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Title: Agrarian individualism and collective practices : the fate of common land in the department of the Gard, 1770-1819
Author: Plack, Noelle Lisa.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines the impact of five major legislative acts regarding common land in the department of the Gard, southern France, from 1770 to 1819. Its purpose is to discover what the effects of Ancien Regime, Revolutionary, Napoleonic and finally Restoration attempts to clear, partition, lease or sell common land were in this department. During the final decades of the old regime, Physiocrat and Agronome ministers tried to ameliorate France's agrarian economy by pursuing various schemes of improvement. The clearance and cultivation of common land was one such scheme as these lands were viewed as unproductive and the collective nature of their tenure was considered antiquated. This trend of encouraging the individual appropriation of the commons continued during the Revolution with the egalitarian partition law of 10 June 1793. Napoleonic and Restoration legislative measures also removed common land from the public domain either through leasing or sale. The combined impact of these laws was significant as at least 40% of all communes in Gard were affected by one or more of these measures. The individual appropriation of common land during this period seems to have strengthened small peasant proprietorship in the region. These petits proprietors instituted both subsistence-based polyculture and more commercialized viticulture on their newly appropriated plots.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available