The Great Slump occurred in England between approximately 1440 and 1480. The economic slowdown began in the 1430s in the north of the country, spreading south in the 1440s, with the economy not recovering until the 1480s. The Great Slump took place against a wider trading crisis in Northern Europe, driven by shortages of silver, essential for the money supply, and a breakdown in trade. It was also driven by multiple harvest failures in the 1430s and disease amongst livestock, that drove up the price of food and damaged the wider economy.
The impact of the Great Slump was far reaching across England. Certain groups were particularly badly affected: cloth exports fell by 35 percent in just four years at the end of the 1440s, for example, collapsing by up to 90 percent in some parts of the South-West. Prices of remaining trade goods fell dramatically as well. Popular rebellions ensued in 1450 under Jack Cade, and the events contributed to the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in the 1460s.
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