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Updated Jan 2006
The Carriers of Democracy
The global peoples' movement system
Chapter 4: Communities' defence against the world market system
by Jan Wiklund
In the late fifteenth century, the upper classes of Europe begun to forge their new method to take back the control after the late medieval peoples' movement boom. They organised the power internationally and nationally to hit against the popular power which was predominantly local. The method was to accumulate strength through global and national markets and to organise an autocratic state .
Since business/capitals/merchants were the kind of authorities that had been most left alone by the medieval social movements, their position within the upper class had been enormously strengthened. This was primarily reflected in the fact that capital accumulation and commodification played a more central part in the new system than in any system ever.
The organisation of the world market system implied great changes in the lives of the direct producers. Capital accumulation was superordinated all other aims. The encroachment of exploiters increased. Their control over work was more direct. Custom was replaced by rules which were stipulated by entrepreneurs and by a state which didn't saw any limits for its terrorist power . Popular organisations were forbidden. Death penalty was introduced for innumerable offences, from political unreliability and thought crimes to theft and begging. Moreover, the world market was superimposed as an ultimate, completely unimpressionable power. The working hours were extended while the reward was reduced. "The deterioration was intensified the more one leave the 'medieval autumn' and continues into the mid nineteenth century", says Braudel. "In some regions in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Balkans, the decline continues far into the twentieth century" .
"The starvation curve" according to Braudel. Wage per hour for a worker in Strasbourg, expressed in hg wheat, between 1400 and 1950. The thickness of the curve marks the difference betwen good and bad years. The horizontal line marks the starvation limit. Note that the scale is logarithmic - the incomes fell to less than a tenth between 1520 and 1570. Some people have questioned the figures - Geremek consider the figures of the fifteenth century refer to educated artisans rather than workers. But nobody can deny the disaster of the sixteenth century .
While the living standards decreased and the need for revolt grew, the requirements for success were thus reduced because of the better organised power machine of the exploiters. This caused a crisis for the movement methods which had had their heydays in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, i.e. peasant and artisan rebellions for autonomy, against local authorities and against royal taxes, ideologically fortified with Christian egalitarianism. Braudel even thinks he can find evidence of an evaporated understanding among the poor about their own repression. While many manifestations of conscious identity among the lower classes are documented from the fifteenth century, they disappear almost completely in the sixteenth, doubtless because the new society was difficult to understand and even more difficult to act upon, because of its dependence on international conditions .
But the question is whether the political bankruptcy of the radical Christian movements didn't play an even more important part. For the radical Christian program was rendered unusable as a language for creating an identity for the lower classes of Europe when it, deprived of its social content, was used by north European state leaders for nationalist ends. And therefore it was also rendered unusable as a mobilizing language, and the late medieval peoples' movement boom ended in confusion.
Of course, people tried to defend themselves all the same. Primarily by lying low - with tax dodging, sabotage and/or bad work. Direct rebellions were only attempted if the demands of the states threatened survival, if peoples' experience of rebellion was good, if people had allies within the power structure, and if the states for some reason appeared weak, for example after a lost war.
There are three great differences between the early rebellions against the world market system and the late medieval rebellions.
Firstly, peasants and towns are not any longer defending themselves against local aristocracies, but only the actions of the central state and the force of the world market. The struggle is for local autonomy.
Secondly, the implicit class content is almost completely lacking, as is any discussion about what a better society would be like. The aim of the movements are always limiting the encroachment of the state and the world market to the old order (which is generally posed as an ideal). They are rebellions against the novelties of the world market system. They are completely defensive, and the actors are broad class alliances.
Thirdly, the result is uncomparably worse. Collectively, the popular resistance begins to show some positive result only after a few hundred years, as Braudel says, and then only in the richest parts of the system center.
Two principles stood againt eachother when these broad alliances encountered the new world market system.
On the one side was the autonomy of the local community and its right to its own resources. There was also the right to subsistance for all, and the duty of the local community and its notabilities to guard it against both natural disasters and encroachments from without.
On the other side was the abstraction of the world market, with the new claims by capital owners and states of absolute, "Roman" ownership and sovereignty, respectively, without any duties toward the rest of the society .
Roman law had been introduced during the high medieval world market system, and it seemed to be even better adapted to the society of the new age. Except in its view on ownership - an absolute right with no duties tied to it - it differs from peasant law in its view on what a "good law" implies. Roman law emanates from abstract legal principles, and laws must in accordance with this be given by professional bureaucracies which are the only ones who understand these principles. Peasant law emanates from popular sense of justice and is accordingly given by democratic meetings or councils. There is also a third difference: according to peasant law commons have an equally strong protection as private property, which they have not in Roman law .
The most important duty tied to the ownership, according to the peasants, was the duty of the superiors to support the direct producers in time of need. The direct producers had right to food, or reduced taxes and rents in case of a bad harvest, as they had the right to the land-owner's support against intruding foreigners. The superiors were tolerated as long as they fulfilled their duties in a patron-client relationship [7a].
So from the viewpoint of the peasant community it was not rebellion when it reacted against the new principles, but protection of traditional law and justice. From the viewpoint of the peasant community the state was the rebel, as it broke the social contract, claiming unilaterally new rights. Often, the protests took the form of legal proceedings, with all ceremonies observed. The boundary line between a humble petition to the king or his representative to observe the rules and keep the law, and a downright rebellion was often drawn only when the army came to repress the local people.
The forms of the movements follow a particular rythm. Since they are directed against the news of the world market system, these news and their appearance in time decides the form, or the repertoire as Charles Tilly have called the forms that characterize different eras of popular politics .
