Themes in Rural History of the Western World

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Drawing on a number of disciplines - economic and cultural history, geography, anthropology, climatology - nine scholars examine the major issues addressed by rural history. The result is an admirable collaborative demonstration of the influence of agriculture on more general historical developments. Three authors analyze the struggles between landowners and tenants. They range from capital investment and risk-taking in ancient Roman agriculture to the introduction of vineyards in southern Italy and to surprising...
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Overview

Drawing on a number of disciplines - economic and cultural history, geography, anthropology, climatology - nine scholars examine the major issues addressed by rural history. The result is an admirable collaborative demonstration of the influence of agriculture on more general historical developments. Three authors analyze the struggles between landowners and tenants. They range from capital investment and risk-taking in ancient Roman agriculture to the introduction of vineyards in southern Italy and to surprising advantages in feudal tenure in eighteenth-century Hesse, Germany. Other essays look at how European settlers affected the environment and peoples of the New World: in conflicts of cultures, in the development of the Mexican hacienda, and in land policy on a U.S. Indian reservation. There are also studies of frontier resources, new markets, and new politics during the era of the American Revolution; Spaniards introducing European farm animals to the New World; and the history of drought in Spanish America as a threat to social and economic stability. In his introductory essay, Richard Herr reviews the practice of rural history in the twentieth century and uses the other essays to offer a new way of thinking about this discipline.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Introduction
Preface
Contributors
1 The Nature of Rural History 3
2 The Management of a Roman Senator's Estates 45
3 Emphyteusis and Indigenous Agricultural Development: The Case of Locorotondo, Italy 67
4 Land Tenure, Feudalism, and the State in Eighteenth-Century Hesse 99
5 Indian Land-Tenure Problems in the United States 140
6 Herd Development in the New World Spanish Colonies: Conquistadors and Peasants 165
7 The Record of Drought and Its Impact in Colonial Spanish America 194
8 The Transformation of a Frontier Community: Peterborough, New Hampshire 227
9 Mexico City Market Structures and the Formation of the Hacienda 249
Index 263
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