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Freedom's Price
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Freedom's Price: Serfdom, Subjection, and Reform in Prussia, 1648-1848

S. A. Eddie


The one certain, indeed proverbial, thing about serfs is that they were as oppressed as they were unfree. But is it true? Building on a new reading of archival material, this book attempts a fundamental re-appraisal of the workings of a ‘serf’ or manorial economy. That of Prussia, the supposed apotheosis of peasant oppression in Europe, was in fact not one in which defenceless serfs were fleeced by a Faustian alliance of nobles and state. Rather, it enshrined mutual rights and obligations: subject peasants were literally dependent on noble capital yet, contrary to modern assumptions, fared bet ... More

Keywords: (Prussia, serfdom, subjection), serf, peasant, noble, Junker, reform, freedom, enfranchisement, feudalism, manorial

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199662753
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662753.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

S. A. Eddie, author
Independent scholar