Economic challenges in Early Modern Ages and different responses of European margins. Comparative considerations based on historiography: the cases of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Moldavian Principality

Nerijus Babinskas
Vilnius University, E-mail: nerijus.babinskas@if.vu.lt

Acknowledgments
This paper has been presented at the Third International Conference on Nordic and Baltic Studies in Romania: European Networks: the Balkans, Scandinavia and the Baltic World in a Time of Crisis hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies and Valahia University of Târgoviste, and sponsored by the Romanian National Research Council, May 25-27, 2012.

Abstract:
This paper desires to draw attention to some stereotypes that simplify perception of historical reality, but nevertheless still prevail in historiography. There is a very common statement about the so-called second edition of serfdom (based on manorial-serve economy) that spread all around the Eastern Europe region in the 16th century. This turn in social development is usually explained as determined by internal as well as external factors. If the problem considered is placed under Marxist views, one can distinguish two extreme poles: traditional Marxism and world-system approach. Supporters of traditional Marxism emphasize internal factors while adherents of world-system attitude accentuate external factors. The author argues that the regime of serfdom established in Moldova until 1600 is not consistent with the classic model. In this case, one can talk only about another type of second serfdom that differs from that of Eastern Germany as well as from Central Europe. It would be also a gross simplification to claim that second serfdom phenomenon was caused exclusively by external reasons. Internal causes are not less but probably even more decisive, at least in some cases. As the work of Darius Žiemelis has showed recently, statements of world-system approach toward certain societies are worth of critical reconsideration.

Rezumat:
Studiul de față are intenţia să atragă atenţia asupra unor stereotipuri care simplifică percepţia asupra realităţii istorice, dar, cu toate acestea, încă predomină în istoriografie. Există o afirmaţie foarte obișnuită despre aşa-numita a doua iobăgie (bazată pe raportul economic boier-ţăran dependent), care s-a răspândit în întreaga aşa-numită regiune a Europei de Est în secolul al XVI-lea. Cauzele acestei transformări a dezvoltării sociale sunt, de obicei, explicate atât prin factori interni cât şi externi. Dacă am ancora problema menţionată în cadrul explicaţiei marxiste, se pot distinge două extreme: marxismul tradiţional şi abordarea sistemului mondial. Susţinătorii marxismului tradiţional subliniază factorii interni, în timp ce adepţii teoriei sistemului mondial accentuează factorii externi. Autorul susţine că regimul de iobăgie stabilit în Moldova până în anul 1600 nu corespunde modelului clasic. În acest caz se poate vorbi doar despre un alt tip de A Doua Iobăgie, care diferă de cea din Germania de Est, precum şi de cea din Europa Centrală. Ar fi, de asemenea, o simplificare evidentă, să pretindem că fenomenul celea de-a Doua Iobăgii a fost cauzat doar de motive externe. Cauzele interne nu sunt mai mici, ci, probabil, chiar mai decisive, cel puţin, în unele cazuri. Aşa cum a arătat recent lucrarea lui Darius Žiemelis, paradigma sistemului mondial faţă de anumite societăţi merită o reconsiderare critică.

Key words: second serfdom; manorial-serf system (Folwark); corvée (labour rent); international trade; Marxism.

https://balticnordic.hypotheses.org/files/2018/12/06.-Babinskas.pdf