Skip to main content Accessibility help

Reversible privatisation. Conflict, bricolage, and the sale of common lands in the Spanish province of Navarre, 1808–1860

  • José-Miguel Lana-Berasain (a1)


The privatisation of communal assets tends to be presented as an irreversible linear movement that was driven from above. Based on a case study (Navarre, nineteenth century), this article seeks to give greater prominence to local players and their response to changing circumstances. The process thus appears less linear and compact by revealing certain anomalies, such as the reversibility of certain sales or the alienation of partial ownership rights that were compatible with the preservation of rights of use in favour of local councils and households, as an example of institutional bricolage. Against a backdrop of war and municipal bankruptcy, the privatisation of collective lands between 1808 and 1860 followed various paths, each one benefitting different social classes. Borrowers, outside investors and wealthy individuals accumulated large estates, but there was also a chance for peasants and local people to become property owners. The recovery of part of these lands on the back of social conflicts from 1884 onwards confirms that privatisation was not a fait accompli.

French Abstract

Privatisation réversible, conflit, bricolage et vente de terres communales dans la province espagnole de Navarre, 1808–1860

La privatisation des biens communaux est souvent présentée comme une tendance linéaire irréversible et structurellement pilotée d'en haut. Reposant sur une étude de cas en Navarre du XIXe siècle, cet article vise à mieux mettre en avant le jeu des acteurs locaux et leurs réponses à une conjoncture toujours changeante. Le processus paraît alors moins linéaire et moins compact et révèle certaines anomalies, comme la réversibilité de certaines ventes ou l'aliénation de droits de propriété partiels, compatibles avec la préservation de droits d'usage en faveur des collectivités locales et des maisons, parfait exemple de bricolage institutionnel. Dans un contexte de guerre et de faillite municipale, la privatisation de terres collectives entre 1808 et 1860 suivit diverses voies, chacune au bénéfice d'une classe sociale spécifique. Emprunteurs, investisseurs extérieurs et particuliers fortunés ont cumulé de grandes propriétés, mais ce fut aussi une chance pour les paysans et les gens du pays de devenir propriétaires. La récupération d'une partie de ces terres communales sur fond de conflits sociaux à partir de 1884 confirme que la privatisation de ces biens communaux n'était en rien un fait accompli.

German Abstract

Umkehrbare Privatisierung. Konflikt, Umbasteln und der Verkauf von Gemeindeland in der spanischen Provinz Navarra, 1808–1860

Die Privatisierung kommunalen Eigentums wird meist als unumkehrbarer linearer Prozess dargestellt, der von oben gesteuert wurde. Auf der Grundlage einer Fallstudie (Navarra im 19. Jahrhundert) misst dieser Beitrag den Betroffenen vor Ort und ihrer Reaktion auf veränderte Rahmenbedingungen eine größere Bedeutung zu. Die Vorgänge erscheinen daher weniger linear und festgefügt, sondern zeigen gewisse Unregelmäßigkeiten. Beispiele eines solchen institutionellen ‚Umbastelns‘ (bricolage) wären, dass bestimmte Verkäufe wieder rückgängig gemacht oder begrenzte Eigentumsrechte veräußert werden konnten, durch die ein Nutzungsrecht zugunsten örtlicher Behörden oder Haushalte gewahrt blieb. Vor dem Hintergrund von Kriegen und kommunalen Bankrotten wurden zwischen 1808 und 1860 verschiedene Wege der Privatisierung von Gemeindeland beschritten, von denen jeweils unterschiedliche soziale Klassen profitierten. Kreditnehmer, auswärtige Investoren und wohlhabende Einzelpersonen häuften große Besitztümer an, aber auch für Bauern und örtliche Einwohner bestand die Chance Grundstückseigentümer zu werden. Dass Teile dieser Ländereien im Zuge sozialer Konflikte von 1884 an wieder zurückgewonnen werden konnten, zeigt, dass die Privatisierung keine vollendete Tatsache war.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All


1 De Moor, M., Shaw-Taylor, L. and Warde, P., ‘Comparing the historical commons of north west Europe. An introduction’, in De Moor, M., Shaw-Taylor, L. and Warde, P. eds., The management of common land in north west Europe, c.1500–1850 (Turnhout, 2002), 17.

