Download Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and by Richard Lachmann PDF

By Richard Lachmann

Right here, Lachmann deals a brand new reason for the origins of geographical regions and capitalist markets in early glossy Europe. evaluating areas and towns inside of and throughout England, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands from the twelfth via 18th centuries, he indicates how clash between feudal elites---landlords, clerics, kings, and officeholders---transformed the bases in their keep watch over over land and exertions, forcing the winners of feudal conflicts to turn into "capitalists regardless of themselves" as they took shielding activities to guard their privileges from opponents within the aftermath of the Reformation.

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Extra info for Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and European Transitions in Early Modern Europe

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Bois makes the error of generalizing from the single case of Normandy, the only province in which a stable elite structure was riven by conflict in the century following the Black Death. As a result, Bois mistakenly assumes that Norman peasants’ gains were due to their favorable demographic position after the Black Death, when peasants in other provinces, whose scarce labor was of similar Feudal Dynamics 33 value to manor lords in those places, were not able to escape from existing labor dues. Those other peasants remained under the control of unified feudal elites, while only Norman peasants were able to take advantage of new peasant conflicts to win their freedom.

The analysis of elites in this chapter suggests that the crucial characteristic of any European or Asian society is the total structure of elite and class relations rather than the dominant form of surplus extraction at a single historical moment or any complex of cultural practices. Change occurs in the interstices of elite and class relations. We will not find the point of transformative change by comparing modes of production or “rent-collecting” and “tax-collecting” societies (Berktay 1987), or by contrasting empires, kingdoms, and tribal systems.

Two stable patterns, each of which lasted for two centuries, were created in postplague England and France. In most French provinces, lay elites were able to limit interventions by rival elites from within and without the province and to use their provincial hegemony to hold peasants to labor obligations. In England, and in Brittany, Comtat Venaissin, Normandy, Orléans, Picardy, Poitou, Provence, and Guyenne, magnate conflict—between lay lords and the clergy in those French provinces, and between lay lords and a coalition of clergy and crown in England—ensured that peasants escaped labor dues and retained secure tenure over their lands.

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