Synopses & Reviews
This new study provides an up-to-date survey of social and economic developments in early modern Eastern European rural societies. Markus Cerman revises the traditional images of mighty lords and poor, powerless 'serf peasants', discussing the theories which led to the assumption that serfdom existed throughout the region.
Cerman contrasts the interpretation of a long-term backwardness with a fresh view of the legal, social and economic status of villagers, their living standards and their role in actively shaping rural communities. Featuring helpful tables, a glossary and a comprehensive bibliography, this is a stimulating reassessment for anyone studying this period and often neglected topic in European history.
About the Author
MARKUS CERMAN is Associate Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna, Austria. His previous publications include studies on European proto-industrialization and the development of the agrarian institutions in late medieval and early modern Europe in a comparative perspective.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
Note on References
Series Editors' Preface
Understanding 'Demesne Lordship'
The Myth of a 'Second Serfdom'
Explaining the Rise of Demesne Lordship and of the Demesne Economy
A Characterization of the Economic System
A General Backwardness?
Towards a New Assessment