The first kind of movements was the tax rebellions, roughly 1550-1700; the era is pushed forward as the distance from the system center grows. Tax rebellions were the countryside's defence against the absolutist states' new claims for power. They were not only directed against the state's claim of the villages' and towns' surplus, even if this was an evident illustrative of the parasitism of the states; taxes was at this time exclusively used for war and for show at the court, and both were used mainly for repression. They were also directed against the state's claim of regulating what villages and towns previously had regulated themselves. The peasants reacted particularly against the introduction of the authoritarian property concepts of Roman law, but also against the governments' meddling regulation of the religious rites that kept the their identity together. The resistance could also be directed against billeting of soldiers or conscription of soldiers for the states' destructive wars .
In a typical tax rebellion, the peasants tried to hunt away the royal bailiff and prevent him from collecting taxes. Variations could occur. If the state leased out the tax collection to a local capitalist, a so-called tax farmer, his house could be pulled down. Or the house where the tax should be payed could be burnt. Traditional feasts, when the people of the district used to meet, were regularly used to symbolically condemn the bailiff to death before attacking him. If the balances of power were too tilted to the disadvantage of the countryside, there was also the possibility of dodging.
In the towns, artisans regularly took the lead, but merchants usually followed. The villages always acted together, often with the parish priest as a figurehead. In the beginning of the period, peasants and artisans could ally with local and regional aristocrats, eager to maintain their declining power against the central state. In these cases, tax rebellions could grow to civil wars affecting whole provinces. In England, there was such a rebellions every decade during the sixteenth century. In France there was a constant and shifting civil war until the mid seventeenth century, with complicated alliances between peasants, towns and aristocrats, and the Aquitaine peasants revolted five hundred times during the seventeenth century. In Spain the Castilian towns made war against the king in 1520 to protect their autonomy and lost because they didn't care about allying with the countryside. In 1640 the Catalan revolt forced the government to withdraw from the Thirty Years war and give up its great power status. In Naples, the guilds made a revolution in the mid seventeenth century and proclaimed the Republic. In northern Switzerland, the peasants revolted against the cities about the same time. Tax rebellions triggered the Dutch and English revolutions, and in Sweden we use to remember several rebellions of Dalarna.
The Dacke revolt in Småland in Sweden in 1542-43 may be a model tax rebellion. The main cause was the increasing taxes which went to the king's new mercenary army. Added to this were the increasing bureaucratic meddling: "The Smålanders complained over other encroachments in established law and justice. They were exposed to threats and constant extortions by royal bailiffs. At the courts they were curtly rebuffed when they wanted to testify in favour of some friend or neighbour. There was no longer sanctity of churches; a peasant didn't even enjoyed the privacy of his home", Alf Åberg quotes . But the triggering fact was the attack on the centers of the parishes, the churches, which the king illegaly reprieved of all their valuables, i.e. the savings of the parishes.
After a year of successful struggles with the king, the peasants made peace, promised by the king that time-honoured law should be kept. As soon as the king had regained from the defeats he took back his promises and attacked the peasants with German mercenaries. The peasants won one point however - the king abandoned his tampering with Roman law and kept to traditional Swedish law henceforth.
Most tax rebellions ended like in Småland. The state put down the rebellion and hanged a score of peasants - but sometimes it abandoned some of the innovations that had provoked the rebellion. The states were thus able to force through their increased control, but to a price - according to Giovanni Arrighi such a high price that it in the end turns prohibitive and forces through a system reform. But this system reform also implied that tax rebellions were made impossible. The local notabilities that had supported peasants and artisans changed sides, and the resources of the peoples' movement were cut down to a fraction of that of the state. The state was thus able to build up its bureaucratic control apparatus and protect its construction of the world market system.
The tax revolts are succeeded by bread seizures, about 1650-1850 in the system center; in Sweden the last bread seizures occurred in 1917 and in the South they still continues, with growing significance after 1975, see chapter 9. They were directed against the centralised market and its regulation of the price of bread according to the law of supply and demand instead of the traditional "just price" that guaranteed the survival of all. Unlike tax rebellions, that could be diffused regionally, bread seizures were always local; they occurred exactly at the sites which were just captured by the national markets, and were spread concentrically around the big cities. But sometimes, bread seizures could occur simultaneously, like in France in 1789, and be of great consequence.
The actor or organiser was the local community, and particularly its lower classes.
"In the food riot's most developed form, mixed crowds of ordinary people gather angrily before the shop of a miller, a merchant or a baker. They complain about prices, seize the food on hand, cart it off to the market square, sell it to all comers (so long as they belong to the community) at a price they declare to be just, turn in the cash to the owner of the grain or bread, and go home saying they have done justice, as the authorities themselves should have done justice", says the Tillys . Good order was maintained, the aims were distinct and thoroughly discussed, plunder and other arbitrariness was forbidden, but merchants who proved treacherous were punished. Women were often leaders, because they were responsible for food purchase and kept control of the prices.
Bread seizures were often momentarily successful. Local authorities accepted the demands of the local community, reduced the prices, stopped grain exports and abolished the market price; the accepted momentarily the right of the local community to maintain welfare provisions against the market. The reason for this was simply, according to Thompson, that they had no choice. The assembled lower classes of a town had more power than any local authority could mobilize.
Meanwhile, local communities defended the villages against privatization up to the industrial age. These defences were also strictly local and were directed against commercial landowners who practiced Roman law against the traditional country law and for example treated commons as private property. The repertoire was in this case that the peasants destroyed the equipments of the commercial landowner and occupied his land - or, according to the peasants' view, took back the land the village had been deprived of. In England, struggle against "enclosures" formed the political consciousness of the peasants during the whole era after 1550, like in France where protests against privatisation became a part of the resistance against the increasing greediness of the aristocracy during the eighteenth century.
