მიწის ყიდვა-გაყიდვის პოლიტეკონომია ფეოდალურ საქართველოში

Authors

  • Akaki Chikobava Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

Abstract

Political economic aspects of land alienation in the feudal era when the means of production, mainly the land, are owned by the lord, are surprising in some cases. According to one of 10th century Georgian document a peasant sold the land. Although minor means of production, the ones used to cultivate the land belonged to peasant in this era and during later times too, but larger tools - a plough and irrigation canals did not. The construction of irrigation canals and its exploitation is a prerogative of the central government and then that of only the feudal lords. While a large plough (gutani) at a certain time became a peasant's possession, but its maintenance turned into a tax. In such conditions, we have information about the selling of the land by a peasant. The peasant, of course, depends entirely on the lord and he himself is his property. The evidence of this can be found in the same document – a plenty of facts when a peasant is donated and actually is even sold. So how can the object of sale can sell main capital good, whom the political and economic structure of this period and the whole domestic economy are based on?

The land alienation by the peasants is conditional and the permission of the owner is needed. The evidences we discuss suggest that in the case of the sale the peasant paid half of the land price. In case of unauthorized sale, half of the price was paid by a seller, and another half by a purchaser. According to my observations, even when a serf sold the land and the patron new it, half of the price still was going to the patron. This must have been the case in case of serfdom as well as in case of the relationships between the lords and the lesser lords. The sale of the land by the peasant does not imply his full right on a land, but only a partial and his mention in the act of sale may mean partial remuneration of the works performed on this land. Even if the buyer would pay the full price, half would go to the cultivator, which would prevent the land cultivator from land's total ownership. However, in my opinion, even though the cultivated part of the land was a partial property of a cultivator, this property was still conditional and he still had to pay off. The cultivated land was just the same fiscal entity as the land plots given in precarity in Europe were. The registration of the land alienation by a peasant took place simply because the owner of the land sold a certain part of the land. A peasant and his family were fiscal subjects and registration is determined only by economic factors. 

The object of the alienation by a peasant is mainly a vineyard, plain or small agricultural land. The peasants, as I observed, could not sell the land. "Land", in my view, should be equivalent to serf’s cultivated land - a fiscal entity, from which the wealth was derived. This, in turn, led to the complete exploitation of the producer, i.e. to serfdom, and therefore his personal relationship to the master. Thus the "land" alienation by the peasant was possible only with the permission of the master. The sale was supervised by the master according to the registry also. The right of the immediate producer was conditional and
phantom; the land was still the main source of his exploitation. Therefore, the land alienation should be considered within the feudal productive activity relationships. Land alienation would not release a peasant from any liabilities. On the contrary, the obligations were transferred to the new owner. Consequently, he was not free from feudal taxes. Communal labour disseappeared with the emergence of feudalism. Property disappears on private and community land. However, during feudalism, we see peasants partially owning the land, both in case the land belonged to the lord or in case serf cultivated it. However, this is a mirage created by the existing political system. Indeed, excessive labor is exercised in favor of the lord, which is directly related to the loss of personal freedom by the producer/peasant, which is the basis of feudal relations.

Published

2021-08-25