The Management of Common Land in North West Europe, C. 1500-1850 (Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area, Book 8)
Until the 19th century very large areas of WesternEurope were subject to some degree to common rights, whereindividual users collectively managed resources such as pasture andwood which were central to the agrarian economy.Much scholarship has focused on the dissolution of these rightsand the effects of the enclosure of common land on society andagricultural productivity. In contrast, this volume seeks to assessin a comparative framework the long-term management of the commonlands and the relative success of strategies in providing theresources sought by the rural population. Chapters coveringnorthern and southern England, France, the Netherlands, Flanders,Sweden and northern and southern Germany examine the institutionaland legal framework of commoning, the resources available and theirvalue, the sustainability of practices, and policies of inclusionand exclusion among the group of commoners. Building on thetheoretical insights of recent works on commonly managed resources,this volume, the result of an international collaboration in theCORN network, provides a series of detailed historical studies andis the first major work to address this central aspect of theagrarian economy in a comparative European context.