This groundbreaking study of the origins of capitalism in Castile sheds important new light on a number of historiographic questions.
Carlos Astarita's From Feudalism to Capitalism: Social and Political Change in Castile and Western Europe, 1250-1520 presents for an English-speaking audience a major intervention in a number of debates in Marxist historiography.
The book focuses on four areas. The socio-political evolution that led to the creation of the feudal state. The genesis and development of capitalist production in the rural areas of the region. Class struggle's role in shaping both of these developments. And the relationship of all these factors to the commercial flow occurring between the regions under study. Astarita re-evaluates received interpretations through meticulously researched original case studies that each greatly enrich our understanding of theoretical terms, and suggest new interpretations of the absolutist state, the temporal validity of the law of value and the origins of capitalism.
Introduction 1 The Studies Included in This Volume 2 From Feudalism to Capitalism 3 On Method 4 On Exposition 5 On the Past and the Present
1 The Commoner Knights 1 Introduction 2 Hypothesis 3 Economically Free Property 4 Small and Middling Property 5 Labour Relations in Direct Exploitation 6 The Problem of Jurisdiction and Complementary Benefits 7 Ranch Exploitation and Productive Space 8 The Regime of Simple Commodity Production 9 The Exceptions to the Rule 10 Conclusions
2 Categories of the State 1 The Modern Capitalist State 2 The Question of the Origins of the Modern State
3 The Feudal State 1 Posing the Problem 2 Objections to Perry Anderson's Thesis, when Applied to Castile 3 Regional and Historical Differentiation 4 Social and Political Bloc 5 The caballeria villana and Social Status 6 The Relative Independence of the State 7 The Dynamic of the Constitution of the Ruling Social Bloc 8 The Lack of any Single Model of Centralisation 9 Conclusions
4 The Procuradores Pecheros 1 Introduction 2 The Role of the Taxpayer Elite 3 Tributary Elites' Role in Systemic Conflicts 4 Aspects of Taxpayers' Social Organisation 5 The Taxpayer Elite as a Translation of Social Realities 6 Conclusion
5 Rural Domestic Industry 1 The Feudal Dynamic and Proletarianisation 2 The Textile Lord 3 Coexistence between Feudalism and Rural Industry 4 Understanding the Totality
6 Class Consciousness 1 Introduction 2 Practical Evidence 3 The Theory of Class Consciousness 4 The Problem of Consent 5 The Theoretical Problem of Reproductive Behaviour 6 Final Considerations
7 Asymmetrical Trade in the Feudal System and in the Early Transition to Capitalism 1 Trade in the Feudal System 2 Trade in the Early Transition to Capitalism
8 Sicily, Tuscany, Castile 1 Introduction 2 The Model Inherited 3 Feudal Exchange 4 The Conditions of the Birth of the Putting-Out System, According to Epstein 5 The Origin of the Putting-Out System in Castile 6 Historical and Conceptual Differences 7 Unequal Exchange in the Early Transition to Capitalism
Carlos Astarita is a professor at the universities of Buenos Aires and La Plata. He has been Associate Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), and has given conferences and seminars at universities in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Italy and England.