The main target of this book is to explore how the involvement
of rural populations and communities in different kinds of markets
(mainly for agricultural commodities) has influenced the management
of rural land in Europe. Most of the papers focus on precisely what
were the forces driving agricultural change in rural Europe.
Although the importance of these changes were very different from
the Middle Ages until the present days, a common approach that
emerged was to stress the importance of urban and external markets
in order to give incentives to changes in the management of rural
land. The transition of agriculture and its producers,
respectively, into a highly market-integrated sector and strongly
market-oriented peasants formed the driving force and prima causa
of European agricultural revolutions during early modern times.
Expansion of market allowed for an intense process of
specialization, with clear competitive advantages with respect to
earlier land uses.
Vicente Pinilla, professor of Economic History at the
University of Zaragoza, has published widely in the field of
economic history, notably of nineteenth- and twentieth -century
Spanish agriculture and international trade in agricultural