Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Peaceful Surrender

Peaceful Surrender

The Depopulation of Rural Spain in the Twentieth Century

Author(s): Fernando Collantes, Vincente Pinilla

Book Description

Migration to the cities had been a part of European rural life long before the start of modern industrialisation and urbanisation. In the era of modern development, however, rural-urban migration intensified in an unprecedented way and many rural communities depopulated. While during the pre-industrial period migration had contributed to the economic and social reproduction of rural communities, it now challenged the continuity of the rural lifestyle. This book analyses the topic for the case of Spain, which in the twentieth century experienced one of the most intense processes of rural depopulation in modern Europe. The interaction between Spanish industrialisation and rural migration, the demographic implications of agrarian change, the obstacles to the development of rural non-farm activities, the rural problems of access to infrastructures and services, the role of public policy, and the consequences of depopulation for the rural community are the central elements of this study, which inserts the Spanish case within its European context. Distanced from both the anti-modern stance that idealises paradise lost and the Panglossian mood that welcomes anything that came with modernisation, the book explains how the adaptive strategies put into practice by rural populations led to a “peaceful surrender” of traditional rural society.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2838-3
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2838-6
Date of Publication: 01/04/2011
Pages / Size: 215 / A5
Price: £39.99


Fernando Collantes is Associate Professor of Economic History at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. His previous monograph (in Spanish) analysed the depopulation of mountain communities in Spain 1850–2000.

Vicente Pinilla is Professor of Economic History at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. He recently edited two books on the evolution of European agriculture: Agriculture and Economic Development in Europe since 1870 and Markets and Agricultural Change in Europe from the 13th to the 20th Century.