Edwin J. What do you need? Toggle navigation. Irrigation Workshop Biosolids Composting and Compost Use. Soil Information Program. Where can I get a general soils map of Virginia? Where can I find a simple basic soils book? A fifth edition is in progress. Brady and Ray R. Where can I find an inexpensive on-line basic soils course?
Please contact Dr. John Galbraith at to request. Contact John M. Galbraith john. Follow Soil Information Program. Need help? Find your city or county's local office. Publications and Resources. Events and Calendars. Website Feedback. Language Translator. The fascinating things about soils in Virginia. For obtaining further information, we will thus have to rely on other sources. On average about two occupations are mentioned for each of the households which were investigated. These can be categorized into no less than 78 sorts of occupations, of which 66 were non- agrarian.
Some of these villagers were working for the local market, like the butchers, the confectioner and the cooper, but most non-agrarian activities were probably aimed at non-local markets and can be listed as proto-industrial. This goes for glue-production, lime-burning, brick work mentioned 6 times , peat digging 2 , barging 6 , shipbuilding 24 and activities in textile industries In this area, a short distance from the textile centre of Leiden, the textile.
Map 3 map of the Holland region , indicating the places mentioned in the text. This impression is confirmed when investigating the major non-agricultural activities in the Holland region one by one. Here, in this section, we will construct a catalogue of these activities, since a general and full overview is not yet available for Holland. We will start with the cloth industry, which developed particularly in the course of the 14th and early- 15th centuries. In this sector the Holland cities, like their Flemish counterparts somewhat earlier, aimed at suppressing weaving and fulling in the countryside, a policy which especially gained momentum in the 15th century.
Rural producers were still fabricating cloth, at least the cheaper varieties, using mainly indigenous wool. This had been very common in the first half of the 14th century, in several places in the Holland region,73 but also later, until well into the 16th century. This was the case even in the immediate surroundings of cloth giant Leiden,76 which contrasts with the situation around the urban cloth centres in Flanders. There is, however, one similarity with the situation in Flanders: the absence of fulling-mills in the countryside. The first fulling-mill in Holland was built in the city of Haarlem in ,77 but subsequently the Staten of Holland and the cities banned the use of these mills, a ban which lasted until the end of the 16th century.
More important for the countryside than weaving and fulling were the prepatory activities performed for the urban cloth industry: most notably spinning. In the research area most of the spinning was done for the Leiden cloth industry, which tapped labour sources all over Holland, but also for drapers from The Hague, Gouda and later Amsterdam. The spinning was mainly done by women, but sometimes also by men, as mentioned for the villages of Kudelstaart, Kalslagen and Koudekerk aan de Rijn, and also for the city of Leiden.
Sometimes city governments even forbade urban entrepreneurs having spinning done outside the city, and in some cases also the combing or carding of the wool,80 mostly in times of high unemployment. In times of labour scarcity or in cities where labour shortages existed, on the other hand, the drapers requested the city government to force or persuade poor inhabitants and girls to take up spinning or carding.
In some cases even a battle for rural labour forces arose between two cities, as in between Leiden and Amsterdam. The Amsterdam government, urged to do so by the drapers, first tried to reach this goal by a kind of blackmail: by denying the inhabitants of Waterland shipping commissions in Amsterdam as long as they refused. The Amsterdam government realized, however, that its goal could sooner be reached by economic means: by inciting the Amsterdam drapers to pay wages equal to those offered by the Leiden drapers, as was almost immediately done.
Also, this case shows that at least periodically there were shortages of unskilled rural labour in Holland. This, and the small importance of non-economic means to force wages down, probably resulted in relatively high wages and in a drive towards the application of labour-saving techniques in Holland, as will also be elaborated below. Total cloth production in the Holland research area was substantial. After its rise in the 14th century it reached a peak around , as some 35 to 40, cloths were produced here.
After a decline at the end of the 15th century production remained fairly stable until c. Cloth production in Holland, however, required relatively less labour input from the countryside than Flemish production did. First, the preparatory activities performed in Holland were clearly less labour-intensive. Restrictions on the use of carded wool, although existing in some cities, at least for the warp and the finest qualities of wool,84 do not seem to have been as strict as in Flanders.
At that, in Holland the restrictions on carding were mostly relaxed in the course of the 16th century. The same goes for the use of the spinning-wheel in order to save time in the spinning of wool. This seems to have been relatively widespread in Holland and also increased further in the 16th century; first for the weft yarn, but later also for the warp. In Holland labour-intensive combing and hand-spinning thus were less important than in Flanders. Also a larger part of the preparatory activities seems to have been performed within the cities, or perhaps in countries abroad exporting yarn to Holland.
How large this input was in absolute numbers can only be guesstimated. We can convert the numbers of cloth into man years of labour-input, as done above for Flanders, but we do not know the share of rural labour input in the production process, except that it was probably smaller than in Flanders. In the 15th century, the rural labour- input in cloth production in this region perhaps amounted to some 5, to 7, man years,87 which probably decreased to a few thousand man years around as a result of labour-saving developments and declining output. In the Holland cloth sector the emphasis seems to have been more and more on the finishing of cloths and the costly process of dyeing, using large amounts of fuel and expensive dye-stuffs.
