Latifundium: Moral Economy and Material Life in a European Periphery

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9780472103423: Latifundium: Moral Economy and Material Life in a European Periphery
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Latifundium documents the history of the aristocratic Barracco family, together with its estate and employees, in nineteenth-century Italy. Using the personal records of the Barracco family, Marta Petrusewicz traces the rise of the estate - part of the system of latifondism that had first been seen in ancient Roman times - and helps position it in broader historical and economic contexts.
Under the ownership of the Barraccos the estate grew substantially as a result of the family's carefully planned actions and policies. The produce of the Barracco estate included agricultural foodstuffs and animals, as well as simple manufactured goods such as yarn; control over these products and the land was undertaken through cautiously chosen marriages and a strict policy of primogeniture.
Marta Petrusewicz's study of this output shows the estate's transformation from a feudal system to a capitalistic one. The author also demonstrates that a market economy in south Italy existed before the unification of the Italian state, and she thereby disproves the "dependency theory" held by some Italian economists.
Not merely a study of one family and their lands, Latifundium broadly sketches a picture of south Italian social history, political life, agricultural practices, and industrial struggles in the nineteenth century. This volume will be of interest to a wide variety of historians of Europe and Italy, feudalism and class structure, politics, and industrial growth.

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About the Author:

Marta Petrusewicz is Associate Professor of History, Hunter College.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

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