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Lecture 4

History 1401E Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Sharecropping, The Techniques

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Pierre Reynard

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History Lecture #4: Fundamental Eco Structures (Old Regime Europe) Sept 23
I) Agriculture
More than Food Production
Low Productivity
o State of agriculture, and quality of crops was very
o Aggie prices fluctuated
o Food rights were still a major form of popular
North-South and East-West Gradients
o North western Europe was an era of higher
productivity and innovation
o Very rich crops in southern Europe
o Eastern Europe exported much grain
Regional Distinctions
o Regional specializations are starting to appear, one
thing to produce enough and one thing to produce
more than you need
o Need to be able to store and ship items
Various Conditions of European Peasants
o Peasantry was bound to the lands, serfdom
o Aristocrat owned the land that the peasants worked,
needed to stay on these estates to work (East)
o In South they were interested in landscape which
was dominated by vast estates, they were free
o Peasants paid a share of a crop to owner of a state
o West, peasants were free but with immense
differences with regard to access to land
o Key issue was access to land, a key social and
political issue
Progress? New Methods and Key Debates
o Limited, slow and unevenly spread
o North western was more developed and innovative
o Better equipment, horse pulling plows
o Idea of producing more and better crops,
fashionable topic of conversation
o Is agricultural owned by a large estate or is the key
to agricultural progress to give most people enough
land to work it intensively
o Collective practices, number of collective uses of the
o Individual process and collective enterprise
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