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Title: Land, food and labour in pre-industrial agro-ecosystems: a socio-ecological perspective on early 19th century seigneurial systems
Author: Gizicki-Neundlinger, Michael
Gingrich, Simone
Güldner, Dino
Krausmann, Fridolin
Tello, Enric
Keywords: Sistemes agrícoles
Desenvolupament social
Agricultural systems
Societal growth
Issue Date: Apr-2017
Publisher: Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria
Abstract: Research on seigneurial agriculture and its role for agricultural changes in general has a long tradition within European Agricultural History. Still, much discussion arises on whether to emphasize «peasant paths» or 'landlord paths' of agricultural development. This study contributes to the debate by introducing a social ecology perspective. Using the nineteenth-century case study of Grundherrschaft (manor) Grafenegg, we offer a first attempt at conceptualizing and empirically scrutinizing resource use and distribution in (late) Central European seigneurial agriculture. We integrate rich archival material to reconstruct the distribution of three central resources -land, food and labour- among the agrarian agents (e.g. manorial farmsteads, peasant farms and smallholdings). We found that the three central resources in preindustrial agriculture were distributed unequally between the various farmsteads involved; labour was abundant, whereas food and land were scarce. The labour surplus extracted by the landlords caused subsistence pressure on most of the peasants, forcing them to use their modest resource base more efficiently, which in turn had effects on the local agroecology.
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It is part of: Historia Agraria, 2017, vol. 71, p. 37-78
ISSN: 1139-1472
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història Econòmica, Institucions, Política i Economia Mundial)

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