These capital-intensive production processes were performed almost exclusively in large cities like Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam. Alongside the cloth industry a linen industry also developed in Holland, as witnessed by some direct data and by fairly substantial exports, for instance to England, and later also to Spain and Italy.
The countryside in the research area had only a few linen weavers, mainly in the vicinity of Rotterdam and Schiedam, where some small-scale linen weaving existed in the first half of the 16th century. Also the organization of the industry here was different from Flanders, with a stronger role of putting-out. Probably these differences were partly connected to the relative unimportance of flax cultivation in Holland, which diminished from the first half of the 14th century onwards, perhaps partly as a result of soil subsidence and increasing problems with ground water.
In Holland the linen industry mainly used flax or hackled flax imported from abroad. On the basis of the production figures mentioned above, it can be surmised that the spinning required some , man years in this region, a number which is insignificant compared to the Flemish linen sector. Also, in Holland a major part of the spinning was done within the cities.
In , for instance, the city of Leiden counted women whose main profession was spinning, alongside 7 people who were explicitly spinning wool. Striking are the enormous quantities of yarn which were shipped along the toll at Sas- van-Gent in During this single year the toll records list no less than 62 transports of yarn mainly twine yarn , probably transported from Inland Flanders to Holland. The same applies to the tick weaving in Schiedam and Rotterdam, which expanded at the end of the 16th century and mainly used yarn imported from the Wuppertal region.
Probably these large-scale imports of yarn to Holland have a longer tradition. Already at the end of the 14th century Holland ships were transporting Cologne yarn, for instance to England. Unfortunately, it is not always clear from where to where these goods went, and whether they concern yarn made from wool, flax or hemp.
In , however, it seems clear from the provenance of the shippers and the nature of the other goods on the vessels in question such as wax, honey, glass, iron wares and tuff 98 that it was exported from the Rhineland to Holland, and not the other way around. Thus, already at an early stage the Holland textile industries were starting to leave the most labour-intensive parts of the production process to other regions. The bleaching of linen, on the other hand, became more important in the second half of the 16th century.
At the same time, around , a tapestry industry in the Holland region also unfolded, to a large extent as a result of the immigration of dozens or even hundreds of Flemish tapestry workers, mainly from Audenarde and its region. More striking than the rural textile activities, however, are the non-textile sectors in the Holland countryside, to which we will turn now. One of the most notable sectors was the production of bricks and paving-tiles, which developed here from the 13th century onwards. Helped by the high quality of the bricks brick production here thrived. Around , the area counted several dozen ovens, each employing some 6 labourers, later growing to c.
Except for the immediate surroundings of the cities, where the ovens were banned for reason of the stench and fire-risk, this industry was allowed to develop freely on the Holland countryside. Lime-burning, using shells gathered along the coast, also developed here already during the 14th century.
An interesting and early example is offered by the activities undertaken by Martijn Buser, a comital functionary, who organized this industry on behalf of the count in the years Also in the research area itself, for instance near Leiden, lime-burning developed early, using shells collected in nearby coastal villages such as Katwijk and Valkenburg. In the 16th century the area around Leiden perhaps counted some lime kilns. In the 14th century, also brewing was still widespread in the Holland countryside.
At that time, however, a strong brewing-industry started to develop in Holland cities, especially from c. Cities such as Gouda and Delft soon counted dozens or even hundreds of brewers of hopped beer, to a great extent producing for markets in Brabant and Flanders. The urban breweries, particularly the larger ones with their capital reserves, were in a more favorable position to profit from developments than the smaller rural brewers were, as a result of the processes of concentration and specialization, requiring large capital investments.
This becomes evident, for instance, from an overview of brewing activities in the village of Noordwijk, at the end of the 15th century. Urban governments sometimes tried to repress brewing in the countryside, but in Holland there was no strict, lasting policy on this point. Moreover, the success of the cities was limited as a result of the lack of support for their attempts from the government, the reservedness of the courts to impose any penalties and the opposition from rural lords against the urban policies.
Rural brewing could thus exist in Holland. However, it can hardly be labeled as proto-industry in the strict sense, since the production was mostly aimed at local consumers and especially at the inhabitants of nearby cities, who walked to the countryside to have a cheap non-taxed drink. This, and some scattered data on the number of brewers in some villages, makes us surmise that in the 16th century there were probably some rural brewers in the Holland region working for non-regional markets and some for local and regional markets.
To a large extent in combination with the above sectors, also peat-digging in the Holland region developed strongly in the 14th century. This was partly a result of the growing demand from the urban population for heating and urban industries for brewing and dyeing, but also from rural industries such as brickworks and lime-kilns, both having a great need for fuel. In the research area, mainly consisting of peat-lands, peat-digging offered employment to a very large number of people.
In the Enqueste and the Informatie peat-digging is mentioned as a means of livelihood for about one-third of the villages, especially in the districts of Schieland en Rijnland. Since the enumeration of occupations is not exhaustive, this sector was probably even more important and more wide-spread in reality. The location of peat-digging was constantly shifting, since peat-layers became exhausted or impossible to reach because of problems with ground water. As a result of the construction of peatwinning-dikes and the increasing use of windmills to remove the water in the 15th century, and the large-scale introduction of dredging peat below the water table with scoops from c.
