CfP: The Rise and Nature of Landless Rural Households in Europe, 16th–19th centuries (Rural History 2017 Conference: 09/2017, Leuven); DL: 15.01.2017:

Christine Fertig, University of Münster, Germany, and Richard Paping, University of Groningen, Netherlands (Presenting authors)

Time: 11-14 September 2017
Venue: Leuven, Belgium
Proposals by: 15 January 2017

In general there is a strong bias in historical research towards the land-owning part of rural population. Sometimes it seems to be forgotten that with the rise in population the European countryside from the early modern period onward increasingly consisted of other groups of people, who did not, or nearly did not control or use any land. In many regions large numbers of rural households had to find alternative sources of income. Usually these households formed the poorest part of rural society. Although there has been considerable research on early modern proto-industry, especially on the production of textiles, other non-landed groups like rural craftsmen (as a sign of rural specialisation) or landless people living from agricultural wage work (signifying rural proletarisation) have not gained much attention. That neglect is rather peculiar, as life strategies of land poor households follow a completely different logic. These strategies were not concentrated on the long run control and use of land, as was usually the case with peasant families. Read more and source … (Web)