Magagna calls attention to the fact that the peasants didn't oppose the market as such . In many places, such as the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the peasants were the pioneers of marketization. But they rebelled when the market was imposed on them by outsiders in such a way that they couldn't control it to their own advantage. The market was accepted and welcomed only when its principles were subordinated to the principles of community, and increased the peasants' opportunities to survive within its framework. The market was seen as a useful tool but was not allowed to be the master.
There were other methods to show opposition to authorities or exploiters, for example to make socalled rough music outside their houses, make satiric theatre, or in serious cases, pull down their houses. Such actions were quick, direct, anonymous and, according to Thompson, very well-disciplined and well-considered. Movements with non-economic, "political" programs also turn up in the great cities of western Europe in the 1760s - in London, artisans begun to speak of "freedom" in the 1760s and in the Netherlands they called themselves "patriots" in the 1780s .
The rebellions grow smaller and also more peaceful during the eighteenth century - but Rudé emphasizes that violence against people are always uncommon in peoples' movements. The state and the market grew stronger and more well-organised and usually caught hold of social movements before they have been really threatening for the state. Meanwhile, the local solidarity and autonomy the older social movements tried to protect begun to dissolve under the pressure of the world market and the class-division that followed in its track. In the system center, the integration of the direct producers had taken some steps and the relation between them and the state had grown somewhat more civilized than before.
All social movements during this so-called early modern era were repressed, and the "leaders" were often punished hard, but the state often yielded somewhat for a while. But in alliance with rebellions made by parts of the ruling classes against incompetent, too narrowly based dictatorships, direct producers were sometimes able to assert themselves and radicalize these rebellions far more than the original initiators thought appropriate.
The Spanish-Genovese system, and the royal military dictatorships that had made possible the suppression of the living standard of the direct producers, were annihilated by two popular rebellions - in the Netherlands 1565-1609, and in England 1640-1652. In both cases, the rebellions were led by the upper and middle classes, who also gained most by them. But the direct producers played an important part as the rank and file of the movements. They were rewarded with the beginning integration of the lower classes into society that took place exactly here and eventually led to universal suffrage and the welfare state. In both cases, the Calvinism of the burgher class was the ideological cement of the movement, which contributed to the moralizing form of the integration - bread in exchange of orderliness.
Calvinism was an offshoot of the radical anti-clerical movements of the late middle age . Its leading principle was that the organisation of the clergy should be captured by the laymen but be kept intact as a particular organisation in relation to society. The principle attracted the burghers of the economically most well-developed trading towns outside Italy: in Switzerland, in the Netherlands, in France, and in England. This was a way for them to acquire autonomy and establish a collective power, not only counter to the clergy but also counter to the increasingly powerful state [14a].
In the mid sixteenth century Spain was the hegemon of the world market system, with interests to watch after everywhere. The revolt of the Netherlands was a revolt against the increasingly strict bureaucratic dictatorship; the aristocracy defended its provincial autonomy, the merchants and the direct producers defended themselves against increased taxes and conscriptions. But the burghers also rose to defend their calvinist organisation that was persecuted for the sake of bureaucratic standardization .
The trigger was a new sales tax; in April 1, 1572, the opposition's pirate fleet occupied a town at the mouth of the Rhine, and town after town rose for defence of the freedom of expresion and conscience. The lower burghers were initiators; this frightened the aristocracy which now made peace with the state and gave it resources to fight the rebellion with. Burghers and direct producers had more to lose and less to gain by peace, and went on with the rebellion for forty years.
The material resources of the rebellion were the wealth and navigation knowledge of the towns. They profited from all the enemies the Spanish state, as a hegemon, had to fight with disastrous effects for its treasury. But these conditions were not sufficient; the rich north Italian towns never rebelled although they were subject to Spanish taxation. An organisation was also needed: the Calvinist congregations. Only this could create a liaison between the social classes who were interested in a rupture with the dictatorship. Only this could give a vision to the movement that was deep enough to survive forty years of war. This doesn't mean that the Calvinists were particularly many. Even after forty years of successful rebellion, they were not more than a third in Holland, the core region of the rebellion.
The Calvinist front consisted in an alliance between merchants and petty bourgeoisie. From the beginning they were necessary for eachother. The merchants financed the rebellion with money from trade and piracy; the artisans made up the revolutionary army. But while the war ravaged the countryside of the Netherlands, money were increasingly important and the popular support lost out. So the merchants gained more and more power in the Calvinist alliance. The popular party tried to defend its crumbling power supporting different leading generals, who always left their followers to fend for themselves.
But the Calvinist front lasted until the king, worried by bad finances, asked for negotiations in 1607. Then the merchants opted for a compromise while the petty bourgeoisie and the direct producers favoured a continued struggle until the dictatorship was subdued in all Netherlands. The merchants forced through their position and concentrated henceforth in building a commercial empire with a basis in Holland. Their popular opponents concentrated, with some success, in extorting some of the wealth from the merchants, applying to Calvinist justice. This was the way the integration of the direct producers was initiated in the world market system .
The Calvinist movement in England called themselves Puritans because they wanted a more radical and pure Christianity. The Puritans were strong among the merchants, tradesmen, artisans and independent farmers who opposed the court and the dictatorship while they took care to distance themselves from the poor, those who were cut out by the world market system .
