The socio-economic history of Lithuania from the 16th to the 19th century (until 1861) from the perspective of economic development concepts

Darius Žiemelis
Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius, E-mail:

The article was prepared during a Postdoctoral Fellowship, funded by the European Union Structural Funds Programme for the Development of Human Resources for Scholars and other students in research and scientific work incentives (VP1-3.1-WE-01) Implemented the project ‘Postdoctoral (post doc) Fellowship Implementation in Lithuania‘. Material for the theoretical part of the article was collected and analyzed during an internship at the Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin) on 4 February – 4 March 2013.

The article is devoted to the presentation of the economic conceptions of the most influential non-Marxist (Karl Bücher, Max Weber) and neo-Marxists (Witold Kula, Immanuel Wallerstein) disclosing their analytical value in the investigations of the typologization of Lithuania‘s social economic history in the 16th-19th centuries (up to 1861). It is established that K. Bücher’s and M. Weber’s conceptions of economic development are best suited to analyze the qualitative changes in the organization of the economic life of the most developed countries in Western Europe (primarily – England) rather than the socio-economic reality of the less developed countries. For the research of the latter better suited are the Marxist (W. Kula‘s model of the feudal economy) and the neo-Marxist (I. Wallerstein’s capitalist world-system conception) concepts analyzing the economic development of less developed countries. The typological diagnosis of Lithuania‘s social economic history in the 16th-19th centuries (up to 1861) is presented.

Acest articol este dedicat prezentării concepțiilor economice ale celor mai influenți nemarxiști (Karl Bücher, Max Weber) și neo-marxiști (Witold Kula, Immanuel Wallerstein), dezvăluind valoarea lor analitică în ceea ce privește investigarea tipologizării istoriei socio-economice a Lituaniei din secolul al XVI-lea până în secolul al XIX-lea (până la 1861). Este acceptat faptul că concepțiile lui K. Bücher și M. Weber de dezvoltare economică sunt cele mai potrivite pentru a analiza schimbările calitative în ceea ce privește organizarea vieții economice din țările cele mai dezvoltate din Europa de Vest (în principal – Anglia), mai degrabă decât realitatea socio-economică din țările mai puțin dezvoltate. Pentru cercetarea acestora din urmă mai potrivite sunt conceptele marxiste (modelul lui W. Kula asupra economiei feudale) și neo-marxiste (concepția sistemului mondial capitalist a lui I. Wallerstein) care analizează dezvoltarea economică a țărilor mai puțin dezvoltate. Este realizată diagnosticarea tipologică a istoriei socio-economice a Lituania din secolul al XVI-lea până în secolul al XIX-lea (până la 1861).

Keywords: 16th-19th c. Lithuania’s social economic history; non-Marxist and neo-Marxist conceptions of the economy
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