Expropriations and confiscations, 16 th –20 th Centuries- Expropriations et confiscations, XVI e –XX e siècles
Edited By Luigi Lorenzetti, Michela Barbot and Luca Mocarelli
The papers collected in the present volume suggest that private property is not necessarily the most safeguarded legal model, hence it is not less vulnerable to violation. They construct a close analysis of the most common forms of abuse of private property on record – expropriation, seizure, and confiscation – perpetrated by public authorities. They also seek to define the uneasy, often intricate relation between legal and legitimate. In a perspective of lights and shadows, the role of confiscation and expropriation changes : now seen as powerful instruments of change, now as enduring factors of conservation in the evolution of private ownership rights.
Les droits de propriété sont depuis longtemps au cœur de l’intérêt de diverses disciplines. L’attention des historiens s’est focalisée surtout sur la naissance de la propriété privée et individuelle telle qu’elle a été codifiée dans l’Europe libérale du XIX
From Barons to Peasant Farmers : The Privatisation of Feudal Lands in Southern Italy in the Nineteenth Century - Paola Nardone 185
From Barons to Peasant Farmers : The Privatisation of Feudal Lands in Southern Italy in the Nineteenth Century Paola Nardone During the course of the eighteenth century, as part of the process of the Enlightenment, the political and economic power of the baronial class and the Church were downsized as Western European States became increasingly securlarized. This development was particularly slow and difficult in southern Italy, where the authority of the feudal lords and the Church had grown considerably over the years. Thanks to the concessions made by the various sovereigns, these social classes had accumulated extensive privileges which, in point of fact, prevented the State from exercising its sovereignty over the country, thereby hindering any economic growth or civil progress. At the turn of the century, Neapolitan society was still organised along essentially feudal lines, based on a centuries-old stratification of customs, tra- ditions and rights (but also usurpations and arrogance) which had brought about a paradoxical situation : the people were subject to the “government of two masters”1. The authority of the sovereign was in fact significantly restricted by that of the feudal lords and the Church, both of which enjoyed immunity with respect to royal power, and legal and financial rights over the king’s subjects, but above all, both possessed huge landed interests. In particular, it was estimated that the Church occupied between half and three quarters of the entire Kingdom2, 1 Villani Pasquale, Mezzogiorno tra riforme e rivoluzione, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1974, p. 156. For more on this...
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