2 For the breakdown of the bundle of property rights between those placed at the operational level (access, withdrawal) and the collective-choice level (management, exclusion, alienation), see Schlager, E. and Ostrom, E., ‘Property-rights regimes and natural resources: A conceptual analysis’, Land Economics 68, 3 (1992), 249–62. The distinction between communal use-rights and communal ownership, in Béaur, G., ‘En un débat douteux. Les communaux, quels enjeux dans la France des XVIIIe–XIXe siècles’, Revue d'Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine 53 (2006), 89114.

3 The commons as ‘profit à prendre’, in J. M. Neeson, Commoners: common right, enclosure and social change in England, 1700–1820 (Cambridge, 1993), 1. For the case of servitudes in Spain, see de Dios, S., Infante, J., Robledo, R. and Torijano, E. eds., Historia de la propiedad en España. Servidumbres y limitaciones de dominio (Madrid, 2009).

4 Examples of individualisation without privatisation can be found in Grüne, N., ‘Transformation of the commons in rural South-West Germany (18th–19th centuries)’, Historia Agraria 55 (2011), 4774; Iriarte-Goñi, I., ‘Common lands in Spain, 1800–1995: persistence, change and adaptation’. Rural History 13, 1 (2002) 1937.

5 North, D. C. and Thomas, R. P., The rise of the western world: a new economic history (Cambridge, 1973, Spanish version: Madrid, 1978), 33, 40, 104105, 227. In similar terms: Alchian, A. A. and Demsetz, H., ‘The property right paradigm’, Journal of Economic History 33, 1 (1973), 1627. This teleological narrative can also be found in D. Grigg, The transformation of agriculture in the West (Cambridge, 1992), 85. North himself subsequently evolved from his initial neoclassical institutionalist approach to property rights (plural matters) to a more complex one. See M. Krull, The new institutionalist economic history of Douglass C. North. A critical interpretation (Cham, Switzerland, 2018), 46–63.

6 The quotation is taken from the first draft of the letter from Karl Marx to Vera Zasulich in 1881: Shanin, T., El Marx tardío y la vía rusa. Marx y la periferia del capitalismo (Madrid, 1990), 146. The idea of the vestigial nature of common rights can also be found in Hobsbawm, E. J. and Rudé, G., Captain Swing: a social history of the great agricultural uprising of 1830 (New York, 1969), 63. For the persistence of common lands in industrialised countries, see Berge, E. and McKean, M., ‘On the commons of developed industrialized countries’, International Journal of the Commons 9, 2 (2015), 469–85. The idea of privatisation as an inexorable fate, in G. Hardin, ‘The tragedy of the commons’, Science 162 (1968), 1243–8.

7 Fenoaltea, S., ‘Transaction costs, Whig history and the common fields’, Politics and Society 16, 2–3 (1988), 171240. Ostrom, E., Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action (New York, 1990). Rodgers, C. P., Straughton, E., Winchester, A. J. L. and Pieraccini, M., Contested common land: environmental governance past and present (London, 2011).

8 Brakensiek, S. ed., ‘Gemeinheitsteilungen in Europa. Die Privatisierung der kollektiven Nutzung des Bodens im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert’, Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2 (2000). De Moor, Shaw-Taylor and Warde eds., The management of common land. N. Grüne, J. Hübner and G. Siegl eds., Ländliche Gemeingüter. Rural commons: collective use of resources in the European Agrarian EconomyJahrbuch für Geschichte des ländlichen Raumes 12 (2016). T. de Moor, The dilemma of the commoners. Understanding the use of common-pool resources in long-term perspective (Cambridge, 2015). M. de Keyzer, Inclusive commons and the sustainability of peasant communities in the medieval low countries (New York and London, 2018). Bonan, G., The state in the forest. Contested commons in the nineteenth century Venetian Alps (Winwick, 2019). Beltrán, F. J., ‘Common lands and economic development in Spain’, Revista de Historia Económica 34, 1 (2016), 111–36.