Against the depraved court the Puritans posed Justice. With belief in their own splendid qualities followed effectivity and drive. As early as in the 1620s they dominated trade as well as the streets in the City of London. With effectivity and drive followed a belief that History, or God, was with the Puritans.
The Puritan revolt began as a tax strike. When the Scotch rebelled, and the king had to call for a Parliament to get money, the Puritans dominated the Parliament. Thanks to the powerlessness of the court faced with the Scotch threat, the Puritan Parliament organised itself as an independent power. The leading officials of the dicatorship was caught and killed. Speech and print were let free. An army for protection against the Scotch was organised, but the Parliament kept control over it. The king sawthe wind, fled from London and organised a royalist army, while the English Calvinists allied with their Scotch brethren
In the civil war that broke out in 1642, the king had the upper hand for a while, because the professional soldiers tended to support him. The parliamentary side relied for some time on ideologically unmotivated mercenaries, until Oliver Cromwell got his little army of disciplined, armed revolutionaries accepted as the model for a new army, the New Model Army. NMA was soon able to defeat the royalist resistance.
With NMA, the popular element was strengthened in the movement. The Parliament was dominated by the Puritan upper class. They were contented with breaking the dictatorship and take care of the business themselves. They didn't want any social levelling. But they wanted a top-down organised church to supervise and discipline the life of the lower classes. They organised into the Presbyterian party.
The NMA attracted primarily artisans and farmers who had taken to arms to break the tyranny. They were determined not to let the revolution stop at constitutional niceties. They attacked state-promoted trade monopolies as well as aristocratic enclosures of public lands. They would particularly not tolerate any thought control from the side of the upper class. They called themselves Independents, and NMA was their weapon.
The civil organisation of the Independents was mainly localised to London. It was called the Levellers by its adversaries, and it had been rather informal way by a few people. The Levellers were more radical than the average Independent, and they claimed an equal part of the power for all. They were the first to demand universal suffrage, even if they eventually compromised on that point, because of fear for the poor. Their main method was journalism. They wrote a countless number of pamphlets and had a weekly paper of their own; they organised mass petitions to the Parliament and demonstrations - organisatorical innovations that later were forgotten for more than a hundred years. They also began to build up an organisation in London consisting of quarter committees, but they never succeeded to complete it. From beginning to end the initiative belonged to a few with no other mandate than a political conviction.
In 1647 the NMA had got tired of the conservative politics of the Parliament. The soldiers elected delegates, "agitators", to a council that adopted the program of the Levellers, the Agreement of the People, which except universal suffrage contained all the now classic demands of freedom of expression and equality before the law. The unity among the Independents looked like breaking apart when the army leaders hesitated to the radical demands. But then the royalists rebelled anew, tempted by the possible disruption among the Puritans.
The war threat silenced the demands for popular democracy. Partly because the few organised couldn't cope with the tempo, partly because the poor were drawn into politics and frightened wht middle class with their demand for economic equality as an addition to the political. So instead, the Independents looked for strong military leaders who should implement the middle class demands. Politics was delegated to them. Popular activities were increasingly limited to agitation in moral and lifestyle matters, and were directed downwards as much as upwards; it is from this time the term Puritan begins to smack of priggishness and selfrighteousness. An activist faction of NMA was easily isolated and put down. Lower class movements, like the so called diggers who occupied common land to raise food for the poor, were isolated just as easily.
Based on their economic power, landowners and merchants soon forced the Puritans to break with a popular radicalism they in any case had got afraid of, and pursue a policy in the interest of the moneyed people. English trade was protected with wars against Holland and Spain. Ownership was maintained against the poor. The discontented were quieted with confiscated Irish land. And the wages were raised.
In 1660 the Puritan upper class had discovered that it had more in common with the royalists than with popular radicalism, not to speak about the poor. The monarchy was restored but the royal dicatatorship was over. The moneyed interests would decide legislation and taxing hereafter, through the parliament. Most of them deserted Puritanism when they had reached their aims.
The Puritan sects survived as "nonconformists" - Baptists, Quakers - politically defeated but yet a space to breathe for democratic organisation and artisan's self-respect. As such they would influence the peoples' movement boom of the nineteenth century.
Other Puritans emigrated to America, where they in time would create the first democratic republic.
But the main feat of the English and Dutch Calvinists was to defeat the Spanish-Genovese model and the absolute royal dictatorship, and make way for the slow integration of the working people into society. In all Europe echos of the Calvinist revolutions was heard as peasant risings and revolts about 1650, which forced the authorities to concessions and to reorganising the world market system according to the Dutch model, see chapter 2. The price had to be payed by the peoples in the system periphery, but this didn't worry the Calvinists. In relation to the Irish as well as the Malays and the Indians, Calvinists had shown themselves as bloodthirsty imperialists with übermensch ideals (the Levellers protested against Cromwell's carnage of Irish peasants, but only they reacted); perhaps this was easy for people who identified their own case with righteousness and God's will.
Until the end of the eighteenth century, peoples' movements applied exclusively to tradition and to the good society that prevailed before the onslaught of the world market system. The events that, for good and for bad, would provide the world with a new language for popular revolts and popular movements were the American and the French revolutions, and the Haitian slave rebellion.
These three great revolts together defeated the Dutch system that had ruled since 1648. In all three instances, core groups in the system refused to fall into line, and reformulated the conditions for the relation between rulers and ruled. The solidarity between them was very conscious. The French revolutionaries considered the Americans as precursors and the Haitian as comrades.
The American movement is treated in chapter 6, the Haitian movement is treated below, for narrative reasons.
The French revolution was a struggle between three parties .
Firstly, a court clique, parasiting and expensive according to its opponents, making the state power ineffective and expensive. This clique had the decisive power in the state.
