The Old English Manor: A Study in English Economic History

The Old English Manor: A Study in English Economic History

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The Old English Manor: A Study in English Economic History

The Old English Manor: A Study in English Economic History

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Excerpt

The theory of the Mark, or as it is more generally called in its later form, the free village community, has been an accepted hypothesis for the historical and economic world for more than half a century. Elaborated and expanded by the writings of Kemble in England and v. Maurer in Germany, taken up by later English writers and given wide currency through the works of Sir Henry Maine, Green and Freeman, it has been accepted and extended by scores of historical writers on this side of the Atlantic as well as the other until it has become a commonplace in literature. Firm as has been its hold and important as has been its work, it is almost universally conceded that further modification or entire rejection must be the next step to be taken in the presence of the more thorough and scholarly research which is becoming prominent, and before all questions can be answered which this study brings to light. A change has taken place in the thought upon this subject; a reaction against the idealism of the political thinkers of half a century ago. The history of the hypothesis forms an interesting chapter in the relation between modern thought and the interpretation of past history, and shows that in the formation of an opinion both writer and reader are unconsciously dependent upon the spirit of the age in which they live. The free village community, as it is commonly understood, standing at the dawn of English and German history is discoverable in no historical . . .

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