Only few exact data are available. In a small area near Benthorn some 30 persons during short and intense peat-digging campaigns dug about to 2, last per year, which is some 5 million liters on average. In the period , perhaps some 1 to 1. Added to this should be the exports through other cities like Delfshaven ; c. In this region, this would amount to a total output of turf of perhaps 4 to 6 million barrels per year around the middle of the 16th century. Alternative calculations, based on the number of hectares of peat-land and the thickness of the peat-layers, result in even higher numbers, up to 6 million m3 of wet peat or 2,3 million m3 of dried turf, i.
Combined, these figures indicate that around the middle of the 16th century the total number of people involved in the peat-digging here amounted to at least some 6,, but probably even more. This was mainly seasonal work, concentrated in a few months per year.
Outside the season, however, large numbers of people were still needed to carry and store the turf, and to transport it to the waterways and ship it to the urban markets. All this was mostly done by people from the peat- villages, using flat-bottomed boats for water transport carrying some 30 barrels of turf each or larger broad barges.
The shipment of the turf dug in this region alone required some , transports. If the turf was shipped over some 40 km i. In the attorney-general of the Court of Holland stated that in the Holland peat-region "hardly any people can be found who do not work in the peat- sector or have other people work for them there".
Contributing to the variety of non-agricultural activities in the Holland countryside were also less impressive sectors such as dairy production and oil- pressing. The cheese sector was generating a chief export product of the Holland countryside. In the last decades of the 16th century commercial production particularly boomed in the districts near the cheese markets of Alkmaar and Gouda, the latter city situated in the research area. Commercial dairy production, however, was not new in this region.
Around , in no less than three-quarters of the villages in the research area keeping cows is mentioned as a way of earning a livelihood. Probably, this large- scale commercial cheese-production had a longer history and already emerged here in the 14th century. Already around annually some 20 to 30 shippers, mostly from Delft and Gorinchem, passed the toll at the river Waal, each transporting hundreds of cheeses from Holland.
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In the Holland countryside also oil-pressing gained some importance. Rapeseed, lineseed, coleseed and hemp were all used to extract oil, which in its turn was used for producing paint, varnish, soap, for lighting and for consumption. About one mill was needed for each hectares of land sown with seed, so the Holland area probably had many dozen mills for oil-production. From c. Particularly in the eastern parts of the Holland research area hemp was. Hemp cultivation, which the peasant farmers often combined with dairy-farming and particularly the production of cheese, was already widespread by the early 16th century, but then expanded rapidly.
Thus, the cultivation and processing of hemp developed strongly here, particularly in connection with the simultaneous growth of shipping and the fishery in Holland. The processing of hemp was mainly done in the countryside during winter months, and also part of the actual production of ropes and nets was performed there, or done by fishers. More and more, however, the processed hemp was delivered to rope-yards and canvas producers in the cities, and used there. To concentrate the hemp trade in the cities, and perhaps also the hemp industry, urban governments sometimes used privileges and force.
In , for instance, Woerden received the monopoly on all hemp trade in the Land van Woerden. In Gouda, one of the main hemp centers, rope-yards emerged at the end of the 14th century at the latest and in at least 6 rope-yards existed here. Water transport and the fishery were among the most important sectors on the Holland countryside. In , more than a quarter of the villages in the region had these sectors listed as important sources of employment, accounting for c. In the villages on the coast particularly the herring fishery must have been important, as evidenced by the high number of herring busses.
Probably the region counted some busses at that time, offering employment to some 2, men. Fishing, sometimes combined with fowling, was also practised in the inland villages in the numerous lakes and along the water courses. At the end of the 16th century, in Holland and Zeeland probably several thousands of persons were occupied with inland fishing, sometimes part-time. Fishing was often linked with transportation, since fishing-ships were also used for carrying cargo, at least until the end of the 16th century, when specialized types of ships gained more and more ground.
Since ships from the research area are hardly mentioned in the registers of the Sound toll, as opposed to ships from the villages in the northern part of Holland, their transport activities probably were mainly performed within Holland itself, in other parts of the Low Countries and in neighbouring parts of Northwestern Europe.
The demand for transport by water was very high here: for carrying bulk-goods such as peat, shells, lime, sand and bricks, and also for transporting the increasing quantities of semi-fabricated goods which were used in Holland industries. The crews of the Holland ships consisted for a major part of country folk, at least into the 17th century. They often combined fishing and shipping with the making of nets and the exploitation of their small farms, activities which were all part of a yearly labour cycle.
Whereas inland fishing and coastal fisheries mainly displayed stability over the centuries, transport and herring fishery were booming. In the 16th century, the labour input in the transport of peat, for instance, increased to some , man years, as was observed above. Herring fishery too witnessed strong growth in Holland, particularly in the third quarter of the 15th century, but again in the following century. This highly capital-intensive activity, with its high costs for ships, anchors, cables, sails, nets, tuns, salt and victuals, became one of the.
Its rise went together with a geographical shift within the region. At first, the herring ships harboured mainly in the coastal villages in the research area, but from c. Around , Holland as a whole had some herring busses, each with around 20 crew members, or 8, men in total. The strong development of shipping and fishing in Holland in the 15th and 1 6th centuries not only resulted in a growing demand for rope, nets and canvas - which were produced for a large part in the eastern part of the research area and perhaps also in the fishing villages - but also in an increasing demand for ships.