Secondly, the reforming upper class, with a power base in global trade. They was worried over the rising British power and wanted to get rid of the ballast of the court to make France more effective. They had acted since the early eighteenth century, in the beginning as literary clubs and salons, with "enlightenment" as their catchword, and towards the end of the century they had even begun to get some influence in the government.
Thirdly, the direct producers, artisans and peasants, who disliked both of these, but for some time were able to play on the antagonism between them to assert their own interests.
There was yet another party - proletarianized intellectuals, who contributed to formulating the themes of the revolution but whose quarrelsome careerism also contributed to confusion and creating of factions .
The revolution was triggered by a growing systemic chaos - see chapter 2 - but the immediate cause was a series of bad harvests. According to Rudé, food prices rose from 50% of a working man's wage to 85% from 1785 to 1789, and the bread seizures grew to a revolution because the government was bankrupt after a war and couldn't afford either to integrate the resistance or suppress it. Instead, it felt forced to summon a parliament whch was dominated by the reforming upper class. The game of 1789-1795 may be described thus:
The reformist bourgeoisie took immediately command from the court circles, but they wanted to keep the reform at a comfortable speed. The aim was to make France more effective and the economy more profitable. The court opposed this, from short-sightedness, and threatened with foreign intervention, which made the position of the reformists uncertain. This uncertainty was exploited by the direct producers, artisans and peasants, to force the reformists to concessions, that is, to reforms that were also in the interests of the direct producers. This was partially successful. In case it was not, peasants and artisans were not afraid of making tactical alliances with the court to frighten the reformists. In 1795 the court was so defeated that the direct producers couldn't play on the reformists' fear any longer. The reformists then felt strong enough to take back the whole initiative, and take back some of the reforms that had favoured the direct producers. But they couldn't take all.
When the government convened the Parliament in July 1788, this was a confession of impotence. People thus felt confident to multiply the bread seizures. From May 1789, when the Parliament met, peasants begun to seize castles and courts to burn debt papers and other documents where their inferior status was established. In some cases, soldiers made common cause with them. The reformists had to work in this atmosphere.
This countryside movement was directed against all landowners, irrespective if they belonged to the court party or the reformists. Often reformists were more detested because they run their estates more rationally and parsimoniously, at the peasants' expense. The movement followed the pattern from bread seizures and tax rebellions but got a tremendous strength thanks to their contemporaneousness with other rebellions.
Paris' artisans and workers, who would set the agenda of the revolution the following years, saw less clearly where their interest was and acted less independently; they were more exposed to influence from intellectual careerists who in many cases dominated the new revolutionary organisations, the sections.
William Sewell has described the difference between the aims of Paris' artisans and the reformists. The reformists wanted to break all associations between people and groups that prevented the competitive market to work to the full extent, and they wanted to make ownership power absolute. The artisans, educated in guilds and companionships, wanted to break all associations that maintained the privileges of the rich against the "people", the united guilds, and they wanted to make ownership responsible to the people. They had no heart for the individualist competition of the reformists; their principal demand was regulation of prices and wages to their "just" levels. Only after several years the artisans discovered that the reformists didn't mean the same thing with "separate association" as they did, and tried to win a platform of their own. But at that time it was too late .
In the early days, the Parisian direct producers sided wholeheartedly with the reformists, againt the court. For example, the seizure of the Bastille in July 14, the event that all parties acknowledged as the defeat of the court, was an attempt from the artisans to seize arms to protect the National Assembly against a threatening coup of the court. The Paris' women's march to Versailles in October 4 was partly a demonstration against the high prices of bread, partly a direct attack against the court; the women simply brought the court to Paris to have it better under the eyes of the people.
The indirect alliance between reformists and Paris' artisans was strengthened by the activities of the common foe. The court had made Paris its main enemy, and the Prussian and Austrian armies which approached to help the court in 1792 bragged openly about their plans to take revenge on Paris. The result was panic. The Paris artisans made revolution anew, deposed the municipal government, and sentenced two thousand people to death in provisional people's courts for collaboration with the court and the Austrians. The reformists were completely overrun. They were also forced to the defensive because of bad finances; many of them had their main interests in the plantation economy, and this had been shattered in the meantime by the Haitian slave rebellion.
The rebellion of the slaves was thus a direct precondition to the popular movement's relative success during the French revolution. Together, they were the most advanced peoples' movement North-South solidarity ever.
But the target for the artisans' resistance remained the court.
The peasants were freer in their relation to the reformists. The seizure of the Bastille was an example to emulate, but the peasants decided themselves the direction of their politics. The first open rebellion against the reformists in the government broke out in Vendée in 1794, after the government had decided that the village meeting should be replaced with a municipal council with a census to stop all but the wealthiest, which would have the right to sell the commons and share the profit between them. Another reason for the rising was conscription and meddling in church matters; in Vendée, the parish was the organisation of the countryside. The rising led to a tactic alliance between the peasants and the court and to a cold war between urban revolutionaries and peasants which was to last for almost two hundred years.
The war against Austria and Prussia, that had been provoked for different reasons by court and reformists, went on badly in the beginning. The reformists had to appeal to the people, and the people demanded rewards for its help, in the form of universal suffrage, price control, and social legislation. The common effort resulted in victory, and in the escape of the court. When the reformists weren't afraid of the court and its foreign allies, they didn't need to buy support from the people. The universal suffrage, the price control, and the social legislation were abandoned. The weapon they used was the tools of violence facilitated and made possible by the war. When the people tried to take back their gains, they were met by terror and by Bonaparte's military dictatorship. But the gains of the peasants, freedom from landed proprietors, would never be challenged. Even today, the French country people is the politically strongest in Europe.
