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Peasant clearance
(1,262 words)

The term peasant clearance was coined in the 18th century to describe the massive usurpation of peasant farmsteads by Mecklenburg estate owners (Gutsherrschaft) [5]. Scholars have understood it variously, but it is a useful collective term for any reduction of peasant farmsteads by the landowner to meet his own needs for housing and agriculture, but above all to expand the productive land of the manor (Manorialism). Extensive peasant clearance was already being practiced in the Middle Ages by monastic landowners to create and extend their own outlying la…

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Enders, Lieselott, “Peasant clearance”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017374>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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