Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > European History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

European History European History Forum - Western and Eastern Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 3rd, 2017, 07:26 AM   #1
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2016
From: India
Posts: 1,637
Why did the nobility in England own much more land than in continental Europe?


While reading a book on Prussian history, I recently came across the fact that nearly 55% of cultivable land in 18th century England was owned by landed nobility. This is much in contrast to the mere 20% and 15% in case of France and Russia respectively. What led the nobility in England to retain such a powerful position in the countryside as compared to her continental neighbours?
Bhrigu is offline  
Remove Ads
Old May 3rd, 2017, 07:32 AM   #2

Rodger's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: US
Posts: 4,277

Interesting facts. Did it give the percentage number for Prussia? I would imagine the junckers had quite a bit.
Rodger is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2017, 07:37 AM   #3
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2016
From: India
Posts: 1,637

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger View Post
Interesting facts. Did it give the percentage number for Prussia? I would imagine the junckers had quite a bit.
You are right, the Prussian junkers indeed even surpassed England in this regard: around 60% of land was in control of nobility in Brandenburg and Pomerania (which is very unusually high for Germany and deserves a discussion in and of itself), but it was less than 40% in case of east Prussia.
Bhrigu is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2017, 08:23 AM   #4
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,076

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhrigu View Post
While reading a book on Prussian history, I recently came across the fact that nearly 55% of cultivable land in 18th century England was owned by landed nobility. This is much in contrast to the mere 20% and 15% in case of France and Russia respectively. What led the nobility in England to retain such a powerful position in the countryside as compared to her continental neighbours?
I'd reluctant to just accpet that. I'll like to see some details, Which date? Minaly on the Russian perspective. Who owned the Land in Russia?

There were extensive State and Church lands (much more than in England or France, or Prussia though the Church lost it lands to the state in Russia in 1762 , but what other significant land owners? Serfs were a large part of the population, and they didnt own land but some owned the serfs, and the land, only Nobles were able own serfs (thus only Nobles cool down settled land) till mid 18th century.

From "European Nobility in the Eighteen Century" - page 37 Jerzy Lukowski

"Peers and well-to-do Gentry owned about a quarter of all the cultivated acreage of England. The Nobility of France may have owned about a quarter of all land in France outright. Polish nobles owned about two-thirds of all they land in Poland, Prussian Nobles over half in the Hohenzollern lands. Fewer than 300 noble families owned almost half of all the landed property in lombardy. In Spain, it was said that four great families owned one third of all the cultivated land. At least half of the serf population of Russia at any time belonged to the Nobility"



https://books.google.com.au/books?id...hip%20&f=false

Last edited by pugsville; May 3rd, 2017 at 08:56 AM.
pugsville is online now  
Old May 3rd, 2017, 03:30 PM   #5

Edric Streona's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2016
From: Japan
Posts: 3,339

Russia, I imagine being so vast, has so much land that a lot of it was I guess owned by no one. That or id guess that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in Russia and France were still sizeable land owners, maybe, where as in England Lords and Royals had taken church lands.
Edric Streona is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2017, 03:40 PM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Posts: 3,180

Meanwhile, one of Scotland's longest established nobles -the Duke of Buccleuch(pronounced Buckloo) remains one of Britain's largest landowners and has been ever since the 19th century owining land all over the UK including England.
The Scots nobility owned extensive estates south of the border in the 19th/ ealry 20th cen turies.
Pendennis is offline  
Old May 4th, 2017, 01:27 AM   #7

notgivenaway's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2015
From: UK
Posts: 5,359