Part of the shipbuilding was done in the countryside, along the rivers. Ship carpentry was a highly developed skill and increasingly so through the 15th and 16th centuries, as ships became bigger and more complex. Simultaneously, and connected with this development, a process of capital- intensification, scale-enlargement and concentration took place. This process went together with a shift of the sector to the cities, which also exercised some political pressure to this end.
Particularly small-scale wharfs, the building of small barges and the repair of ships remained important activities here, as in the area around Leiden where one-fifth of the households was active in this sector, or in Zoeterwoude and Stompwijk, where in ship-carpenters were building small boats for use by countryfolk. As the preceding shows, the Holland region thus possessed a large variety of non-agricultural activities in the countryside. The total labour-input in these sectors seems to have been relatively large, although numbers can only be guessed as with the numbers in brackets or at the best estimated:.
Table 3. Labour-input in non-agricultural activities in the countryside of the Holland region in man-years , If these estimates are correct, total labour-input in non-agricultural activities increased from c. Data on population figures in this region are scarce. A rough estimate would be that the countryside of the research area had 60,, 50, and 70, inhabitants respectively. If these were included the grand total would probably be similar to Van Zanden's figure.
The preceding therefore supports the claim that already in the early- 16th century Holland possessed a countryside where non-agricultural activities were very impor-. What is more, this claim would perhaps even apply more strongly to a period as early as the mid- 15th century, as appears from the foregoing.
The importance of the market-oriented non-agricultural sectors in Holland is striking, even when compared to the highly industrialized countryside of Inland Flanders. Surprising in the Holland figures is also the strong development in the second half of the 14th century. This period witnessed the emergence or growth of sectors such as peat-digging, brick-production, lime-burning and cheese production, all obtaining an important position and leading to substantial exports even before c.
The strong development in economy, the export industries and foreign trade, witnessed particularly by the Holland cities in the same period, as established by Jansen and Blockmans, appears to have had a counterpart in the rural non-agricultural activities. In all respects the second half of the 14th century can be labeled as the period of take-off in the economic expansion of Holland.
Interesting are also the strong shifts in activities that occurred in the course of the 16th century and particularly the downward curve starting in this period. The sweeping developments in the organization of these sectors in Holland, and also the simultaneous shifts in landownership and land-use, perhaps led to a shift of activities towards the cities and an erosion of the proto-industrial base.
Striking in the Holland region is also the great importance of non-agrarian activities which cannot be labeled as industrial in the strict sense, particularly shipping, fishing and peat-digging. Already from the 14th century onwards many of the non- agricultural activities in the Holland countryside required relatively large quantities of capital, for instance compared to Flanders. Not only did the Flanders countryside specialize in labour-intensive sectors, such as spinning.
Both elements limited the need for capital, in sharp contrast to the situation in Holland. In the following period, this character of rural industries in Holland was even further enforced, since exactly the capital-intensive activities developed strongly here, such as dyeing, bleaching, herring fishing, lime burning and brick production. The expansion of these sectors in the late Middle Ages thus foreshadowed the situation in the Golden Age to a greater extent than assumed before.
Now we will turn to the organization and the production relationships of these activities in the countryside. In the Flanders region, where almost only textile industries developed in the countryside, a strong diversity can be observed qua organization and production relationships. All kinds of forms of organization existed alongside and with one another.
Still, there are clear differences between the various branches of the textile industry. In the linen industry the units of production were small, consisting of peasant households, working at home. The peasants combined linen production with the exploitation of their small holdings, mostly some 1 to 5 hectares in size. The means of production, which were not costly, were mostly owned by the producers.
Wage labour played only a marginal role. Occasionally the weaving was put out by large farmers, who cultivated flax and had their wives and daughters spinning the yarn, in order to have it subsequently woven by a wage-labourer. Most of them were small peasants, organizing the cultivation of flax, the processing of the flax, the spinning and the weaving all themselves, within their own household.
Although the producers mostly were independant, their position within the economic structure of the linen sector as a whole was weak. It was the merchants who held the strongest position, buttressed by staple and market privileges, restrictions on export of raw materials, trade regulations and production regulations, and also by their grip on the final production stages and the marketing of the product. In , the latter region had at least 40 bleacheries where large quantities of Flemish linen were bleached.
All these elements greatly enforced the power of the linen merchants; they had an excellent basis for external control and monopsonistic exploitation, without engaging in production itself.
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Thus, this was a specific Kaufsystem, which can be labeled as a system of "exploitation-through-trade". Around the middle of the 16th century the difference was surprisingly high: c. Asserting that the linen trade negociatie ende traficque was the principal sustenance het principaelste onderhoud of some of these quarters, as done by the Flemish government in , is probably somewhat exaggerated, but it has some ground.
Typical of the Flemish linen sector - and probably connected with this particular aspect of it - was the existence of many intermediate wheels in the linen trade: the itinerant merchants the kutsers in the countryside; the village markets; the merchants in the regional market towns particularly in Aude- narde ; the merchant-bleachers; the wholesalers and intermediaries in larger cities, such as Ghent; and the big, often foreign merchants who accounted for a large share of the exports, like the Spanish merchants in Antwerp.
