Rural History 2015

Panel 29

Organizers: van Cruyningen, Piet (1); Van Onacker, Eline (2); Dombrecht, Kristof (3)

Affiliation: 1: Wageningen University, Netherlands, The; 2: University of Antwerp; 3: Ghent University

Title: Rural elites in medieval and early modern Europe

"In recent years it has become clear that the peasant population of preindustrial Europe was not a homogeneous mass, but that different socio-economic strata can be discerned within the peasantry, the highest of which can be defined as rural or village elites. Although they are getting more attention, they still have been studied much less than urban elites. This session aims at contributing to more insight into medieval and early modern rural elites in Europe by comparing village elites in different rural areas. Themes are the causes of the rise of rural elites: soil quality, property relations, holding size, opportunities for trade with urban markets, entrepreneurship, and the position of these elites within rural society. Were they still part of the peasant society or did they try to distinguish themselves culturally from the other villagers (material culture, literacy). What was their relationship with higher groups like the bourgeoisie? Did they try to rise further on the social ladder? What was the relationship between economic and political elite? Could the richest peasants hold office or was office-holding limited to the nobility and bourgeoisie? If they could hold office, did they try to monopolize offices on the local or maybe regional level?"


Papers (part I)

Chair: Erik Thoen, University of Ghent, Belgium

Paper 1: A tale of two regions. Rural elites in the fifteenth and sixteenth-century Low Countries. Case studies: the Campine and coastal Flanders [+]

Eline van Onacker, University of Antwerp, Belgium, and Kristof Dombrecht, University of Ghent, Belgium

Paper 2: The emergence and closure of a rural elite in the district of Cadzand (SW Netherlands), 1605-1795 [+]

Piet van Cruyningen, Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and Wageningen University, Netherlands

Paper 3: A rural elite in crisis: the Württemberg Ehrbarkeit during the Thirty Years’ War [+]

Oleg Rusakovskiy, University of Tübingen, Germany


Papers (part II)

Chair: Anton Schuurman, Wageningen University, Netherlands

Paper 4: Signs of difference. Household and material culture of the Valencian rural elites in the autumn of the Middle Ages [+]

Frederic Aparisi Romero, University of Valencia, Spain

Paper 5: Rural Cantabrian communities through the prism of spiritual kinship (17th-18th centuries) [+]

Héctor Fernando Sánchez Diego, University of Cantabria, Spain

Paper 6: Rural elites and communities in northern Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries

Giulio Ongaro, University of Verona, Italy, and Matteo Di Tullio, University Bocconi Milan, Italy

Paper 7: The parish priest as a member of the rural elite? The example of the Catholic clergy in the Czech lands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries [+]

Pavel Pumpr, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015