9 Bloch, M., ‘La lutte pour l'individualisme agraire dans la France du XVIIIe siècle’, Annales d'Histoire économique et sociale 2 (1930), 329–81, 511–56. E. P. Thompson, Whigs and hunters. The origin of the Black Act (New York, 1975). E. P. Thompson, Customs in common (London, 1991), 97–184. R. Congost, Tierras, leyes, historia. Estudios sobre ‘la gran obra de la propiedad’ (Barcelona, 2007).

10 M. D. Demélas and N. Vivier eds., Les propriétés collectives face aux attaques libérales (1750–1914). Europe occidentale et Amérique latine (Rennes, 2003), 9. War cycles, and particularly the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), imposed a heavy burden on local treasuries, in some cases favouring the sale of common lands. In any case, the tendency was more to change the management system, and communal assets were used as a source of financial income through the leasing or sale of resources or as a collateral in loans. R. Rao, ‘Dal bosco al riso: la gestione delle risorse collettive nella Bassa Verceselle fra dinamiche socio-istituzionali e trasformazioni ambientali (secoli XII-XVIII)’, in G. Alfani and R. Rao eds., La gestione delle risorse colletive. Italia settentrionale, secoli XII–XVIII (Milan, 2011), 148–9. P. Warde, ‘Common rights and common lands in south-west Germany, 1500–1800’, in De Moor, Shaw-Taylor and Warde eds., The management of common land, 215–6. S. Brakensiek, ‘The management of common land in north-western Germany’, Ibid, 239.

11 A detailed chronology with the main legislative steps taken against collective properties in eight European countries (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium) can be found in: Demélas and Vivier eds., Les propriétés collectives, 36–7. In the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland, the legal framework created in 1809–1810 failed to privatise the common waste lands, and the process had to wait until new legal measures in 1837, although some ‘lonely survivors’ (e.g., Wijkerzand) managed to remain. P. Hoppenbrouwers, ‘The use and management of commons in the Netherlands. An overview’, in De Moor, Shaw-Taylor and Warde eds., The management of common land, 106–110.

12 Vivier, N., Propriété collective et identité communale. Les Biens Communaux en France, 1750–1914 (Paris, 1998), 297298. Brakensiek, S., ‘Agrarian Individualism in North-Western Germany, 1770–1870’, German History 12, 2 (1994), 137–79, 140.

13 F. Simón Segura, La desamortización española del siglo XIX (Madrid, 1973). Grupo de Estudios de Historia Rural (Rural History Study Group), ‘Más allá de la propiedad perfecta. El proceso de privatización de los montes públicos españoles (1859–1926)’, Historia Agraria 8 (1994), 99–154. J. M. Lana-Berasain, ‘From privatisation to governed nature. Old and new approaches to rural commons in Spain’, in Grüne, Hübner and Siegl eds., Ländliche Gemeingüter, 12–26. The effects of these political measures on the circulation of land are discussed in Congost, R. and García-Orallo, R., ‘¿Qué liberaron las medidas liberales? La circulación de la tierra en la España del siglo XX’, Historia Agraria 74 (2018), 67102.

14 Fontana, J., ‘La financiación de la Guerra de la Independencia’, Hacienda Pública Española 69 (1980), 209217. G. Rueda, ‘La primera desamortización de bienes concejiles (1766–1855)’, in A. Morales Moya ed., 1802. España entre dos siglos. Ciencia y economía (Madrid, 2003), 233–96. Blanco, J. I. Jiménez and Linares, A. M., ‘La cara oculta de la desamortización municipal española (1766–1856)’, Historia Agraria 74 (2018), 3766. R. Congost and J. M. Lana-Berasain eds., Campos cerrados, debates abiertos: análisis histórico y propiedad de la tierra en Europa (siglos XVI–XX) (Pamplona, 2007).

