Edited: 201411141158
TESSENS Lucas
the creation of private empires


A portion of the growing wealth of the superrich, not reinjected in the economy, goes to investment in land ownership; land - by nature - is limited; private empires emerge.

This is exacty the same process that took place in Western Europe before the French Revolution. The Noblesse and the abbeys owned a very large portion of the arable land and of the woods (energy). By means of privileges they were exempted of paying taxes. Loyalty to King and Crown was considered more important.

During the French Revolution land property of the Church was redistributed but - again - only the rich could benefit from it. Napoleon's cadastre confirmed the new situation.

During the 19th Century collective land property was privatised to create even larger domains. At the end of that century the existence of large domains was heavily critisized by the socialists. After WW1 that discussion was burried and forgotten. The socialists aimed at political dominance but this strategy failed.

Now, after a century, the (re)distribution of wealth is again a topic.


Sources:

TESSENS Lucas & DEBAETS Eddy, De herschikking van het onroerend goed op het einde van de 18de en het begin van de 19de eeuw (ca. 1770 tot 1815), in: Belastingdienst voor Vlaanderen, Jaarverslag Onroerende Voorheffing 2004, pp. 70-86;

TESSENS Lucas, De tweede schepping. Het landschap in mutatie (1813-1865), in: Belastingdienst voor Vlaanderen, Jaarverslag Onroerende Voorheffing 2005, pp. 92-116;

TESSENS Lucas, Fortuin en Confrontatie (1865-1914) in: Belastingdienst voor Vlaanderen, Jaarverslag Onroerende Voorheffing 2006, pp. 82-114.

More than 1.200 sources were consulted to write these three articles.
201411141158