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Campesinos, Estado y mercado. La conflictividad forestal en el Noroeste de España, León (1870­ ‐1936)


  • José Serrano Álvarez



In the 19th Century the Spanish State privatised large areas of common lands and took over management of common wastelands and woodlands, thus stripping the peasants of all the control they had over them. Just as in many other parts of Spain, State intervention in wastelands and woodlands in León was a controversial issue because it was a symptom of conflicting visions or interests: between the State that promoted forestry uses and the peasants whose livelihood, based on agriculture and cattle, depended on common lands. The aim of this paper is to study the motivation behind peasant resistances to State intervention in Northwest Spain in the period 1870-1936. Although the conflicts have been explained from different perspectives (as resistance to market penetration, as "weapons of the poor", or as environmental conflicts), here we argue that the tensions and disputes over the common lands represent the peasants' defence of their livelihoods as well as the struggle for the "opportunities" the market offered.

Suggested Citation

  • José Serrano Álvarez, 2014. "Campesinos, Estado y mercado. La conflictividad forestal en el Noroeste de España, León (1870­ ‐1936)," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1402, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1402

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
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    More about this item


    Northwest Spain; Common lands; Peasant resistances; Forest crime;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • L73 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Forest Products
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions

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