All in all the Flemish linen sector thus had a very specific organization, differing from that in some other linen regions, and also from the other rural textile industries in Flanders. The rural woollen industry in this region was almost solely limited to the prepatory phases: carding, combing and spinning of the wool.
These activities were largely organized in a putting-out system. Illustrating this is the example of Moorsele near Courtrai, where the women from the surrounding countryside came each Saturday to receive some wool from the Courtrai drapers, in order to comb and spin it, and to deliver the yarn and receive their wage. Although this example is taken from a locality situated some 25 km from the research area, the same situation perhaps also applied there.
In any case the wool was not produced, not even partly, on the family farms themselves, as most of the flax in the linen manufacture was. Most of the wool used did not even originate from the region itself. Although more indigenous wool was. This factor gave the merchants a strong grip over the main raw material. At that, the potentialities of rural producers in the woollen industry were put under heavy restraints. The strong division of labour in the production process, inherent in the cloth industry, enlarged the possibilities or even the necessity for organization and control by the entrepreneurs.
Also, there was - at least in the Flemish region — a rather strict separation between the functions of town and countryside, which further limited the possibilities of the rural people. They were not allowed to manufacture the yarn they produced into cloth, but depended on the marketing of the yarn, which was usually done by a third party.
This dependency was even stronger when they could not afford to buy the wool themselves, and were dependant on wool advanced by merchants, often urban-based. The situation had probably been more free in the 13th century, but around possibilities were curtailed by the cities and the urban guilds, as we saw above.
After that the weaving and the fulling were done in the cities, apart from some exceptions, as well as the expensive dyeing and finishing of the cloths. All these and the aforementioned elements enabled the merchant-entrepreneurs, - among who particularly the merchant element dominated -, to exercise a strong external control on the woollen activities performed in the countryside and to hold a strong grip on the product, which partly was done by way of a hierarchical system with several intermediate layers.
The raw material, however, seems mostly to have been provided by the entrepreneurs, and wage labour piece-wages was important here. Thus, notwithstanding the diversity in organizational forms, in general the putting-out system seems to have been important in the Flemish rural woollen industry. Also, the role of wage labour and the degree of dependency on merchants-entrepreneurs was larger than in the Flemish linen industry.
In the tapestry sector the influence of entrepreneurs was even stronger.
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The necessary supplies of raw materials and semi-manufactured products, the risks, the high prices and the long production periods also made capital an all-important factor in this sector. In the 16th century, certainly the producers in the countryside had clearly become subjected to capital. Many tapestry weavers from the villages had to come to their masters in Audenarde each Sunday, or - as other sources have it - each Thursday, to deliver the products, to collect their money a piece-wage and to receive new wool and yarn. In all respects they were subordinated to these urban entrepreneurs and to the control of the urban guild, a guild which in its turn was dominated by the big tapestry masters.
Guild regulations forbade the rural weavers to hire apprentices, strongly limited their possibilities to engage in trade, restricted their freedom to choose an employer and hindered them in working for their own account. In this sector, the labour force mainly consisted of wage labourers, not independent producers. Many weavers worked for piece-wages, and, additionally, the tapestry workers themselves often employed some hands.
Although the number of journeymen was limited formally to three per tapestry master, the number of employees was unrestricted and various forms of subcontracting were used. All in all, one can thus observe the emergence of hierarchical concentrations, dominated by a few urban entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs also possessed the contacts with the most important market, Antwerp.
Often the tapestry merchants in Antwerp were connected through family ties with the entrepreneurs in Audenarde. Not much later, in 1 , Charles V promulgated a decree which gave the tapestry sector stricter regulations, brought rural workshop-masters under the jurisdiction of urban guilds, restricted the number of apprentices to only one per master and limited the mobility of journeymen considerably. However, shortly afterwards, in Audenarde the decree was replaced by a new, separate decree, which offered the entrepreneurs more freedom in the production.
This shows how the production relationships in the tapestry sector could not be reversed anymore. Certainly when compared to the Flemish linen industry this sector shows a large share of wage labour, a sharp socio-economic polarization and a strong position of entrepreneurial capital. The latter applies particularly to the commissions, instruments, raw materials and marketing. Next to the influence of capital, however, also coercive power was important in the Flemish tapestry sector.
In the Flemish tapestry sector rural labour was mainly organized in a putting- out-system.
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The manufactory, however, did not really develop here: production hardly knew any centralization. Sometimes one or more journeymen or employees worked at their master's workplace, but mostly the tapestry workers performed their labour at home. There was no need for them to invest in costly fixed capital goods. Thus in none of the Flemish branches of the rural textile industry can a development towards the manufactory be observed.
In general, dynamics in proto-industrial sectors was limited here. The tapestry industry, which emerged relatively late here, was the most capitalist in the Flemish region, with a clear dominance of labour input provided by wage labourers, a rather general separation of labour and the means of production, and a strong position of the merchant-entrepreneurs. This sector, however, was an exception in the region.
The cloth sector and certainly the linen sector, by far the biggest of all, were characterized by independent producers often owning the means of production themselves. Most of them were peasants having their own small holding, which offered them some security and independence. In the sphere of distribution, however, the power of urban merchants was very strong, often sustained by force, an extensive use of privileges and an enforced labour division between town and countryside. In the Holland region, the organization and development of non-agricultural rural industries was clearly different.