15 J. de la Torre, Los campesinos navarros ante la guerra napoleónica. Financiación bélica y desamortización civil (Madrid, 1991). I. Iriarte-Goñi, Bienes comunales y capitalismo agrario en Navarra (Madrid, 1997), 149–253. The Disentailment Law of 1/5/1855 was suspended on 14/10/1856 and not reinstated until 2/10/1858. Navarre has its differences regarding other provinces. Following negotiations between the central and provincial governments, an agreement was reached on 24/5/1859, and it was first applied on 6/6/1861. The result was that the Spanish government waived the 20 per cent withholding of the sale price and the Navarrese municipalities received the full amount, also in the form of debt securities.

16 Royal and General Archive of Navarre, Protocolos Notariales-Notary Records (ARGN, PN, hereinafter), Aibar, B. Ruiz, 114, 115, 116/1–2, 118, 123; J. Martón, 130; Aoiz, F. Miranda, 257, 258/1; Arguedas, A. Soler Falces, 104; Artajona, J. Martón, 166/2, 167/1; Azagra, A. Hernández, 93; F. J. Echarte, 101/1, 103/2, 101/3, 104/3, 105/1, 105/3, 106/1; Caparroso, J. Esparza, 210/2–3; Cáseda, M. Campos, 51, 52, 55/1–2, 60; Cirauqui, M. F. Pérez, 223/1, 223/3, 224/1–2, 225/1; Falces, A. Zapatería, 207/1, 208, 213/1; P. Hernández, 230/1; Larraga, A. Suescun, 166; E. Ataun, 176, 177; M. Indart, 171/2–3; A. Suescun, 167/1, 168/1–2, 168/4, 169/5, 170/2; Lerín, J. M. Díaz, 73; M. Jalón, 77; G. Eizaguirre, 85; Los Arcos, L. Tarazona, 228, 229, 234; R. Lazcano, 259/2–3, 260/1; Mendavia, B. Berdiel, 1732, 1733/1–2, 1734; Mendigorría, D. Pérez, 164/2–3, 166/1; Milagro, D. Alzugaray, 93/3, 95/1; Miranda, N. Biurrun, 137, 141, 142, 147/1; Murillo Fruto, R. Izaguirre, 15/3, 16/1-2, 18, 19/3; Olite, B. Gurrea, 271/1, 271/3; R. Martínez, 277/2, 277/5, 278/1; V. Ascárate, 304, 307, 311; A. Erro, 283/3, 284/1-2, 285/1-2, 286/1-2, 290/1, 291/2, 293, 294, 295; J. Erro, 243, 248/2, 249/1-2, 250/1-2-3, 251, 252/1, 253/1-2, 255/1; Peralta, A. Laborería, 267/9, 269, 276, 278; R. Garbayo, 307-308, 309, 310, 311, 313, 314; S. Sagües, 317; San Martín de Unx, M. Almazán, 89/2; Sesma, I. Giménez, 142/1; L. A. Baigorri, 862/3; Tafalla, D. Romeo, 570/2, 570/4, 571/2, 573/1, 574/1-2, 576, 582, 586; E. Hernández, 558; Tudela, A. Loraque, 1850; B. M. Moreno, 2134/2; I. Falces, 1858, 1859, 1860; Ujué, J. Guerrero, 90/2, 91/1-2, 92, 93/1; R. Jaurrieta, 94, 95/2, 97, 103; Valtierra, J. M. Lapuerta, 223/2, 224; Viana, J. López de Alda, 627, 628/1-2; Villafranca, C. Martín, 139/1; F. Hernández, 130/2-3, 131/1; J. Landivar, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839. ARGN, Provincial Council of Navarre/Diputación Foral de Navarra (DFN, hereinafter), boxes 32.669-32.770; 12.086-12.089.

