Was there an industrious revolution in Catalonia?

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This paper investigates the commercialisation of rural Catalonia mainly, though not exclusively, in terms of Jan de Vries’ hypothesis of an “industrious revolution”. It seeks to show that de Vries is wrong in claiming that only north-western Europe possessed the requisite features for such a revolution. Both commercial viticulture and proto-industrialisation allowed households in Catalonia to engage with markets in ways not previously possible, despite the existence of the kind of extended families characterised by strong ties that de Vries sees as incompatible with dynamic economic behaviour. In fact, within households, it was younger sons and women for whom market opportunities were greatest. An “industrious revolution” can be demonstrated in terms of an intensification of labour by households engaged in viticulture, spinning and weaving. New opportunities came with risks, however, and industrious behaviour essentially meant self-exploitation of family, particularly female, labour. Moreover, where Catalonia did differ from north-western Europe was in the changing consumption patterns that accompanied commercialisation: there was greater acquisition of a wider range of goods according to inventories, but on a modest scale compared with elsewhere.
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Verlag DLG-Verlag
  
  
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