This is striking, for instance, in the linen industry, where putting-out and wage-labour played a much larger role than in Flanders. The flax was not produced by the spinners or weavers, as often was the case in Flanders, but delivered or advanced to them by third parties, often even imported from abroad. Moreover, to an increasing degree the flax was already processed and spun abroad, and the yarn was imported, for instance through the specialized markets for linen yarn such as the one in Amsterdam, established in Examples are Thomas Corluick and Jan van Hare, both from Utrecht, who regularly passed the tol at Schoonhoven transporting yarn worth dozens or even hundreds of rhine guilders each time.
To a lesser extent this also applied to the hemp sector. A large share of the hemp used for the production of ropes, nets and canvas was produced in the region itself, but more and more hemp was imported from the Baltic region. In the Holland cloth industry it was the urban drapers who held a strong position, controlling and organizing almost all stages of the production process. Although the drapers sometimes emanated from the group of retail traders, the dominance of the merchant element was weaker here than was the case in Flanders.
The division of the production stages in the cloth industry, and also the necessity of costly finishing, — a sector which was even more important in Holland than in other cloth regions —, gave the urban entrepreneurs ample possibilities for obtaining a strong position. The country dwellers who processed the wool were mainly wage-labourers; most of them were impoverished, living in huts. This upgraded the occupation of spinning, leading to a different gender division of labour than elsewhere. Much of the wool used in Holland was not from the region itself but imported from England and Scotland, similar to the situation in Flanders.
This also contributed to the strong position of merchant-entrepreneurs and drapers. The rural carders and spinsters occasionally bought the wool themselves, but mostly they received the wool from a draper in the city and later returned the yarn, for which they received a piece-wage. In some cases a development towards a rural manufactory can be observed, for instance in the villages around Leiden.
A typical aspect of the Holland textile industries was the importance of the finishing industries, dyeing and bleaching. These processes require large quantities of fuel, meadows, dye-stuffs and buildings, and are highly capital intensive, leading to an even stronger position for merchant-entrepreneurs. This is a noticable example of the weakening of the labour-intensive stages of the production processes and a strengthening of the capital-intensive stages and the high value-added industries in Holland.
In the other non-agricultural activities in the countryside too a growing use of wage-labour and a strong position of the urban elite can be observed. This position was founded mainly on the investments the urban merchant-entrepreneurs had made in the means of production, from an early date onwards. The Leiden patriciate, for instance, in the 14th century had already acquired large interests in brick- and lime-ovens.
The latter element made it attractive for urban investors to combine these activities with investments in peat-digging operations. Members of the patrician family van Boshuizen, having interests in brick-ovens and lime-kilns around Leiden and Alphen, for instance, in the 15th century exploited a peatery in nearby Hazerswoude, which required huge investments in drainage canals and transport facilities.
This development also had radical consequences for the organization of the peat industry in Holland. In the 13th- 14th centuries there was some wage-labour in this sector, at least part-time, but probably most peatmen in Holland were peasants digging peat independently and on their own account. At that, all land was often located near one of the numerous waterways, so transport of peat was relatively easy. More and more land in the peat districts of Holland passed into the hands of large urban investors, some of them with the explicit goal of obtaining peat.
At that, drastic practical changes occurred in the peat sector itself, which gained momentum at the beginning of the 16th century. More and more one had to strike peat layers that were accessible less easily, which became necessary on account of the exhaustion of the peat, and attractive in view of high fuel prices.
This, however, required more capital investment for new techniques and tools, for building new dikes and water-ways, and also for paying the rising fines on the taking of peat. The peat-regions were known for their penury. As was recorded for one peat-village, Kalslage, people were so poor "that they did not how to tell". Women and children helped for instance with carrying, stacking and turning the turves, in order to earn some extra income. A similar process as that in the peat-sector occurred in fishing and transportation in Holland.
Initially, these sectors were mainly peasant- dominated, with respect to the origin of labour and the ownership of ships and other requisites. At the end of the late Middle Ages, however, these sectors underwent major changes. Shippers covered ever greater distances, with bigger and costlier ships, which became more specialized and could not be used anymore for both fishing and carrying cargo. These developments sharply increased the levels of investment. This led to an accumulation of the means of production, which mainly got into the hands of urban investors.
Although the existence of shares parten in ships also enabled rural people with smaller purses to invest in herring busses and other ships, and thus initially probably spread the ownership of the ships at least somewhat, the process of accumulation was irreversible. Already in the late- 15th century ships became increasingly owned by wealthy burghers, who often invested in several ships at the same time.
Particularly in the herring fishery, where change was greatest, this process can be observed clearly. Simultaneously, the position of large wholesale merchants in the herring trade became increasingly stronger. Often backed by urban ordonnances, they increasingly pushed away fishermen and petty traders from the herring markets.
Around the middle of the 15th century there was the emergence of large, internationally oriented companies, in which fish merchants played an important part. Each non-agricultural sector in the Holland countryside had thus its own specific development, but there are striking similarities shared by almost all sectors. During the 14th- 16th centuries sectors such as shipping, fishing,. The urban entrepreneurs mostly left the practical organization of the production to a large extent in the hands of foremen, managers or tenants, but they invested heavily in costly fixed capital goods.
