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Regional Identity and Economic ChangeThe Upper Rhine 1450-1600$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.001.0001

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The Regional Provisioning of Grain

The Regional Provisioning of Grain

(p.244) 8 The Regional Provisioning of Grain
Regional Identity and Economic Change

Tom Scott

Oxford University Press

Unlike the constant struggle to regulate the meat market on the southern Upper Rhine, the provisioning of grain rarely presented the authorities with a serious challenge until the last third of the sixteenth century, when a series of harvest failures, possibly exacerbated by demographic pressure, led to repeated bouts of dearth and famine. The authorities' only concern was to prevent Fürkauf, understood in this context not as a general hostility to commerce or towards foreigners, but in the exact sense of forestalling, pre-empting the workings of a free market by buying corn on the ear directly from the peasantry or at unlicensed markets in the countryside. The desire to conserve dwindling stocks of grain within a given territory prompted bans on exports, although these were subject to innumerable exceptions. Whereas with meat the Rappen league had depended on supplies brought into its area either from its fringes or from abroad, with grain its members traded freely throughout the Upper Rhine.

Keywords:   Upper Rhine, grain, provisioning, forestalling, exports, bans, Rappen league, free market

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