The Bohemian Serfdom in Legal Documents (1648-1742) Cover Image
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Die böhmische Leibeigenschaft in Rechtsdokumenten (1648-1742)
The Bohemian Serfdom in Legal Documents (1648-1742)

Author(s): Ivo Cerman, Michal Morawetz
Subject(s): History of Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, History of ideas, Social history, 17th Century, 18th Century, Canon Law / Church Law, Philosophy of Law, Roman law
Published by: Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích
Keywords: serfdom; Bohemia; Moravia; Silesia; Czechia; legal history; litigation; natural law; peasants
Summary/Abstract: After the Thirty Years’ War the peasants in Bohemia found themselves living in a harder version of subject status (Untertänigkeit) which was known as ‘Bohemian serfdom’ (böhmische Leibeigenschaft). The present edition of German and Czech legal documents reconstructs the formative phase of this legal institution up to the Franco-Bavarian occupation of the Bohemian lands, when Maria Theresia was compelled to discuss the abolition of subject status and serfdom. It was during this debate that ministers in Vienna commissioned a legal opinion entitled Deductio ratione servitutis bohemicae et moravicae which describes the legal competencies and disabilities of serfs in full. In so doing this document, which is edited here, closes the formative phase of Bohemian serfdom. The edition, which is inspired by US works on slavery, includes also documents on the the status of newly born kids. It also focuses on natural law arguments.

  • Page Count: 375
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Language: German