The changing character of Faroese communal land tenure during the nineteenth century

West, J.F., 1976. The changing character of Faroese communal land tenure during the nineteenth century. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This research endeavours to show how the Faroese village, Which for local geographical and social reasons had for many centuries exhibited a large measure of communal management of its economic resources, modified itself during the nineteenth century, exceptionally for Europe without a general enclosure. Though towards the end of the nineteenth century, a capitalised distant-water fishing industry grew up in the islands, communal management remained characteristic of activity on the land, though subject to a high degree of legislative regulation.

The subject has not hitherto, bean treated historically. From a study of Faroese archives, and published material in Danish and Faroese is here traced the course of the principal nineteenth-century changes in the land tenure system and the relevant links with the economic and constitutional development of the Faroe Islands and the Danish kingdom as a whole.

The conclusions are drawn that communal land tenure was not a primitive Faroese phenomenon, but an accelerating process of later times, gaining momentum from the mid-seventeenth century, and passing a critical point about 1832. Population increase, and fragmentation of land holdings henceforth, began to place increasing strains on the traditional system. There followed minuteness of regulation, and devolved and decentralised systems of conciliation and arbitration. From 1857, new legislation made easier the enclosure of stretches of sheep common for cultivation, first by owners, later by landless fishermen.

Finally are traced the effects of increased tax demands on the traditional system, and the labour famine caused by the growth of a distant-water fishery late in the century. The latter, reacting on an. already complex land tenure position, finally led to an Agricultural Commission in. 1908, and legislation during 1926-40, which at last began to limit, though not abolish, communal land tenure in the Faroe Islands.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: West, J.F.
Date: 1976
ISBN: 9781369324761
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Jun 2021 10:11
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 14:15

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