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Re: [S-R] Re: Urbaria et Conscriptions

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  • Andrea Vangor
    I think there are some other points to consider, and I hope to be forgiven if I am not stating them well. Or for confusing the issue. Nonetheless, does it
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 9, 2005
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      I think there are some other points to consider, and I hope to be forgiven
      if I am not stating them well. Or for confusing the issue. Nonetheless,
      does it seem as though the entire population of serf households is
      represented in the urbarial census, or rather does it seem that only a small
      fraction are included -- a handful out of a village of hundreds? And what
      was the ultimate destination of the tax collected? Wasn't this tax
      collected on behalf of the central government, meaning the Crown? Were
      there not two different economic systems -- the feudal and the modern --
      operating simultaneously in 18th century Hungary? What I am suggesting is
      that the urbarial census was not about the payment of obligations to the
      landlord, but was rather about the payment to the Crown of taxes owed on
      specific property by specific classes of people.

      The obligations of a serf household to the landlord were able to be
      discharged with labor, produce or money. These were not considered taxes,
      nor were they due to the Crown. On the other hand, some serfs were able to
      acquire their own property, as well as some people who never lived in a
      state of serfdom -- maybe the mysterious "outsiders" who enjoyed the
      privilege of deciding where to live and work. I think that only this
      privately owned property -- a plot of land, a farm animal, whatever -- was
      taxable to the Crown. The urbarial holding was by status, not contract, and
      the Empress herself was able to dictate its size to the Hungarian landlords
      in mid-century. The serf family was accorded the right to use, not own but
      use, a certain amount of land on the estate, based on its continued ability
      to make the holding produce. This was the feudal side of the economic
      system, but if did not operate in a vacuum. In addition to the urbarial
      holding, a serf household might rent or purchase additional land. Or, as we
      know, they might own nothing and hold nothing, and hire themselves out as
      sharecroppers or farmhands to other serfs. If you follow the tax-paying
      serf families of the 18th century into the 19th century, they seem to
      continue on as relatively well-off villagers who own some or all of their
      land. We need to remember that like the rest of Europe, Hungary had its
      share of wealthy peasants.

      In the 18th century, taxes were also paid to the Crown by city dwellers,
      depending on the privileges granted to a particular city. The middle
      classes, the merchants and businessmen, were taxed. The Hungarian nobles
      were not taxed because they generally had absolute ownership of their land,
      and because they contributed to the Crown by providing, via serf labor,
      public works projects like roadbuilding, training and equipping their own
      serfs as military troops, administering justice, etc. They were Local
      Government. Finally, the institution of serfdom in Hungary and further east
      in Europe was not a survivor from the Middle Ages, a middle state between
      chattel slavery and the free peasantry. It had been re-introduced (the
      "Second Serfdom") and had its own peculiar features.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Janet Kozlay" <kozlay@...>
      To: <SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 9:33 PM
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Re: Urbaria et Conscriptions


      > Serfs were not slaves. Their persons were not "owned," only their labor.
      > They could not, for instance, be bought and sold. For much of the feudal
      > period, especially in early times, they were tied to the land and were not
      > permitted to leave it without permission of the landowner. If the
      > landowner
      > sold his land, the serfs went with it. Since one of the perquisites of the
      > nobility was that they were not taxed, the tax burden fell on the serfs.
      > That is why the census recorded how large their property was, and at least
      > later, what buildings were on their property, what animals they owned,
      > etc.
      >
      > Janet
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com]
      > On
      > Behalf Of Carl Kotlarchik
      > Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 7:44 PM
      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [S-R] Re: Urbaria et Conscriptions
      >
      > So, what does the word "jobbagy" mean in these records? Were serfs
      > taxable property? Do these records index people as taxable
      > property?
      >
      > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Tarkulich"
      > <bill.tarkulich@i...> wrote:
      >>
      >> "Urbaria et Consription" = Feudal Property Census
      >>
      >> - a listing of all taxable property in the kingdom. These Census
      > were
      >> done with great regularity. It is not intended to be a population
      > census,
      >> though it does contain some aspects thereof - heads of household,
      > names of
      >> property owners.
      >> Many of these records are available online (in Latin of course)
      > via Arcanum.
      >>
      >> See
      >> http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/Census_Arcanum.htm
      >> and
      >> http://www.centroconsult.sk/genealogy/census.html
      >>
      >> Regards,
      >> Bill Tarkulich
      >>
      >> On Thu, December 8, 2005 2:59 pm, Carl Kotlarchik said:
      >> > Does anyone know what the "Urbaria et Consription" records are?
      >> >
      >> > Thanks,
      >> > Carl Kotlarchik
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
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      >>
      >>
      >> --
      >> Bill Tarkulich
      >> http://www.iabsi.com
      >>
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