Abstract

Camp de Tarragona (Spain) participated strongly in the commercial revolution of the modern era and its population grew steadily. Objective: to analyze whether the serious mortality crisis and lack of health stimulated the evolution of the population in the area and what role these crisis played in them. Methods: demographic change is reconstructed with parish registers and census from nearly three centuries. Significant aspects of mortality by crisis are presented through the Dupâquier and Flinn method. Results: Drought is the indirect indicator of economic stress and health. Deaths increased in years of bad harvests, war or infection. For one or more years mortality rose above its normal level (level 4-5 determines serious crisis with the Dupâquier method). Camp reached this level on four times: in the early seventeenth century with drought as a determining factor, another time by disease and the other by war. It was succeeded by urban and rural crisis. Conclusions: The influence of these serious crisis on the population and economic growth was important when man's capacity was limited. The Camp was able to maintain an important demographic and economic hegemony at this time. Severe mortality crisis severely dwindled the population. As a conclusion, it is found that the role of mortality does not appear decisive for serious crisis but played an important role in the recovery momentum of the residents of Camp.  

Keywords: mortality, historical demography, demographic growth, health, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain