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ATinNM:
Briefly, this system collapsed due to over-production versus consumer ability to purchase, over-population versus the food supply,

too many cooks, not enough broth?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 09:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the black plague.  That didn't help, either, though its role was more to finish off a declining system, rather than to start the system's decline.
by Zwackus on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 10:43:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The plague put a sharp underlining to the end but they had outstripped their resources at their level of technology.  In cases like this ignorance is lethal.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 11:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too many piggies for the teats.

Can't remember their ag complex yield but it was, by today's standards, pitiful.  You can start your research href="http://www.cropyields.ac.uk/project.php">here, if you want ;-).  They would get, roughly 4 bushels for every bushel of seed compared with, roughly, the 20 to 30 bushels modern farmers can expect.  This meant they had to increase the total number of farms by using ever marginal land in order to try and maintain food production.  Eventually, they farmed areas that are not in use for field cropping even today.

Then the weather turned on them, the marginal land went out of production, some kind souls invented the Black Death, and it was all over.  The European population didn't recover until the introduction of cultivars from the Americas, particularly the potato.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 10:50:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct Link.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 10:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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