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Paysans et seigneurs en Europe: une histoire comparée, XVIe–XIXe siècle, Guy Lemarchand, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011

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AbstractIn this panoramic survey Guy Lemarchand undertakes to outline the history of the feudal system which persisted across the European continent from the sixteenth until the second half of the nineteenth century. In the crisis of the seventeenth century, seigneurial reaction backed by the absolutist state enabled this feudal mode to reconsolidate and extend itself eastward. The eighteenth century represented the system’s apogee based on high food prices, increased rents and state support. Feudalism’s dissolution beginning with the French Revolution and continuing until the emancipation of the Russian serfs came about as a result of revolution from below and from above under the increasing influence of capitalism and liberalism. Offering an enormous comparative perspective on this long-lived mode of production, Lemarchand’s work fails to articulate theoretically the relationship between this enduring mode and the concurrent rise of capitalism.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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