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Commerce and the Countryside
The rural population’s involvement in the commodity market in Flanders, 1750–1910
Wouter Ronsijn




Academia
2014 • 364 pp. 8 illus. 46 tables, 22 graphs, 13 maps 6 3/4 x 9 1/2"
Economics & Business / Economics-Belgiun-Flanders

$43.00 Paperback, 978-90-382-2103-8



“Ronsijn] analyse[s] market involvement thoroughly using the rich archives of the area as well as sources like newspapers . . . Commerce and the Countryside is . . . theoretically... [continued in Reviews below]”—Piet van Cruyningen, The Journal of Peasant Studies

A historical analysis of the economic importance of weekly markets in Flanders during the 18th and 19th century

The involvement of rural populations in market activities in the past is still debated. Were people lured into the market by the prospect of a better lifestyle, or pushed into the market for lack of any alternative means of coping? This book investigates the involvement of Flanders’ rural population in commodity markets in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Flanders has been one of the most urbanised regions in Europe since the Late Middle Ages, and it has had a highly diverse and productive agricultural sector. Cereal exports and rural proto-industry were behind the economic expansion of the Flemish countryside in the eighteenth century, but in the nineteenth century the region slid back into deep poverty. This book studies two different regions in Flanders in a comparative way. It focuses on the extent of market involvement of rural producers, the circumstances in which producers were involved, and the extent to which markets were accessible to them. It is argued that rural social structure had more influence on the extent of market involvement than accessibility of the markets.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“[Ronsijn] analyse[s] market involvement thoroughly using the rich archives of the area as well as sources like newspapers . . . Commerce and the Countryside is . . . theoretically well informed but also especially based on thorough and impeccable empirical research . . . Ronsijn’s book shows how valuable a comparative approach in historic research can be.”

—Piet van Cruyningen,
The Journal of Peasant Studies



WOUTER RONSIJN is a postdoctoral fellow at the history department at the University of Ghent, Belgium.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:28:34 -0500