Scott, Tom, The Survival of Serfdom in Western Europe

and Tom Scott


Apart from the survival of serfdom in western Germany, the perpetuation of unfreedom elsewhere in western Europe has frequently been overlooked. Recent research on France, especially its eastern districts, has shown how specific forms of feudal dues, such as the heriot, evolved into a general status of subjection akin to citizenship, just as occurred in the west German lands. In Scandinavia, harsh forms of personal and tenurial unfreedom yielded over time to the state's need for a free peasantry bound only by its duty of military service. In the Mediterranean lands the spread of sharecropping could subject the peasantry to quasiservile dependence.

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The Zeitschrift für Rechtsgeschichte (ZRG, also known as the Savigny Journal) represents an integral part of European legal history research, having made a significant contribution to the current state of the discipline.