Dating the second serfdom in Hungary.
- It starts in the 16th century, or earlier. This author, Nigel Swain, has a good monograph on line at www.liv.ac.uk/history/research/cee_pdfs/WP01v2.pdf
"Hungary falls within that eastern part of Europe which underwent the 'second
serfdom'. While, in western Europe, the manorial system slowly disappeared between
the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, in Europe east of the Elbe, from about the fifteenth
century, a process of increasing serfdom set in2. In Hungary, even though money rents
had begun to replace feudal labour service and dues in kind over the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, during the sixteenth century the situation was reversed and
increasingly onerous labour services were re-imposed3. The reasons for this
divergence in development between east and west Europe are still the subject of
debate. Nevertheless it would seem to be connected with the growth of towns in
western Europe and the changing centre of gravity of world trade towards the
Atlantic. The urban centres of western Europe required grain: the eastern parts of
Europe could supply it. Because towns were not yet so well developed in the East, the
non-agricultural population requiring support was relatively small, and the
agricultural population correspondingly large. Increased exploitation of these existing
labour reserves in the form of the re-imposition the well-tried institutions of serfdom
was a, thus, a rational strategy for generating an increased surplus for export to the
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- I'd like to nominate Janet Kozlay.
There, now we have two names... :)
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