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The nature of the development of large land ownership in Galicia in 1848–1902


We analyze the development nature of large-scale land tenure in Galicia in 1848–1902. We substantiate the dependence of social and economic state of the Rusyns-Ukrainian peasantry on the agrarian reform carried out in the Austrian Empire in 1848. We analyze the national composition of landowners (predominantly Poles). We characterize the remnants of the serfdom system in Galicia, in particular, easements problems (rights to use the landowner’s forests, meadows, pastures). We consider the order of easements replacement on smaller land plots of non-cultivated land (in comparison with the territory available with the right to use) in favor of peasants. We analyze the economic development of owner’s lands in the second half of the 19th century. We provide the conclusion about the agriculture mechanization degree lagging behind the Western Austrian lands in connection with peasant overpopulation and the associated cheapness of labor force, as well as the high cost for the impoverished Polish szlachta (nobility) of imported machines. We consider the level of employees’ wages in the agricultural sector, the duration of working day. The decrease in the wages share is due to the use of modern agricultural machinery, which has reduced the contribution of the employee to the harvest. We characterize the taxes distribution between landowners and peasants.


Galicia; landlordism; employees; national identity; szlachta (nobility)

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Foreign countries’ history

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