WHAT The Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe of 1486 - stages of incentives for land liberalisation in Medieval Hispanic Kingdoms, seminar of the Edinburgh Centre for Legal History
WHEN June 1 2015 - 5:00 pm
WHERE Kenyon Mason Suite, Law School, Old College - South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9 YL
all information here
Prof. Elia Marzal, Ramon Lull University (Barcelona)
The Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe, issued by Ferdinand II of Aragon, put an end to the Wars of Remences, by allowing seigneury peasants, until then bound to the land, to leave it. According to the literature, this redemption of serfs -that expresses the dismantling of medieval political organization based on seigneury- took place much earlier than in other Hispanic and European reigns, where reforms would not arrive before the end of XVIIth Century. However, the general Fuero of León, first appeared in the ordinances of a council held in the city by Alfonso V in 1020, already allowed seigneury peasants to leave the land, without the social conflict that preceded in Catalonia the Sentencia Arbitral, but only in exchange of a prize and under certain conditions. Comparing these texts will allow us to put the Catalan text into proper historical perspective and shed light into the logic underlying these measures. Indeed, it will be argued that freedom of movement as recognised to peasants would express a transaction or re-equilibrium of political powers between the King and the Lords, rather than the result of the social tension between peasants and Lords, and would ultimately depend on the existence of incentives for land liberalisation.