Waterbeheer, landbouw en samenleving in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in de 17e en 18e eeuw
van Cruyningen, P. (2003). Waterbeheer, landbouw en samenleving in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in de 17e en 18e eeuw, in: Soens, T. et al.Tussen politiek, economie en ecologie: waterbeheer in het verleden. Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis, 2001: pp. 57-66
Between 1650 and 1750 the costs of dike maintenance in West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen rose steeply, due to dangerous currents in the Zeeland streams, which could gradually erode the dikes and dunes. These costs were largely paid by the urban land-owners who reclaimed the land in the early seventeenth century. These landlords were not able to make farmers pay a part of the increased costs, as this might have meant a final blow to those of their tenants who already were in trouble because of the depressed state of agriculture. The largest farmers on the other hand did not suffer much from the increasing taxes. By selling straw to the watering and by receiving a salary as member of the board of the watering they probably received more than they paid. The local power of these wealthy farmers was too strong for the landowners, who did not live in situ. As a consequence, many urban landlords sold their land to the farmers, which resulted in the creation of a wealthy landowning farmers elite.
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