Peasants into Farmers?
The transformation of rural economy and society in the Low Countries (Middle Ages - 19th century) in light of the Brenner debate.
, J. Luiten van Zanden (eds.)
338 p., 156 x 234 mm, 2001
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This volume aims to prove the decisive
role Flanders and Holland played in the economic development of Europe
in the light of Brenner's model.
Since his pioneering article in 1976 the
American historian Robert P. Brenner has tried to come to terms with an
issue that has puzzled historians for generations: how can we explain
the differences in growth-patterns of North Western European countries
in the transition from feudalism to capitalism. In a frontal attack on
both the '(homeostatic) demographic' and
'commercialization' models, Brenner traced the roots of the
divergent evolutions back to rural and feudal 'social-property
relations'. In the debate that immediately followed Brenner's
first article, and in subsequent exchanges, the Low Countries were
sorely neglected, although areas such as Flanders and Holland played a
decisive role in the economic development of Europe. This was partly
due to a lack of publications on Dutch rural history in foreign
languages. This volume aims to fill this lacuna. It draws upon
substantial research, and confronts the Brenner thesis with new results
and hypotheses; and it contains a powerful and detailed response by
Brenner himself. The editors. Peter Hoppenbrouwers (1954) is professor
of medieval history at the University of Amsterdam. Jan Luiten van
Zanden (1955) is part-time professor of economic and social history at
the University of Utrecht, research fellow at the International
Institute for Social History (IISG) in Amsterdam, and general secretary
of the International Association of Economic History.
This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
"This volume is an important
achievement and a significant step forwards in the scholarly knowledge
of social and economic history in the Netherlands." (Jan Dumolyn
in Historical Materialism, p. 247-259, 2004, Vol.12,