The reformist bourgeoisie got a grip of development with Bonaparte's coup d'etat, and they used it to take up the fight with Britain about the system hegemony. This struggle went on for twenty years of war, and meanwhile the states' grip on people and local communities was strengthened as never before. It was now that mass armies for the first time demanded complete obedience for all, and marked the demand with standardization of the language. Before, the states had been content if people had not revolted, now they demanded support. But this gave the majority a bargaining power towards the state for the first time, and despite the defeat of the popular party in the French revolution, popular movements would be able to assert the citizenship principle, with some hope of success. Despite the fact that eighteenth-century-like bread seizures would be the most common repertoire of peoples' movements yet for two generations, this was to be put into a new context, one that emphasized the citizenship and a demand for influence on the state .
For the events during the French revolution brought home the take-over of government as the core of societal change, and established the nation as the scene. Henceforth, all movements were national. Not even the labour movement succeeded to break out of this pattern during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, despite persistent attempts to drive in the principles of internationalism and "the liberation of the working class must be its own work". The problems this caused are highlighted in the following chapters 5 and 6.
The peoples' movements struggles at the side of the reformists would also have consequences during the following centuries. The popular movements would for example accept the reformists' ideological struggle for "rationality" and "development" as their own. Or expressed in a different way: it was now the "left" was formed as a somewhat confused alliance between those who were for equality and development. In analogy, the "right" was formed by those who were against equality, for example the capitalists, or development, for example many peasants. The result of this was not only that social movements disowned their own interests, as for example when the system center's labour movements accepted "scientific" management, or when the system periphery's anti-colonial movements enthusiastically accepted western "modernity". The result was also that the social movements in the system center betrayed the social movements in the peripheries and accepted the assaults of the center as "progressive", both if this referred to the North's power over the South or the cities' power over the countryside. And the result was also that popular movements warred eachothers, many times for no objective reasons, as when the labour movements in modernist arrogance forced the peasants in the arms of the workers' enemies, to the ruin of both. One example of this is when the Mexican labour movement during the 1910s helped the bourgeoisie to make war on the peasant movements, only because they thought that the peasants were "backward" and "uncilivized".
These are weaknesses that still impede the effectivity of the peoples' movements.
But there were also made experiences of great value. The revolution showed that positive changes were possible through popular struggle, and it showed this over the whole system, not only in France. It showed that it is possible to formulate popular aims in new ways. The aim was no longer only the "old just society" before the world market system, an aim that had showed itself to be complete unable to protect the moral economy of the peasant law and the space for spontaneous expressions of life for the majority; it was a completely new society, based on liberty (political participation and social security), equality (down with all privileges), and fraternity (mutual help and solidarity). It showed that popular organisation is possible at the national, not only at the local level. It showed that popular movements can go beyond what popular movements have aimed at before, to demand hegemony and not just protect its local autonomy against an unchangeable authority. And with success; in the new world order that Britain organised after revoution and Napoleonic wars, countries and states were not owned any longer by dynasties but by nations, let be that in the beginning only the property owners counted.
But revolution showed primarily that ordinary people counted for something, that equality was not just a phrase the upper classes could display when they needed to take back when they didn't. Artisans, workers and peasants organising themselves and chasing back invading armies was an experience that later peoples' movements would derive advantage and inspiration from. The French revolution made a new agenda for peoples' movements over the whole world, an agenda that showed itself to be effective for almost two hundred years.
The system periphery: peasants against the colonial state
The successes for the direct producers in the system center were bought for a price that had to be paid by others.
The world market system is, as emphasized above, a system that is stratified according to class and geography. Its beneficiaries live not only by exploiting direct producers. They do it in such a way that surplus flow from the peripheries of the system to the center. Partly, it was this flow that made it possible for the rulers of the system to yield to the European social movements, reduce the exploitation and begin to buy the participation of the direct producers with higher wages and safer living conditions after the Calvinist revolutions, and even more after the French. But the precondition was that the wealth flows from periphery to center went on without impediments. It was quite natural that the direct producers of the peripheries didn't take part in the integration. And a precondition for that was that their bargaining power was weaker than the bargaining power of the direct producers in the center. And so it was .
Several factors contributed to this.
Firstly, the adjustment to the new system was carried through in a much shorter time and was for that reason more disrupting. The change from a solidary village production for subsistence to commercial agriculture for the world market, which in western Europe had taken a few hundred years, was telescoped into about a generation, at least in those peripheries which were incorporated latest. Artisanry was outcompeted by mass production in about the same time space.
Secondly, the bureaucracies of the system center were so much more effective in collecting taxes than the dynasties that preceded them in the peripheries, who mostly had relied on indirect or informal control over the villages. It was this effectivity that gave the European states the edge in the struggle about global power. For the peasants, the effectivity implied that old loopholes were stopped up and that the tributes relentlessly had to be delivered in bad years as well as good. And for the peasants, this would sometimes make the whole difference between survival and death .
Thirdly, the difference between peasants and authorities was so much greater in the system periphery. In the periphery, only the authorities had access to the tools of industrial society, in the form of weapons, organisation, and communication. In the system center, the resources were more evenly distributed.
