"In making such demands, the embattled peasants were participating in the general mood of euphoria that was sweeping across German lands, in the wake of Luther's call for reformation." Page 83

Environmental Circumstances:
"In times of famine and plague it became especially important to control this permanent underclass of men, women, and children who begged in the streets and slept huddled together in slums from which infectious disease was likely to spread to the homes of the propertied classes." page 102

"For hundreds of years, men, women and children suffered, fought, and died to defend their livelihood against the depredations of the mighty." page 81

Bad Harvests:
"At such times, entire families took to the roads, digging up fern roots, stripping trees of their bark, eating carrion, turning to roadside begging and to crime." page 72

Personal Tragedy:
"The slightest illness condemns their family to horrible poverty: this is why our streets, our squares, even our churches are filled and covered by beggars." page 107

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