This was clearly opposed to the situation in Flanders, where the grip of the urban elite on the rural industries was limited mainly to the sphere of distribution. Also, almost all non-agricultural activities in the Holland countryside have in common that they were often performed by wage-labour, and this to a rapidly increasing degree. This certainly applies to sectors such as peat-digging, fishing and brick-production. The reports of and already contain many references to activities performed om loen for wages or om een dachhuyere for daily wage , but in the course of the 16th century the importance of wage-labour further increased and rapidly.
The only exception to this is the hemp-sector, where the cultivation of the hemp, and part of the processing the retting and braking, carried out mostly during winter was still done by the peasants on their small farms. Since this sector was also one of the few in Holland which was subject to some market force and privileges used by the cities, as we have observed above, it comes closest to the situation typical of proto-industry in the Flemish region.
More particularly it resembles the situation in the Flemish linen industry, although it was certainly not possessing the importance of this sector which was the dominant non-agricultural activity there. In Holland, however, the hemp sector was an exception: non-agricultural activities here were mainly performed by wage-labour, and this to an increasing degree.
Initially, perhaps most of these activities were combined with a small holding and performed on the farm itself. To an increasing degree, however, the rural folk combined agriculture with non-agricultural activities as wage- labour performed outside their own villages; for instance in peateries, on herring-busses or at brick-ovens. But still, most labourers in Holland probably also had their own small farms, as can at least be deduced from the large share of the land owned by peasants and the great fragmentation of land ownership.
These two elements were characteristic for all of Holland but particularly of the parts where proto-industrialization was strongest, such as the peat-region in the research area, and also Waterland and the Gooi region. In the Krimpenerwaard, for instance, there are indications that arable farming including the cultivation of wheat, spelt and oats was rather important in the decades around At that time, at least the rural population in Holland must have been able to feed itself. Possibilities for arable farming and subsistence-farming were thus present in the Holland region, at least more than sometimes is assumed.
But, although probably non-agricultural activities in this region were initially combined with some subsistence-farming, the activities themselves were largely separated from the farm, and increasingly so. Only the incorporation of non-agricultural activities into a labour-cycle formed a clear link between the two.
This link, and the presence of some subsistence farming, disappeared from the mid- 16th century onwards as peasants in Holland increasingly lost their land to large urban investors. Common to most sectors in Holland was also the importance of seasonal work. This goes, for instance, for herring-fishing, which had a season starting in August later, in the 16th century, already in June or around Whitsuntide and lasting until late-October or the beginning of November, but also for peat- digging, which was only performed from March to July since the turves had to be dry before the frost set in.
Probably as a result of this, alongside local people migrant workers were often employed in all of these Holland sectors. The parish of Leiderdorp, for instance, in had among her communicants "50 persons working in the brick-ovens and leaving in winter". All in all, seasonal labour and migrant labour were very important to the non-agricultural activities performed in the Holland countryside. The rise of migrant labour in Holland, which is often dated to the Golden Age, thus appears to have had much older roots, and is connected partly to the rise of proto-industrial sectors from the 14th century onwards.
The importance of ground-work spading, digging and diking , which also used large numbers of temporary migrant labourers, still added to this. In 15 10, for instance, the work on the dike at Spaarndam alone employed many hundreds of people, recruited in villages all over Holland. This situation differs strongly from, for instance, that in the Flemish region, where these activities in the countryside hardly involved any seasonal or migrant labour.
The products of proto-industrial activities in the Holland countryside were to a large extent transported to non-local markets or even exported abroad. The IJssel bricks and paving-tiles found markets in England at least from the late- 14th century onwards, as shown by the cargoes of some 10, to 35, The peat was mainly sold in the cities of Holland, but also exported to Flanders, to Brabant, and to the saltworks in Zeeland.
Notwithstanding incidental attempts of authorities to restrict the export of peat, for fear of dearth or fuel shortages, exports increased rapidly in the 16th century. In the period yearly some 1. Dutch herring also developed into an important export product, winning markets in England as early as from around onwards. Also, already at the end of the 14th century huge amounts of herring were shipped from Holland up the river Rhine. Later, from about , also markets in Flanders and Brabant were increasingly won by herring from Holland. Around 1 , some 7, cheeses from Holland per year passed the same toll on the river Waal on their way to the markets in the Rhine region.
At the beginning of the 16th century Holland cheese also conquered markets in the southern parts of the Low Countries, for instance at the Antwerp fairs. In the field of marketing all of these Holland products thus also shared similar characteristics. Firstly, they all were succesfull on international markets, starting as early as the late- 14th century.
Thirdly, non-economic forces seem to have played a minor role in Holland, which applies to both production and trade in these sectors. Although some traces of coercion can be found, they possess little importance in comparison to Flanders or other regions. The latter sectors were - again no coincidence - the ones where urban industries were hit hardest by increasing competition on international markets and declining market share, which probably induced them to apply force in their home region in order to retain their positions. These sectors, however, were an exception in Holland.
