“Landlessness”. Reviewing the early modern property structure in southern Tyrol

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By shifting the focus towards landless households, a much larger and more heterogeneous picture of the early modern countryside in southern Tyrol emerges. Not only cottagers and smallholders become visible, but also servants, labourers and women as household heads – a complex social structure. I argue that people made use of this complexity and showed resourcefulness in counteracting exclusion from access to resources and land. This paper explores the different meanings of property and how it was linked to economic factors, kinship, gender and civil law focusing on the second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, with some references to the eighteenth century. The boundaries between landlessness and land poverty were fluid, and although both brought legal disadvantages such as limited or no access to commons, they were not synonymous with being poor. They were, however, gendered. The close relationship of property with law, gender, kinship, and local politics, that affected the property market and thus access to land, calls for a broader interpretation of landownership or landlessness. On the basis of evidence from court records and rentals, this paper explores the different meanings of property and how it was linked not only to economic factors but also to kinship, gender and civil law.

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Umfang 19 Seiten
Typ PDF Download
Lieferzeit Sofort verfügbar
Verlag DLG-Verlag
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