17 The word ‘dehesa’ (Latin ‘defensa’, i.e., enclosed) identifies a large plot of land with a well-defined perimeter that is reserved and protected for its use as pastureland. Ejido (Latin ‘exitus’) has a similar meaning, but etymologically refers to the common lands that were on the village boundaries. Both terms are used in Navarre, but the most common terms for designating delimited pasturelands is ‘corraliza’, meaning a large pasture plot with a corral inside to shelter the flocks.

18 Lana-Berasain, J. M., ‘From equilibrium to equity. The survival of the commons in the Ebro Basin: Navarra from the 15th to the 20th centuries’, International Journal of the Commons, 2, 2 (2008), 162–91. Curtis, D. R., ‘Did the commons make medieval and early-modern rural societies more equitable? A survey of evidence from across Western Europe, 1300–1800’, Journal of Agrarian Change 16, 4 (2016), 646–64. Shaw-Taylor, L., ‘Labourers, cows, common rights and parliamentary enclosure: the evidence of contemporary comment, c.1760–1810’, Past and Present 171 (2001), 95126.

19 J. L. Tone, The Fatal Knot. The Guerrilla War in Navarre and the defeat of Napoleon in Spain (Chapel Hill and London, 1994), 165.

20 Reformas sociales. Tomo V. Información oral y escrita practicada en virtud de la real orden de 5 de diciembre de 1883 (Madrid, 1893), 195. The Comisión de Reformas Sociales was created by Royal Decree 5/12/1883 in order to study ‘all the questions that directly affect the improvement and welfare of the working class’. Sánchez-Agesta, L., ‘Orígenes de la política social en la España de la Restauración’, Revista de Derecho Político 8 (1981), 919. From the 1860s onward, there was tension between the owners of the ‘corralizas’ (understood as the property right on pastures) and the local people represented by the municipal government over the right to cultivate these estates. For the people who collected signatures in 1865, 1869, 1881 and 1885, and presented these applications to the town hall, the right to cultivate was consistent with the condition of villager. The ‘corraliceros’ not only had the right on pastures but also to cultivate, and so they began to plough the land. Tension increased in the 1880s, when French demand for wine rose, along with prices. In 1884, a municipal edict approved the distribution among 409 applicants of allotments for cultivation in the ‘corralizas’. It was blocked by a court injunction. Protests followed and a heated argument led to the deaths of three villagers and a watchman. J. M. Gastón-Aguas, ‘Sucesos corraliceros y movimiento comunero en Navarra: Olite, 1791–1931’, in J. M. Ortiz de Orruño et al. eds., Movimientos sociales en la España contemporánea (Madrid, 2008), CD, 399–432.

21 Sagasti, J. J. Montoro, La propiedad privada y la comunal en la ciudad de Olite (Navarra): Estudio histórico-jurídico-social (Pamplona, 1929). Aguas, J. M. Gastón, ‘La protesta por el comunal en la zona media de Navarra, 1841-1923’, Historia Contemporánea 26 (2003) 293327, 314–316.

22 E. Majuelo, Luchas de clases en Navarra, 1931-1936 (Pamplona, 1989). Altaffaylla Kultur Taldea, Navarra 1936. De la esperanza al terror, 6th ed. (Tafalla, 2003), 783–784.

23 M. Blinkhorn, ‘Land and power in Arcadia: Navarre in the early twentieth century’, in R. Gibson and M. Blinkhorn eds., Landownership and power in modern Europe (London and New York, 1991), 216–34, 224. A ‘memory of expropriation’ is also mentioned in Neeson, Commoners, 330.

24 J. M. Lana-Berasain, El sector agrario Navarro (1785-1935): cultivo, ganadería, propiedad y mercados (Pamplona, 1999), 93. Located at 388 metres above sea level, Olite has a typical Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures of 13–14°C, 500–600 mm of rainfall, and 700–725 mm of evapotranspiration. J. M. Lana-Berasain and I. Iriarte-Goñi, ‘The Social Embeddedness of Common Property Rights in Navarre (Spain), Sixteenth to Twentieth Centuries’, in R. Congost and R. Santos eds. Contexts of property in Europe (Turnhout, 2010), 83–103.

