The practice of timber granting from lords to peasants

A forest-historical perspective of the gutsherrschaft in brandenburg-prussia from 1650 to 1850

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In early modern Brandenburg-Prussia, feudal lords (Gutsherren) were primarily the owners of both large estates that required peasant labor and large forests from which they were obligated to supply their peasants with life's necessities. This paper examines the practice of timber granting to peasants in the sovereign demesnes of the Kurmark Brandenburg from 1650 to 1850. To challenge the general understanding that peasants both remained dependent on timber grants and abused them until approximately 1800, this paper investigates the increases in peasants' share of the building costs for their farmsteads and the positive effects of timber regulations in the eighteenth century, including self-regulation by peasants. In addition, while previous studies have accentuated the peasants' thefts of wood after losing their entitlements to the lords' forests due to the reform legislation of the early nineteenth century, this paper presents cases in which peasants successfully retained their entitlements, gained payment for timber grants, or afforested their own land.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-524
Number of pages23
JournalAgricultural History
Volume87
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 1

Fingerprint

Prussia
peasantry
Organized Financing
Germany
Theft
Legislation
Costs and Cost Analysis
Forests
Timber
Peasants
Historical Perspective
laws and regulations
labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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