Because even by the 18th century, with no feudalism and an emergent liberal democracy, the nobles still held power, due to better breeding and status. They tended to own estates, but offered lower classes work for rent, or work in estates. Or they hired tradespeople, but paid taxes on the overall revenues of their estates.
notgivenaway is offline  
Old May 4th, 2017, 04:11 AM   #8

funakison's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2012
From: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 5,328
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Because even by the 18th century, with no feudalism and an emergent liberal democracy, the nobles still held power, due to better breeding and status. They tended to own estates, but offered lower classes work for rent, or work in estates. Or they hired tradespeople, but paid taxes on the overall revenues of their estates.
Even more important than inheritance of cash is inheritance of attitudes. For the past 150 years, this gilded class has stuck to the Holy Trinity of wealth creation, over and above any inheritance they have received: a good education, a good income and a good marriage, (american millionaires are particularly welcome)
funakison is offline  
Old May 4th, 2017, 09:53 AM   #9
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2016
From: India
Posts: 1,637

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
I'd reluctant to just accpet that. I'll like to see some details, Which date? Minaly on the Russian perspective. Who owned the Land in Russia?
I'm referring to Christopher Clark who cites Hanna Schissler's essay The Junkers: Notes on the Social and Historical Significance of the
Agrarian Elite in Prussia
(Boston, 1986) for the figures in the OP. He is rather vague about the time and details, but it is written in context of late eighteenth century.

I do not know what you mean to ask with your second question, as I have clearly mentioned that the land was owned by landed nobility. It should be noted here is that in case of Russia, the figure is only for the European part of Russia, and hence the largely crown owned lands east of Urals are excluded in the calculation.

Quote:
There were extensive State and Church lands (much more than in England or France, or Prussia though the Church lost it lands to the state in Russia in 1762 , but what other significant land owners? Serfs were a large part of the population, and they didnt own land but some owned the serfs, and the land, only Nobles were able own serfs (thus only Nobles cool down settled land) till mid 18th century.

From "European Nobility in the Eighteen Century" - page 37 Jerzy Lukowski

"Peers and well-to-do Gentry owned about a quarter of all the cultivated acreage of England. The Nobility of France may have owned about a quarter of all land in France outright. Polish nobles owned about two-thirds of all they land in Poland, Prussian Nobles over half in the Hohenzollern lands. Fewer than 300 noble families owned almost half of all the landed property in lombardy. In Spain, it was said that four great families owned one third of all the cultivated land. At least half of the serf population of Russia at any time belonged to the Nobility"



https://books.google.com.au/books?id...hip%20&f=false
Thanks for the very informative quote. Now that I looked up more on this topic, your points and reluctance to accept the figures in the OP do seem to be reasonable.

Last edited by Bhrigu; May 4th, 2017 at 11:20 AM.
Bhrigu is offline  
Old May 4th, 2017, 09:56 AM   #10
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2016
From: India
Posts: 1,637

Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Because even by the 18th century, with no feudalism and an emergent liberal democracy, the nobles still held power, due to better breeding and status. They tended to own estates, but offered lower classes work for rent, or work in estates. Or they hired tradespeople, but paid taxes on the overall revenues of their estates.
This is rather generally known and hardly answers my question. My question addresses the ownership of unusually large amounts of land by landed nobility in England in comparison with the continental countries, not the existence of landed nobility itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edric Streona View Post
Russia, I imagine being so vast, has so much land that a lot of it was I guess owned by no one. That or id guess that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches in Russia and France were still sizeable land owners, maybe, where as in England Lords and Royals had taken church lands.
The figure in the OP is only for European part of Russia.

It would be really interesting to know the amount of land under Church ownership in different European countries, if someone here is able and willing to provide the figures. From what I know it does seem that the Orthodox Church was a significant land owner at least in European Russia.

Last edited by Bhrigu; May 4th, 2017 at 10:04 AM.
Bhrigu is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > European History

Tags
continental, england, europe, land, nobility



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Did Britain ever make an attempt to take over continental Europe greatstreetwarrior Speculative History 47 January 13th, 2017 11:29 PM
Nobility in Medieval Europe RLJ1874 History Help 7 January 5th, 2017 11:56 AM
Railroads in 19th Century Continental Europe Salah European History 3 April 6th, 2016 11:22 PM
Olde England and The Laws of the Land Richard Stanbery European History 8 November 11th, 2013 08:08 PM
Land connection between England and Europe civfanatic Speculative History 17 November 29th, 2012 09:27 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.