Fourthly, the changes in the periphery were carried through by foreigners. This had three consequences. Firstly, the administrators of the system had often limited knowledge about the society they were supposed to govern; for that reason they acted more carelessly towards the civil society than the system demanded and caused unnecessary mischief, and misinterpreted Asian or African phenomenons according to European patterns and demanded that the people go by that. Secondly, they were not, as local rulers would be, dependent of the local people's consent; no considerations would be needed to temper the brutality, and a paternalistic rule was replaced with a profit maximizing one. And thidly, the whole process was ruled by mechanisms that were inaccessible for the affected direct producers; while it was possible for the farmers of England to open some kind of dialogue with the merchants of the City of London, to mitigate the consequences for the former, this was impossible for the peasants of the Bengal where the consequences were spelled out to the full in the form of starvation.
As a whole, this implies that the disorganisation for the direct producers was worse in the system peripheries than in the center, and that it was tougher for the direct producers in the peripheries to defend themselves. But the differences also created different peoples' movement manifestations.
Firstly, the conflict was more intense. While civil societies in the system center were able to live with its rulers in a state of struggle and cooperation, their counterparts in the system periphery were characterized by downright dissociation. Increasingly, this dissociation was interpreted in national terms - see chapter 6.
Secondly, in the system peripheries the prospect of alliances were broader than in the center, since fewer profited from the system in the peripheries. In due time, it was from these broad alliances the anti-colonial movements were built up. During the opening of the era, there were many risings led by representatives of old hierarchies, risings that were built on traditional solidarities beyond village level. As in the system center, it was always possible for the colonial authorities to bribe some people in such traditional hierarchies, by letting them act as middlemen; without such middlemen the peripherialization would have been impossible. But this strategy was less successful than it was in the center.
In the system periphery, there were also other early forms of resistance that were results of the innovations coming from the outside and by violence, rather than by an internal development within the traditional ruling class .
One form was to take to the woods, to withdraw from the system. This was easy in the beginning; the backwoods were extensive and the new power was somewhat patchy. In time the system spread and those who had withdrawn were more pressed. Such groups were then often cores of resistance movements, since they had more self-respect and greater pretensions than those peasants who had stayed behind and been tamed by the colonial state.
Another form was social banditism. Discontented groups withdrew from control of the system but returned regularly to attack and plunder its representatives, based in traditional morals. They were often supported and helped by peasants who had stayed within the adminstration's realm, and if the political situation was unstable, the social banditism would expand. But as a rule, this was a resort for a small minority, a kind of vicarious activism like Greenpeace in our time .
A third form was the military revolt, in the early days based in traditional loyalties and, when these had spent their force, in religious awakenings. These revolts were easily repressed. They used traditional forms of conflict, i.e. traditional war, and warmaking was what the central powers were most effective at. The strategy of the revolt was always to keep the penetrating system out, not to defeat it, which meant that the world market system could utilize the local limitations of the revolts to defeat them one after another.
A fourth form of resistance, used against the forced labour that was laid upon the colonized peoples, was go-slows. Bad work, deceitful sabotage and other kinds of everyday resistance are of course traditional resistance forms against all kinds of rule. But in the system peripheries they could be used by the whole civil society, thereby obstructing capital accumulation and convincing the colonizers about the stupidity and indolence of the colonized.
Forms that were used in the system peripheries as well as in the center was tax rebellion, bread seizure and occupation of land that had been stolen from the villages by commercial landowners.
This chapter is a systematization of early peoples' movements in the system periphery. It deals with the self-defence of the local communities. Offensive attempts at self-assertion in the world market arena is not portrayed here, it will have to wait until chapter 6.
It may be pedagogic to proceed from the successive waves of spreading of the world market system, this is to say:
The Indian societies in South and Central America were the first to be connected to the world market system as a periphery. Their role was primarily to deliver metals. As we remember, it was with American gold and silver Genova was able to dominate the European economy during the sixteenth century.
America was terribly devastated. Most important was not that the Americans were forced to slave labour in the mines and to forced deliveries of the food that the mines demanded. It was not even that the conquerors established themselves as a new ruling class to be supported by tributes from the direct producers. The most devastating was that the conquerors replaced the horticulture in the American heartlands Mexico and the Andes with European-type agriculture and stock-farming, which reduced production per acre and resulted in starvation. Meanwhile, the American collective production and trading networks were destroyed, and the American culture was declared illegal. This is why the resisting power to the new European diseases was so much reduced that population dropped from at least 40 millions in 1500 to about 10 millions in 1600 .
The conquerors took over the system for tribute that had been created by the Aztek and Inca empires, and parts of the local ruling class were coopted into the Spanish aristocracy. The burn-beating peasants of Central and northern South America were hardly affected by the conquest, and if they were it was easy for them to move further out in the woods. The same applied the hunter and fisher people. If necessary, they defended themselves. The most famous examples are the Maya defence against the plantation economy at the Yucatán that went on, now and then, until the early twentieth century, and the Mapuche and Araucan defences in southern Chile which carried on until the late nineteenth, supported by a selective use of European technology .
The great conflicts began only in the mid sixteenth century when the colonizers discovered minerals in America and imposed new forced labour. By then, immigration of Europeans had gone far enough to permit a stricter control of the population. The peasants reacted with taking to the woods and local rebellions.
During the eighteenth century some thirty local rebellions are registered in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. They are directed against new taxes, against attempts to infringe upon the village borders, and against punishments. The revolts are short. When the representatives of the authorities are chased away or killed, and when the authorities' buildings are burnt down, the peasants return to their fields. Even if the Spaniards are hated as a ruling class, there are few signs of Indian solidarity between villages; each village is a world of its own. Oddly enough, the authorities treat revolting peasants leniently. It is more important for them that they go on working and paying their taxes than to kill them .