This, however, was mainly the result of the high and ever increasing capital needs which was also characteristic of non-agricultural activities in rural Holland. On the basis of the preceding it is also possible to say something about the degree of specialization and occupational differentiation in the countryside in 16th-century Holland, although it remains difficult to reach any firm con-. On the one hand, the rural folk here seem to have combined many different non-agricultural activities: during the various seasons of the year, or even at the same time. Also, they often combined these activities with the exploitation of small holdings and with some subsistence farming.
At an early stage, however, the importance of agricultural activities in the countryside in Holland was surpassed by that of non-agricultural activities. This stage can be dated to the 15th century, which is exceptionally early. Also, already at that time, these non-agricultural activities were almost completely oriented towards non-local or even non-regional markets. Simultaneously, the degree of specialization also probably increased here. The period around , often used as a benchmark date in this field, was thus part of a process which had already started much earlier and even intensified in the course of the 16th century.
From the middle of the 16th century onwards, the Holland countryside also underwent a process of transformation in the agricultural sector. Small peasant farms were gradually replaced by large tenant farms, a process which was accompanied by a strong specialization and commercialization of agriculture in Holland. The latter development, much more than the subsidence of the soil in the 14th century, really swept away the link between non-agricultural activities in the countryside on the one hand and small farms and some subsistence farming on the other. On the basis of the preceding it is possible to sharpen the chronology of rural developments in Holland.
In the first phase, during the 14th and 15th centuries, the performance of proto-industrial activities by peasants was only intensified as a result of the increasing difficulties with arable farming, since these forced peasants to find additional sources of income. At the same time, during this first phase, the character of these activities started to change as a result of the above-described developments in production relationships and organization of rural industries. In the more general industries, such as brewing, cloth and linen production, in Holland the role of capital intensive production stages and of urban capital increased greatly, which also led to a concentration in the cities.
Developments were even much stronger in almost all typically "Holland" branches of non-agricultural rural activities, such as brick-production, lime burning, transport, fishery and peat digging. Already from the 14th century onwards, and progressing to the late 16th century, these sectors witnessed an increasing capital intensity, a growing role of urban investors, strong accumulation and proletarization, thus contributing strongly to the transition of the. In the 16th century, as the investments by burghers seem to have shifted more to landownership, this process went into its second phase.
It was during this phase, as peasant landownership was increasingly replaced by large landownership, that the peasant element in non-agricultural activities in the Holland research area started to disappear completely. Concluding remarks. This investigation into the marktet-oriented non-agricultural activities in the late-medieval countryside shows that significant differences existed between the two research areas in the Low Countries.
In the first place with respect to the importance of these activities. In the Flanders region, it substantially and continuously gained importance in the course of the period, employing a quarter of labour-input around In the Holland region the share of non-agricultural activities in rural labour-input was even higher, amounting to no less than four-tenths of the total input. However, the peak was reached a century earlier than in Flanders, and growth as a share of total labour, not in absolute numbers seems to have stopped in the course of the 16th century.
Regional differences were even stronger with respect to the nature of the activities. The textile sectors, and particularly the linen industry, were predominant in Flanders, as opposed to Holland, where particularly those sectors flourished which did not fall under industry in the strict sense, such as fishing, shipping and peat digging. In these sectors, but also in textile industries, activities generally were less labour-intensive than in Flemish proto-indus- tries.
Significant in this respect is the use of iron cards, the use of spinning- wheels and the increasing import of yarn in the textile industries in Holland. To an increasing degree not only the raw materials but also semi-fabricated goods were imported into Holland, and labour-intensive production stages were avoided. Capital-intensive sectors, on the other hand, were much more important than elsewhere, and this aspect was even strengthened in the period under investigation.
Most non-agricultural activities in the Holland countryside were thus more capital-oriented than labour-oriented, and increasingly so; an aspect which had drastic consequences for organization and dynamics within the sector. Another marked difference between the regions is that non-economic force in these sectors played a much smaller role in Holland than it did in Flanders, which applies to both production and trade.
In Holland, a consistent and long standing policy of oppression of rural activities only occurred in the brewing industry. Urban privileges were either rather weak or not applied to the same. Connected to this, also the division of labour between town and countryside was less sharp than it was in Flanders. In those cases where such a division existed in Holland, it was mostly the result of economic developments and caused by growing capital intensity and scale enlargement, as, for instance, can be observed in the ship-building sector.
This division can be characterized as a "natural" development, rather than artificial and enforced by power and privileges, as in Flanders. In the Flanders region, in general, producers were independent peasants, mostly in possession of a small farm and of the main means of production which were relatively cheap. Most of these producers were working independently and for their own account. Their possibilities, however, were sharply limited by the privileges and prerogatives of cities, merchants and guilds, which were relatively strong in Flanders.
On the one hand, these urban- based groups used their privileges to repress certain rural activities and to extinguish possible competition from the countryside, which was mainly a concern of guilds and guild-dominated city governments. On the other hand, and next to this, market coercion and control over trade were also used to skim off the surplus of proto-industrial activities. Merchants, and other mainly urban- based groups, were able to do so by way of their strong grip over sale, distribution, export and raw materials, often founded on privileges and force. In the Holland region this was hardly or not at all the case.
The only clear exception here was the hemp sector, which was the activity in Holland which was most clearly dominated by peasants.