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Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century LithuaniaThe Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates$
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Adam Teller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798440

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798440.001.0001

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The Economic Institutions of the Estates

The Economic Institutions of the Estates

(p.61) Three The Economic Institutions of the Estates
Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth-Century Lithuania

Adam Teller

Stanford University Press

The raison d’etre of the estate system was providing the Radziwiłłs with revenue from agricultural activity. There were four main strategies for doing so. The first was direct administration: the family established a complex administrative system, which gave it extensive, though never complete, control over estate management. For immediate income, it could choose to mortgage an estate, making the lender legal owner until the debt was repaid. In case of default, he retained the lands. Another option was giving an estate on leasehold. The lender would receive control, not ownership, of the lands for the term of the lease; estate incomes formed repayment and interest. The fourth strategy: leasing out the incomes from the estate owner’s monopolies—most importantly, the manufacture and sale of alcohol. This was the only field in which Jews were deeply engaged in this period. Its profitability made it the growth sector of the estate economy.

Keywords:   estate administration, estate mortgaging, zastaw, estate leaseholds, dzierżawa, monopoly leases, arenda, propinacja

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