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Phillipp R. Schofield

– culture and historical approaches to its study might be considered to feature prominently in research on English peasants or, indeed, hardly to feature at all. To adopt the latter viewpoint in the first instance, we might suggest that investigation of culture, more often associated with the history of those of relatively high status and of elites in which a sophisticated and historically recoverable culture may sometimes be more easily assumed to reside, has been passed by in the study of the medieval peasants. How can we, it might be asked, study the cultural history

in Peasants and historians
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Illicit whisky-making, 1760–1840
T. M. Devine

9 PEASANT ENTERPRISE: ILLICIT WHISKY-MAKING, 1760–1840 In the nineteenth century, it was common for Victorian commentators to explain the poverty and underdevelopment of the Highlands in terms of the indolence, inertia and conservatism of the population. The people of the region had brought the misery of famine and clearance upon themselves because of their own ineptitude and failure to exploit economic opportunities in the way that had occurred so successfully elsewhere in Britain. Such condemnation, however, was grossly exaggerated at best and largely mistaken

in Clanship to crofters’ war
Debating the medieval English peasantry

The study of the medieval English peasantry began in the nineteenth century as an adjunct to the study of other themes. Medievalists have tended to assume that modern working definitions of peasant, as proposed by Thorner et al., are sufficiently accommodating as to make room for a medieval English peasantry and conceive of a peasant society operating in medieval England. The book describes the ways in which historians have discussed change within the village community, notably in the pre- and post-Black Death village communities. It examines the ways in which debates or particular avenues of research have emerged from three main strands of research: population movement and its determining; the demands and constraints of the seigneurial economy and of resistance to the same; and the development of commerce and the market. The book analyzes the peasant family and household in demographic terms and by looking at household formation, age at marriage and the size and structure of the peasant household, as well as the evolution of the peasant household in the high and late middle ages. It suggests that the study of the medieval peasantry is not a plaything of historical fashion, subject only to the whims and musings of historians the views of whom are rooted only in the present; it reflects a nuancing and refining of questions that will lead to a fuller understanding of a topic and period of great and enduring interest.

Phillipp R. Schofield

In the last quarter-century the importance of the market as a driving force for the medieval economy has emerged to take centre stage in the historiography of the middle ages. The role of peasants as participants in markets and as distinctive players in the medieval English economy has been emphasised by a number of historians. In this chapter we will examine the ways in which the last generation or two of historians have emphasised anew this mercantile aspect of the medieval English peasantry and also set out the ways in which, in

in Peasants and historians
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Phillipp R. Schofield

In the previous chapter we saw how historians have discussed the peasantry in terms of the population and its movement. Here we will explore the ways in which historians have engaged with the peasantry chiefly as tenants, and especially in terms of the relationship between lord and peasant-tenants. This concentration on lord–tenant relations has sometimes narrowed the historical focus to dwell upon sub-sets of the peasantry, namely those, especially the unfree, who held land from lords on particular kinds of tenure and were thereby

in Peasants and historians
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Bengal, Vietnam and transnational solidarities in Utpal Dutt’s Invincible Vietnam
Abin Chakraborty

revolutionary theatre must, by definition, preach revolution, a radical overthrow of the political power of the bourgeois – feudal forces, a thorough destruction of their state-machine.’ 6 The best way to achieve this end, Dutt believed, was by retelling – through theatre – the numerous heroic struggles of the peasants and labourers against colonial and

in Cultures of decolonisation
Building a movement (1944–60)
Andrew W.M. Smith

2 Peasants and paroxysms: building a movement (1944–60) The decades which followed France’s Liberation witnessed rapid developments in both the Languedoc’s wine industry and its structures of representation. As the post-war recovery process took place, a wave of modernisation swept across French agriculture, driven by a technocratic focus on increasing the efficiency of France’s farmers. In the Languedoc, the establishment of cooperative wineries and the pooling of resources were encouraged during this febrile period. The Monnet  Plan, which governed France

in Terror and terroir
Paul Fouracre

units of the villa and the undivided mansi as the villa appurtenances that appear in those earlier charters in which donations to the church were recorded. These were the resources of lords, whereas the smaller holdings were those of the peasants who worked them with their own hands. Working out from the Prüm survey, Ludwig Kuchenbuch categorised the region between the Rivers Meuse, Scheldt and Lower Rhine (thus the area covered by the Saint Bertin, Lobbes, Saint Rémi and Prüm documents) as a Rentenlandschaft. By this he meant that typical of the region

in Eternal light and earthly concerns
The cult persona of Jason Statham, Hollywood outsider
Jonathan Mack

regularly as a reflection of his working-class background: ‘It’s that peasant mentality,’ he says of his desire to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ (Chiarella 2015 ). R. Emmet Sweeney ( 2008 ) recognises that not only does Statham’s prolific output signal that he is ‘a worker’, but his roles are also defined by labour

in Crank it up
Phillipp R. Schofield

For much more than a century historians, often with different approaches and agendas, have pondered the nature of peasant society and, more precisely, the bonds that held that society together. A main focus of that historical investigation has been directed at the nature of community and its persistence or decline. In what follows we can approach discussion of peasant society in the high and late middle ages through a consideration of changing conceptions of community and of the varying ways in which the subject of ‘community’ has been

in Peasants and historians