness or courtesy (German Höflichkeit; Italian  cortesia, gentilezza; Spanish  cortesía; French  politesse, civilité, towards ladies also  courtoisie and  galanterie; Dame) in practice. These were therefore more than merely forms of conduct corresponding to applicable social rules. Such prescribed conduct differed in the early modern period according to gender, estate, profession, confession, and social, ethnic, and…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manners, table

(7 words)

See Dining | Table culture
Date: 2019-10-14

Manor

(757 words)

Author(s): Flügel, Axel
The term manor (German Rittergut) denotes a legal status deriving from a rural ensemble consisting of a manor house, agricultural uses belonging to it, and other entitlements (Estate). The German  Rittergut was only loosely related to the medieval estate of the  Ritter (Knights). The term has nothing to do with the  Reichsritterschaft (“Imperial Knights of the Holy Roman Empire”); it is related instead to the process of state formation in the early modern period. In 19th-century Germany, it took on great importance in the debates over constitutional monarchy. The term  landown…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manorial economy

(6 words)

See Estate | Gutsherrschaft
Date: 2019-10-14

Manorialism

(2,886 words)

Author(s): Blickle, Peter
1. TerminologyThe term “manorialism” (also, “seigneurialism”; German: Grundherrschaft) designates the medieval economic system that was based on individual units of land known as “manors” or “seigneuries,” each of which was subject to a “lord of the manor” or “seigneur” (German:  Grundherr). Modern medieval historians view the rise of manorialism in the early Middle Ages as a key factor in the peculiar development of Europe. Its effective organization of labor, which combined seigneurial self-sufficiency (“Salic patrimony”) centered o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manriding

(4 words)

See Mining technology
Date: 2019-10-14

Manslaughter

(3 words)

See Murder
Date: 2019-10-14

Manufactory

(2,762 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
1. ConceptA manufactory was a production plant in a preindustrial trade (Industrial trades and crafts), generally belonging to proto-industrial export industries (Proto-industrialization). Members of its labor force worked outside their own household economy under the supervision and coordination of a third person – a manager, a merchant-manufacturer, or a master manufacturer. The centralization of the production process might relate to a single production step (horizontal integration), but verti…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manufacturing

(18 words)

See Enterprise | Factory (manufactory) | Industrialization | Production, global areas of | Productivity | Proto-industrialization
Date: 2019-10-14

Manufacturing town

(5 words)

See Industrial town
Date: 2019-10-14

Manuring

(964 words)

Author(s): Troßbach, Werner
1. Concept Manuring is the addition of nutrients to the soil. In arable farming, this was done by adding organic and inorganic substances, and by so-called green manuring (Leguminosae). Meadows received nutrients primarily through irrigation.Werner Troßbach 2. Animal feces Farmyard manure was obtained by mixing animal feces with strewing materials, such as straw, leaves, conifer needles, and twigs. It contains all the nutrients required for the cultivation of grain and enriches the soil humus. Degradation of nutrients ca…
Date: 2019-10-14

Manuscripts

(949 words)

Author(s): Stein, Elisabeth
1. Rediscovery of ancient textsIntensive study of Latin and Greek manuscripts as material evidence of classical intellectual and cultural history is regarded as a defining characteristic of Humanism, the aspirational educational and cultural movement that spread from Italy in the 14th century, sweeping the whole of Europe by the 16th [2]; [7]. Monastic scriptoria had maintained an almost continual effort of conserving and caring for ancient and medieval texts throughout the Middle Ages, primarily for teaching and educational purposes. Such mos…
Date: 2019-10-14

Many worlds

(4 words)

See World
Date: 2019-10-14

Map

(3 words)

See Cartography
Date: 2019-10-14

Map, postal

(874 words)

Author(s): Didczuneit, Veit
1. Concept and definitionFrom the 17th to the 19th centuries, postal maps were one of the most important travel aids of the early modern period, contributing to strengthening and clarifying networks across Europe. These works combined cartography (Map, road/street) with (postal) scheduling (Itinerary) and distance tabulation (mile markers, mile disks) in order to give a visual impression of spatial conditions. These travel maps omitted any reference to road or street names, focusing purely on the d…
Date: 2019-10-14

