This book, first published in 1986, surveys the history of rural society in Germany from the eighteenth century to the present day. The contributions include studies of Junker estates and small farming communities, serfs and landless labourers, maidservants and worker-peasants. They demonstrate the variety and complexity of the social division that structures the rural economy. Throughout the book there is an emphasis on the conflicts that divided rural society, and the ways and means in which these were expressed, whether in serf strikes in eighteenth-century Brandenburg, village gossip in early twentieth-century Hesse, or factional struggles over planning permission in present-day Swabia. The rural world emerges not as traditional, passive and undifferentiated , but as actively participating in its own making; not only responding to the changes going on around it, but exploiting them for its own purposes and influencing them in its own way. This book is ideal for students of history, particularly German history.
Table of Contents
List of Figures; List of Tables; Preface; 1. ‘Tradition’ and the Peasantry: On the Modern Histiography of Rural Germany Ian Farr 2. Peasants and Markets: The Background to the Agrarian Reforms in Feudal Prussia East of the Elbe, 1760-1807 Hartmut Harnisch 3. The Junkers’ Faithless Servants: Peasant Insubordination and the Breakdown of Serfdom in Brandenburg-Prussia, 1763-1811 William W. Hagen 4. The Rural Proletariat: The Everyday Life of Rural Labourers in the Magdeburg Region, 1830-1880 Hainer Plaul 5. Farmers and Factory Workers: Rural Society in Imperial Germany: The Example of Maudach Cathleen S. Catt 6. Peasants and Farmers’ Maids: Female Farm Servants in Bavaria at the End of the Nineteenth Century Regina Schulte 7. The Sins of the Fathers: Village Society and Social Control in the Weimar Republic Gerhard Wilke 8. Peasants, Poverty and Population: Economic and Political Factors in the Family Structure of the Working Village People in the Magdeburg Region, 1990-39 Gisela Griepentrog 9. Peasant Customs and Social Structure: Rural Marriage Festivals in the Magdeburg Region in the 1920s Christel Heinrich 10. Peasants and Others: The Historical Contours of Village Class Society Wolfgang Kaschuba 11. The Rules of the Village: On the Cultural History of the Peasant World in the Last 150 Years Utz Jeggle; Notes on Contributors; Index