Obrigkeitliche Gestaltungsräume in der nordböhmischen Gutsherrschaft Frýdlant (1550-1750)

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The paper analyzes the interest of the nobility in restructuring different aspects of their estates in the Early Modern period. Among the relevant activities, the paper first refers to reshaping the populated lands and the development of the settlement structure by the creation of new villages or by extending existing settlements. The main reason for this process (but also the consequence of it) was a profound change in rural social structure which resulted in a strong proliferation of sub-peasant smallholders and cottagers. Providing these social strata with small plots of land contributed to the economic stability of the estate, which was one of the main goals of noble activities in this context. Further land reserves were available in village common land and pastures. Thus, village communities and their representatives played an important role in opening these plots for cottage holdings from the sixteenth century onwards. While this already demonstrates that it would be wrong to analyze these developments through the seignorial lens alone, the last section of the paper deals with individual petitions issued by members of the rural population of the Estate of Frýdlant. They frequently petitioned their lord for help and support, especially in the period after the Thirty Years’ War. Their requests had to do with reductions in payments or forced labour services or with support for building or renovating their holdings.
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Verlag DLG-Verlag
  
  
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