25 ARGN, PN, box 8377 (14, 16, 31).

26 ARGN, PN, 8402 (129). The ‘mesta’ or local guild of livestock farmers should not be confused with the powerful Castilian Mesta.

27 All the currency units found in the documents (ducados, pesos, Navarrese reales de plata and reales fuertes) have been transformed into ‘reales de vellón’ (rvn), a Castilian currency unit made of copper and silver. The monetary reform of 1869 created the peseta as equal to four reales de vellón.

28 ARGN, Royal Courts – Tribunales Reales (TTRR, hereinafter), file 89000.

29 ARGN, PN, 8377 (80, 87).

30 According to a document drafted in 1816 by the local council in Olite, the tax burden during the war years was as follows: 12 per cent in 1809, 76 in 1810, 144 in 1811, 160 in 1812, 140 in 1813 and 79 in 1814. ARGN, PN, 8388 (230).

31 ARGN, PN, 8377 (83, 87, 90, 103), 8378 (19, 34), 8379 (63, 101, 103), 8381 (234), 8385 (254, 255). After an unfavourable court ruling, in 1827, the town reached an agreement with the Bishop of Barbastro acknowledging a debt of 59,160 rvn to be paid in three instalments, and in 1833 it reached similar agreements with the parishes of Santa María and San Pedro. ARGN, PN, 8402 (80); 8406/2 (35, 37).

32 ARGN, PN, 8391 (141).

33 The ‘contribution foncière’ was a direct tax of Physiocratic inspiration levied in 1812 by the French government on agricultural produce. ARGN, PN, 8384 (30). In 1819, the local council reached an agreement with Francisco Ribed, attorney to the tradesmen of Pamplona, to defer the repayment of the debt for six years, thereby putting an end to the embargo proceedings. ARGN, PN, 8383 (119); 8392 (34); 8397 (148).

34 The number of members of the town hall oscillated between seven (during the traditional ‘insaculación’ system) and twelve (after the approval of the conservative constitution of 1845 that extended the term of office to two years). In order to build Figure 1, the names of the councillors have been taken from the municipal records and compared with several tax lists (1818, 1833, 1835, 1849 and 1860). Once identified, the tax wealth declared by each councillor has been calculated as a multiple of the average tax wealth that year. ARGN, PN, Olite, Joaquín Erro, 8391 (141), 8406 (42), 8408 (20); ARGN, DFN, box 49142.

35 ARGN, PN, 8379 (3–16); 8381 (111–127, 129–132, 146, 163, 168–170, 181).

36 Of the 380 taxpayers, 10 per cent were women, of whom 15 corresponded to group 8, and 12 to the poor, accounting for almost a third of the latter. ARGN, PN, 8378 (31). Other processes of legalising occupied lands, in N. Plack, Common land, wine and the French Revolution. Rural society and economy in Southern France, c.1789-1820 (Farnham, 2009), 91–123. Jiménez-Blanco, and Linares, , ‘La cara oculta de la desamortización municipal española (1766-1856)’, Historia Agraria 73 (2018), 69106.

37 ARGN, PN, 8382 (15). Other ways of guaranteeing the reproduction of the communities in extreme circumstances have been documented. As a result of the Italian Wars between 1494 and 1559, municipal assets were sold in Lombardy (Geradadda), most of them bought by confraternities (scholae) to fulfil a similar function of providing credit to the municipalities. M. di Tullio, The wealth of communities. War, resources and cooperation in renaissance Lombardy (Farnham, UK, 2014), 117–47.

38 Twenty-eight per cent of the price was offset by repaying the mortgage loan. ARGN, PN, 8383 (46). Part of the corralizas of the mesta (Baretón) had been added onto one of the pieces of land of La Plana.

