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The history of landlords system and small farms in Poland

frankdom 5 | 8
5 Jun 2013 #1
I know that, unlike most other Marxist countries, the owner-occupier small farm was kept on in Poland and collectivization and co-operative farms were not the widespread norm that they were in other countries. This presumably means that modern Poland escapes some of the tenurial difficulties that beset other former Comecon countries, such as Bulgaria and Romania, where the policy is to decide who the decollectivized land belongs to and whether the original owners want it or can use it in any profitable or worthwhile way.

However, I was just watching a DVD called 'The Promised Land' by Wajda which is based on a 1897 novel by Reymond. This tells about industrialization in 19th century Poland. At that time it is clear that rich landlords own a lot of the agricultural land and the ordinary farmers are tenants. It is also clear that these landlords are not so efficient.

So, my question, is at what stage the landlord system of farming gave way to the owner occupier small farmer system. It must have been well before the onset of Marxism, because otherwise the Communist authorities would have had to come to terms with an elite landlowning class. So when and how did this farm reform take place in Poland? I realize the complex history of Poland and its partition and so different types of land tenure and land reform might have taken place in different regions.


Frank O'Reilly
14 Dec 2014 #2
Interesting question. I think it could happen around WW1. After WW2 it was common for Polish farmers to own 'small farms' (such farms were actually a smart idea because the lean socialism years in Poland didn't provide enough food for the city folks).
gregy741 5 | 1,232
14 Dec 2014 #3
until partitions it was arenda system in Poland...something like lease of land and estate...later small farms appeared after abolition of serfdom came in 19 century.

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