Købstadslandbruget og kampen om byernes naturlige ressourcer
Nøgleord:købstaslandbrug, landbrugshistorie, landbohistorie
Denne artikel handler om ejendoms- og brugsretten til købstædernes jorder samt de forskellige former for udskiftning, der fandt sted fra cirka 1500 til anden halvdel af 1800-tallet. I særlig grad sættes der fokus på holdningsforskelle og interessekonflikter under udskiftningsbølgen i årtierne omkring 1800. De talrige bybiografier har bibragt os megen viden om strukturer og hændelsesforløb i de enkelte byer. Derimod er der behov for mere forskning vedrørende de centrale og regionale myndigheders beslutninger i spørgsmål om købstædernes landbrug.
The purpose of this article is to conflate current research about the right of use of the fields and commons of the Danish cities and towns. This analysis has brought to light many common features. There can be no doubt that the urban land in the Middle Ages mainly consisted of woods, meadows, bogs and moors. In the 16th-18th centuries many of these areas were brought under cultivation.However, even about the year 1800 grazing of cattle, horses, sheep and other animals was still more important than tillage in many towns. During the first wave of cultivating much arable land was divided into hundreds of small strips, and often a number of such strips were associated with each of the houses in the town. These plots were probably considered public property in most places, available to be hired out to different house owners. However, the right of use soon changed to property right and in some towns certain persons – often the most successful and active merchants – gradually became owners of a considerable number of plots. In contrast to the rural areas, no comprehensive laws were published about the towns’ agricultural reforms in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this period, the enclosure movement took rather different courses in individual towns. In some places the process stretched over a very long period, consisting of several, distinct phases. In a few towns the reforms began already between 1750 and 1780, but in general the process started and finished rather late, compared with the rural areas. Among other things this was due to the fact that the enclosure process in the towns was often very turbulent causing intense conflicts between different parts of the local population. The typical conflict was between well-to-do citizens who owned many plots and wanted to bring them together in order to raise productivity, and poor people who feared loosing the right to graze their cows.
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