Aristocracy, crisis of
(839 words)

The phrase crisis of the aristocracy represents a model of historical interpretation that undertakes to describe and explain critical phenomena affecting aristocratic society on the basis of socio-economic and ideological factors. In 1965 the English social historian Lawrence Stone introduced this concept to historical scholarship in his Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558–1641, using the English aristocracy as an example. Since then historians have generally agreed that the hypothesis of a general crisis of the aristocracy is extremely problematic…

Cite this page
Graf, Klaus, “Aristocracy, crisis of”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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