Map, road/street

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Beyrer, Klaus
1. 16th-17th centuries Maps developed in close correspondence with the history of travel. People on pilgrimages, emissaries (Diplomacy), nobles on the Grand Tour, and later citizens educating themselves on a  Bildungsreise appreciated early modern maps as sources of information and aids to orientation. The stimulus to the production of the first map in Germany was the 1500 Catholic Jubilee. The unsigned, undated map of the route to Rome is attributed to the Nuremberg compass maker Erhard Etzlaub ( Das ist der Rom Weg von meylen zu meylen mit puncten verzeychnet von e…
Date: 2019-10-14

Maratha Empire

(2,522 words)

Author(s): Deshpande, Prachi
1. IntroductionThe Maratha Empire emerged in the Marathi-speaking region of western India (the present-day state of Maharashtra in the Indian union) in the 17th century, and grew to be an influential early modern power in the Indian subcontinent over the 18th century. The Maratha state forms a crucial element in early modern South Asian society and politics as one of the most important rivals and successor states of the Mughal Empire. Early in the 19th century, it was the most significant impedim…
Date: 2019-10-14

March Revolution

(6 words)

See German Revolution (1848/9)
Date: 2019-10-14

Marginal groups

(11 words)

See Exclusion | Minorities | Social structure | Underclass
Date: 2019-10-14

Marian devotion

(2,973 words)

Author(s): Walter, Peter | König, Hans-Joachim
1. BasicsFrom the 2nd century on, numerous legends grew up around Mary, the mother of Jesus, whose life is only briefly sketched in the NT. Especially after the divine sonship of Jesus Christ was defined dogmatically in the 4th and 5th centuries, she was venerated privately and liturgically. Particularly in the Middle Ages, a growing number of Marian feasts were established and distributed throughout the church year, while churches and pilgrimage sites (Pilgrimage, local) were dedicated to the Mother of God (see 2.2. below).In the Middle Ages, she was also seen as an exempl…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marine insurance

(897 words)

Author(s): Ellmers, Detlev
Insurance covers losses of assets brought about by specific events by distributing them among a larger number of persons. The events relevant to marine insurance are accidents at sea up to and including sinking as well as hijacking and its consequences. In the early modern period, marine insurance in the narrower sense covered damage up to and including loss of ship and cargo, in the broader sense also the consequences for the individuals affected.The beginnings of marine insurance in the late Middle Ages differed greatly from current forms of insurance, but they sha…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marionette theater

(5 words)

See Puppet theater
Date: 2019-10-14

Marital age

(884 words)

Author(s): Schröter, Wilko | Ehmer, Josef
1. ConceptMarital age is an important demographic parameter of the European marriage pattern, and the crucial factor in determining early modern fertility levels. Fluctuations in marital age have a telling influence on fertility and demographic growth rates (Population). A marital age differing by two years at first marriage (Marriage, contraction of) might mean (translated into number of offspring) one childbirth or offspring more or fewer, and thus a quicker or slower succession of generations.In early modern western and Central Europe, the marital age was g…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marital choice

(2,465 words)

Author(s): Lanzinger, Margareth
1. Concepts and theoriesThe concept of choice of partner must be seen in historical terms. “Partner” today connotes a concept of relationship based on legal, social, and economic gender equality and fundamental equal rights. None of this applied in the early modern period, nor was the term “partner” so used. Unlike terms like husband, wife, spouse, or consort (cf. German Gatte/Gattin, French  conjoint[e]), “partner” also holds connotations of other forms of relationship, while the goal of partner choice historically speaking is seen primarily in relatio…
Date: 2019-10-14

Marital consent (Holy Roman Empire)

(1,002 words)

Author(s): Ehmer, Josef
1. ConceptThe term marital consent (German Ehekonsens) had a twofold meaning in the early modern matrimonial law of the Holy Roman Empire. Firstly, in matrimonial canon law it denoted the agreement or declaration of intent on the part of a man and woman to enter into a marriage  (Marriage, contraction of). Secondly, in many German territories – particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries – it denoted the permission to wed or recognition of a marriage that was granted by the sovereign power and local a…
Date: 2019-10-14
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