Conflict in the Countryside

For the reading for class today, we began to analyze the social conflict that began to occur pre-1848 in Europe. One of the first social conflicts that began to come into question was the conflict that was arising in the countryside. One of the main issues that arose from this social conflict was the definition of “private property”. For most of the French Revolution and pre-1848, there was no clear cut definition, after all many farmers would grow crops and pasture animals on the property of others. Yet what caught my attention in this conflict is the role that economic growth played on it. Economic growth during this time arose from a result of population growth which in turn put a strain on a lot of the supplies that farmers were producing (such as wood, wool, etc). It is this sudden boom in the economy in Europe that also brought into question the exploitation of usage rights. The question I wanted to propose for discussion for class is how is the exploitation of usage rights in Germany, Austria, and France comparable? And were the lawsuits that farmers brought onto their respective governments effective?

2 Replies to “Conflict in the Countryside”

  1. I found that the lawsuits the farmers were mounting onto their government to be ineffective, considering the fact that people started to take it into their own hands (wood theft pages 41-42). Even a “minor civil war” broke out leaving 20 peasants ad foresters dead.

  2. I would agree with Abigail, that the lawsuits were ineffective due to seigneurial rights. Since seigneurial rights were still common in this time most common people on the land were not granted the right to cut wood or do anything. Also since the lawsuits were with the noble people of the land, there was a low chance for the commoner/peasant to win anything.

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