39 J. Fontana and R. Garrabou, Guerra y Hacienda. La Hacienda del gobierno central en los años de la Guerra de la Independencia (1808–1814) (Alicante, 1986), 131–149.

40 ARGN, PN, 8387 (39).

41 La Plana was valued again at 857,241 rvn. ARGN, PN, 8393 (18, 25–30, 160).

42 ARGN, PN, 8393 (53). The military man José de Ezpeleta y Galdeano (1739–1823) had returned to Spain in 1797, after holding the office of Governor of Mobile, Pensacola, Louisiana, Florida and Cuba between 1780 and 1789 and of Viceroy of New Granada (1789–1797). That same year he was granted his title of nobility and began the process of rationalising his wealth, acquiring 37 hectares in Olite by 1819, to which in 1820 he added the 1,505 Ha of La Plana. In 1814, he was appointed Viceroy of Navarre, being dismissed following the triumph of the revolution in 1820. Archive of the Spanish Senate, ES.28079.HIS-0157-05. F. B. Medina Rojas, José de Ezpeleta, gobernador de la Mobila, 1780–1781 (Seville, 1980).

43 The general climate of rural depression blocked any short-term assurance of a good return on the investment. In 1820, La Plana was leased for a period of three years, with an annual payment of 22,496 rvn, which meant 2.56 per cent of the price paid; in 1824 and 1825, the new contracts provided a return of 1.63 and 1.82 per cent; a lower rate of return than the interest paid on the part of the purchase price that had remained as credit. ARGN, PN, 8393 (4), 8397 (43), 8398 (94).

44 R. Del Río Aldaz, Revolución liberal, expolios y desastres de la primera guerra carlista en Navarra y en el frente norte (Pamplona, 2000).

45 ARGN, PN, 8406/2 (42, 82); 8407 (78–81); 8408/1 (20); 8408/2 (33, 34).

46 Seven buyers purchased 57.65 Ha for 40,680 rvn between 1834 and 1841. ARGN, PN, Olite, J. Erro, 249/1 (11); A. Erro, 284/1 (61); 284/2 (6, 8); 285/1 (1); 286/1 (10, 24, 25).

47 Half of that amount was paid with promissory notes. ARGN, PN, 8407/2 (1–2, 4–9, 12–16).

48 ARGN, PN, 8407/2 (46); 8409/1 (67). In 1816, following the first sales of corralizas, new planning was undertaken, creating three new corralizas with a capacity for 450 heads of livestock and an incomplete one for 135 heads, which were added to the seven that had not undergone any changes. ARGN, PN, 8388 (263).

49 This is the case of the bourgeois Juan-de-Dios Moso studied by de la Torre, J., ‘Patrimonios y rentas de la nobleza y de la burguesía agraria en la Navarra de la revolución liberal (1820-1865)’, Agricultura y Sociedad 67 (1993), 93124.

50 The deeds on the lease of the corralizas privatised in previous years provided extraordinary returns. In 1840, Moso leased two corralizas for an annual return amounting to 12.8 and 7.75 per cent of the price paid for their purchase. In 1841, Barbero rented out the corraliza Estremal for a return of 10 per cent of the amount paid, and in 1842, he secured a two-year lease on another corraliza for a return of 20.3. In the case of the corraliza Falconera, the return in 1840 amounted to 32 per cent on an eight-year contract. ARGN, PN, Olite, J. Erro, 251 (37); A. Erro, 285/2 (67, 68); 286/1 (53); 286/2 (136).

51 ARGN, PN, Olite, A. Erro, 290/1 (97, 98); 291/2 (198-204); 293 (19, 122); 294 (70-75, 79, 100–103); 295 (25–26).

52 ARGN, PN, 8391 (141), 8407/1 (81); ARGN, DFN, 16192.

53 The average wine harvest (6,284 hl in 1785–1789, and 6,703 hl in 1818–1820) rose to 23,540 hl in 1879, and in 1882 the amount declared was 47,080 hl. The local output of wine had increased seven times, while the production of cereals had remained stable. Lana-Berasain, El sector agrario navarro, 140, 145; ARGN, PN, 8391 (163), 8393 (132); ARGN, DFN, box 40979; Ibid. 32749.

