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Re: A quiet start to the week's discussion

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  • Martin Votruba
    ... A burgher is an inhabitant of a town. The reference to them in my comment on Julie s observation concerned the 19th century. ... Not in any
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 25, 2007
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      > does the term "burgher" status simply mean land-owner?

      A burgher is an inhabitant of a town. The reference to them in my
      comment on Julie's observation concerned the 19th century.


      > Was it the Hussite movement that sparked ideas [and fighting]
      > for land reforms?

      Not in any straightforward sense. Such "dual" (from our contemporary
      perspective) control over land was typical of the Kingdom at least
      from the time when contractual villages began to emerge, meaning
      centuries before the Hussites. The Kingdom did not have the English
      or Russian system where vast numbers of those who worked the land had
      the status of landless hired hands. Effectively, from our
      contemporary perspective, the Kingdom's farmers had their own farms
      and fields and the noblemen had their fields. The commoner farmers
      were obligated to work in "their nobleman's" fields one day a week if
      they came with a beast of burden, two days without it. The commoner
      farmers worked for themselves on their own farms the rest of the time.

      The Hussites leaned towards communal organization of society, so
      communal ownership of land would simply be part of that drive, not a
      strongly defined separate call for land reform. Moreover, the Hussite
      movement contained several factions (that ultimately battled with each
      other) representing a variety of views. The Slovak farmers might have
      seen some appeal in suggestions that they should be given some of the
      nobleman's land, but a "collectivization" of their own farms would
      hardly have been a popular proposal.


      Martin
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