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Overcoming Institutional Inertia: Serfdom, the State and Agrarian Reform in Prussia and Russia

Dennison, Tracy (2020) Overcoming Institutional Inertia: Serfdom, the State and Agrarian Reform in Prussia and Russia. In: A History of the European Restorations - Volume Two: Culture, Society and Religion. International Library of Historical Studies. Bloomsbury Academic , London, pp. 188-202. ISBN 9781788318051. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210423-131432341

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Abstract

Tracy Dennison Periods of radical reform are attractive to historians, for they are fascinatingly complex historical events. But they can also be misleading. What appears radical at a given moment may have been, in fact, the result of a series of smaller, incremental changes over a long period of time. Similarly, a radical plan for social and economic change may, once implemented, leave the existing institutional equilibrium largely unchanged, thus having a trivial impact on the lives of most people. These possibilities are explored here, through a comparison of two major agrarian reform efforts in the nineteenth century: the abolition of serfdom in Prussia (1807) and in Russia (1861) . It will be suggested that in both cases reform was far less radical than implied in the historiography. In Prussia, the institutional equilibrium was altered significantly, though over quite a long period of time, with the ‘shock’ of the French...


Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
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https://doi.org/10.5040/9781788318068.ch-016DOIArticle
Additional Information:© 2020 Bloomsbury Academic.
Series Name:International Library of Historical Studies
DOI:10.5040/9781788318068.ch-016
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210423-131432341
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210423-131432341
Official Citation:Dennison, T. (2020). Overcoming Institutional Inertia: Serfdom, the State and Agrarian Reform in Prussia and Russia. In M. Broers, A.A. Caiani & S. Bann (Eds.). A History of the European Restorations: Volume Two Culture, Society and Religion (pp. 188–202). London: Bloomsbury Academic. http://dx.doi.org/10.5040/9781788318068.ch-016
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108814
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Apr 2021 23:27
Last Modified:29 Jul 2021 15:12

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