29 Nov 2021
29 Nov 2021
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

On the economic impact of droughts in Central Europe. The decade from 1531 to 1540 from the Polish perspective

Tomasz Związek1,, Piotr Guzowski2,, Radosław Poniat2, Maciej Tomasz Radomski3, Monika Kozłowska-Szyc2, Tomasz Panecki4, Sandra Słowińska1, Bogusława Kruczkowska5, Michał Targowski6, and Dagmara Adamska7 Tomasz Związek et al.
  • 1Stanisław Leszczycki Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 00-818, Poland
  • 2Faculty of History and International Relations, University of Białystok, Białystok, 15-420, Poland
  • 3Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 00-140, Poland
  • 4Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 00-272, Poland
  • 5Department of Soil Science, Institute of Agriculture, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
  • 6Faculty of History, Nicolaus Copernicus University, W. Bojarskiego 1, 87–100, Toruń, Poland
  • 7Faculty of Historical and Pedagogical Sciences, History Department, Szewska 49, 50-139 Wrocław, Poland
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. The period from around 1450 to 1550 in Europe is extremely interesting from the perspective of research on extreme weather events. It was a period of events that strongly influenced the societies and economies of the Old Continent. So far, the literature has been more focused on Western and Northern Europe, while as regards the region of Central Europe, the greatest attention was paid to the Czech Republic or Hungary. This article revolves around the Polish lands, which experienced their greatest economic boom in the 16th century. We consider whether and how the droughts of the decade from 1531 to 1540 might have affected the country’s economic development. We analyze a number of written sources which are the product of the treasury apparatus of the time (tax registers, data from water customs, tax exemptions, inventories of land estates etc.), but also information on fluctuations in product prices in the most important cities in this part of Europe. The work not only provides a detailed account of economic data, but also attempts to reflect on the relevance of linking information on fires in urban centres in the period characterized by weather extremes.

Tomasz Związek et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-157', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Jan 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Tomasz Związek, 27 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2021-157', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Apr 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Tomasz Związek, 27 Apr 2022

Tomasz Związek et al.

Tomasz Związek et al.


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Short summary
We wanted to take an in-depth look at how climate events affected the economy of early modern Poland. We focused on analyzing all available sources of a fiscal nature for this period. In addition, we analyzed available materials on the export of primary agricultural products. Our results have shown that the economic system in Poland at that time effectively coped with periodic droughts. And it was only the great drought of 1540 that significantly shook the state's economy.