Agrarian Economy of
Sixteenth-Century Sweden

By Johan Soderberg & Janken Myrdal
December 2002
Almqvist & Wiksell International / Stockholm University
ISBN: 91-974305-1-X
253 pages, Illustrated, 6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
$63.00 Paper Original

This volume provides a broad picture of the economic development of Sweden during the sixteenth century. The source material available for exploring agrarian change during this era is in some respects perhaps the best in Europe, comprising more than two million pages of tax records in the archives.

Results are discussed and interpreted against a broad background of international research, where the Swedish case can illustrate general European tendencies. The regional division of labor, the wealth of the peasants and the tendencies towards market expansion are examined. New ways of exploiting the resources of the landscape, involving the effectivization of the use of marginal lands, are studied.

Sweden's agriculture was in a certain sense a continuation of the medieval economy, but this century also brought decisive change. A strong central state was formed. What happened to agricultural production and the conditions of the peasantry as Sweden approached the Great Power Era?

Economic History
Stockholm Studies in Economic History No. 35

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