54 Use is made for 1808–1820 of the quantitative reconstruction performed by J. de la Torre, Los campesinos, extended with certain data referring to Tudela and its district. ARGN, PN, Tudela, J. Yanguas Miranda, 1813 (20–95), 1814 (27–85), 1820 (1, 2).

55 Other processes of privatization that did not follow the standard, centralised way can be found in: Bosch, M., Congost, R. and Gifré, P., ‘Los Bandos. La lucha por el individualismo agrario en Cataluña. Primeras hipótesis (siglos XVII-XIX)’, Historia Agraria 13 (1997), 6588. Cendrero, V., ‘¿Privatización o expolio? La desamortización del monte público en Almodóvar del Campo, Ciudad Real (1845-1897)’, Historia Agraria 63 (2014), 89114. Lana-Berasain, J. M., ‘Forgotten commons. The struggle for recognition and property rights in a Spanish Village, 1509–1957’, Rural History 23, 2 (2012) 137159.

56 Some local councils, as in the case of Ayesa, Eslava, Gallipienzo, San Martín de Unx, Sansol and Ujué managed to recoup all the corralizas by 1855.

57 Most of the cultivated lands that the table records correspond to the towns of Artajona (205 Ha), Azagra (687 Ha), Cáseda (368 Ha), Tafalla (363 Ha) and Viana (202 Ha). Overall, 27.5 per cent of the buyers purchased less than half a hectare, a further 26 purchased between half and one hectare, and another 21.7 acquired between one and two hectares.

58 During the 1840s, bullfighting became the prime leisure industry in Spain, with average bull prices rising in Navarre from 1,052 rvn (1826–1830) to 2,306 rvn (1841–1845). Shubert, A., Death and money in the afternoon. A history of the Spanish bullfight (Oxford, 1999). de Laborda, V. Pérez, Historia de una ganadería navarra de toros bravos en el siglo XIX de Tudela (Navarra) (Tudela, 1980), 28138.

59 Lana-Berasain, ‘From equilibrium to equity’, table 2. On the concurrence of property rights over the same piece of land, I. Iriarte-Goñi and J. M. Lana-Berasain, ‘The concurrence and hierarchization of rights to property: the case of public lands in Spain’, in G. Béaur et al. eds., Property rights, land markets and economic growth in the European countryside (thirteenth-twentieth centuries) (Turnhout, 2013), 123–138.

60 Cleaver, F., ‘Institutional bricolage, conflict and cooperation in Usangu, Tanzania’. IDS Bulletin 32 (4) (2001) 2635. Cleaver, F. and de Koning, J., ‘Furthering critical institutionalism’, International Journal of the Commons 9, 1 (2015) 118.

61 This does not mean there were no deep-seated tensions within the heart of the community. In April 1839, nine people from Olite complained to the province's political head ‘of the bribery involved in the appointment of the individuals in the current council’ and of the ‘machinations they used to ensure they were all in the same gang’. ARGN, DFN, 49134 (3). Aguas, J. M. Gastón, ‘Los campesinos navarros ante la revolución burguesa, 1841–1868’, Historia Social 46 (2003), 2547.

62 Iriarte-Goñi, I. and Lana-Berasain, J. M., ‘Hopes of recovery: struggles over the right to common lands in the Spanish countryside, 1931–1936’, in Congost, R., Gelman, J. and Santos, R. eds., Property rights in land. Issues in social, economic and global history (London and New York, 2017), 132–53.


Reversible privatisation. Conflict, bricolage, and the sale of common lands in the Spanish province of Navarre, 1808–1860

  • José-Miguel Lana-Berasain (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.