Zwischen Ost und West

Niederösterreichs adelige Grundherrschaft 1550-1750


  • Herbert Knittler Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Universität Wien



The Jack of a clearly discernible border between the regions of Grund- and Gutsherrschaft as well as the actual overlapping of the two systems in East-Central Europe has necessitated a reassessment of regional differentiation and the postulation of transitional types of manorial systems. Pointing towards the fact, that the main characteristics of „second serfdom" do not apply to the regions of present day Austria, the author selects as his foremost criterion for the analysis of the position of the Lower and Upper Austrian variants of the manorial system the varying amount of the labour rent extracted by the landlord. The comparison of the two Austrian provinces based on material from the mid-eighteenth century shows that labour dues were of major importance only in a few regions at the eastern fringe of the provinces, without ever reaching the dimensions characteristic for the core zones of Gutsherrschaft east of the river Elbe and for Bohemia after the Thirty Years' War. On the other hand, the picture of manorial estates furnished with agrarian and industrial demesnes, monopolies as weil as rents in cash and kind differs so significantly from the ideal type of Grundherrschaft that the introduction of a transitional category, like Alfred Hoffmann's concept of „Wirtschaftsherrschaft", seems to be justified, although this system was neither limited to the Austrian lands nor was it systematically applied throughout them.





Knittler, H. (1993). Zwischen Ost und West: Niederösterreichs adelige Grundherrschaft 1550-1750. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 4(2), 191–217.