Family and Farm: Agrarian Change and Household Organization in the Loire Valley, 1500-1900

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1982 - Social Science - 258 pages
Family and Farm is the history of the communautes, the large patriarchal households of central France, from the close of the medieval era to the nineteenth century. These households were unique in that they often included as many as twenty members, holding property in common. Far from having roots in any cultural bias or folkloric tradition, the communautes were organized to enable individual families to meet the demands imposed by the social, economic, and physical environments in which they lived. The book examines household composition, the role of kinship, inheritance and successive strategies, and the nature of interpersonal relations.

The period covered by the study includes the collapse of feudalism, the rise of the modern state, the French revolution, and the emergence of agrarian capitalism. Each crisis posed fundamental problems of survival for peasant families, and the organization of households constituted a crucial means by which that survival was ensured.
 

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Contents

Modernization Theory and Changes in Family Patterns
1
The Communaute Customary Law and Feudal Tenure
20
State Taxation and Primitive Accumulation in the Seventeenth Century
37
The Dynamics of Peasant Household Organization
53
Revolutionary Civil Legislation and the Communaute
83
The Geographic Distribution of the Joint Family in the Nivernais
105
The Agricultural Revolution in the Nivernais
122
The Transformation of Tenant Household Structure 18401875
145
From Subsistence Peasant to Capitalist Farmer
170
La Vie en Commun
199
Glossary
211
Appendix
214
Notes
217
Bibliography
238
Index
257
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