Only in the eighteenth century, the revolts begin to be regionally coordinated. Most common are radical Christian movements characterized by peasant ideology, directed against the church's cooperation with the colonial authorities, and favouring the Gods of agriculture. But also movements against forced labour were able to spread. By then, the government control begins to be effective, and by then waged labour begins to create a proletarized Indian town culture able to build links between villages. The most famous regional rising is the one that spread over southern Peru and Bolivia in 1780-82 .
A generation before, peasants who had taken to the woods had tried to start a greater rising in southern Peru, with the Inca tradition as unifying symbol for "the good old days" before the world market system. They had no success in the Andean valleys, where the military presence was strong, but neither were they totally repressed. They were able to keep a tradition alive in the Amazonas as a reminder that there was an alternative to the Spanish rulers.
The years 1780-82 there were two contemporaneous rebellions, triggered by a rise in the sales tax.
The rising in southern Peru built on the tradition from the 1740s, that great parts of the Indian upper class now had attached themselves to, despite the fact that they were well integrated landowners and Spanish aristocrats. The movement developed an anti-Spanish, Indian-nationalist policy; Indian culture was favoured but the needs of the peasants were seen as of secondary importance; the taxes remained but went to the rebellious army and the Indian state.
The rising in Upper Peru, or Bolivia of today, was a peasant rising. Taxes and dues were abolished and the land of the landowners were distributed to the villages.
Conflicts soon appeared between the two risings, and the nationalist faction in Cuzco and the peasant-democrat faction in Upper Peru could never unite on any common goal. In the end, the Indian-aristocratic feared the peasants enough to support the colonizers armies and made peace, on the condition that they helped to surrender their more radical allies.
To this day, the political program of the peasant movement is an inspirtion in Bolivia, and its center is the strongest center of the peasant movement of today. To this day, the blockade of La Paz in 1781 is an inspiration as an action model; in 1979 the peasant blockade of La Paz was the triggerer of the first organised cooperation between peasant and labour movements. In Peru, the peasant movement is still weak and Indian culture and Indian people are more despised than in any American country.
The Indian peasants took almost no part in the South American independence movements in the early nineteenth century, which for that reason almost never considered peasant needs. The Latin American independence movements were a social counterrevolution directed against the Indian peasants. Indian rights as well as Indian duties were abolished during the swift commercialization of the nineteenth century. For example, in most countries the collective ownership of the land was formally abolished, the peasants had to prove their individual ownerships or be evicted. In Mexico about 60% of the peasants lost their land to plantations and ranches. The period 1870-1920 was according to Kicza the most repressive in the American history.
Central and Eastern Europe
The Central and Eastern European peasants had been the freest and wealthiest during the middle ages. They were enslaved between 1550 and 1600 by an aristocracy that saw the possibility to sell grain to the West-European system center from effective grain plantations. The peasants' villages were stolen, their rights were abolished, and their defence against this was incredibly much less effective than other peasantries'. Since the states and the towns had been weak in Poland and Germany there were no alliance opportunities against the platation owners, says Urwin, and the resistance of the peasants was restricted to each village where it could easily be put down . Besides, it was on the overarching financial control of this process the Dutch merchants grew strong enough to defeat the Spanish-Genovese supremacy, and one could say that it was because of their inability to challenge this control the Dutch direct producers remained subordinated to the merchants.
Only in Russia, peasants in the fringes of the realm were able to organise resistance, half beyond the reach of the ruling class and state.
Russia was attached to the system in the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, as deliverer of fur, flax, and hemp. But Russia kept
a distance, says Braudel, building a strong state able to rise walls
around the country. Obviously, Russians had seen what happened in
Central Europe and tried to avoid the same thing happening to Russia.
The Russian state that was organised, according to European fashion and provoked by the European state system, imposed for lack of capital upon the peasantry to work for nothing for the new bureaucracy. A ban on moving was gradually imposed during the seventeenth century, to prevent the peasants to move away from forced labour and taxes. The ban on movement slipped gradually into slavery. The keystone of the building was built in 1767 when it was prohibited for peasants to complain on the treatment .
The Russian peasants answered to this development in three ways: with strikes, sabotage and risings in the villages, with escapes to the borderlands, and when the surveillance was gradually sharpened, with rebellion. Four great rebellion movements during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have become legendary; between these there were lesser tax rebellions every other year. The local rebellions were always directed against serfdom, which made it impossible for peasants even to negotiate on taxes and labours, while the great movement had more many-sided aims and were directed against the government as such 
The first great movement occurred in the exhaustion after Ivan the Terrible's desperate state-building. It was similar to the simultaneous tax rebellions in Western Europe so far as that peasants and aristocrats united against the regime. What differed was that the numerous social bandits kept control over the movement; the result of this was however that the aristocrats deserted the movement in crucial movement, after which the movement could be defeated.
The second movement had as a core the peasants who had fled from the central parts of the country to the unorganised region around Volga and the Don. They lived there as socalled Cossacks in independent cattle-raising communities, but were threatened by the encroachment of serfdom and state when the world market system expanded. Other participants were non-Russian nationalities and poor townsmen at the Volga. The serfs answered willingly with chasing away landowners when the Cossack army approached.
The rebellion was directed against landowners and bureaucrats as the representatives of the state. It was also directed against the world market system in the guise of western-inspired innovations and experts. The rebellion was never successful in the central parts of the realm before it was defeated by a regular army, but the rebel leader Stenka Razin won the distinction of being the most sung-about person in the whole Russian ballad literature.
The third movement was limited to the Don area and its Cossacks. This happened when the state begun to regulate their country, and their inability this time to organise alliances led to a swift defeat.
The fourth movement had its center in the Ural and was spread over the Volga valley. Also this rebellion was led by Cossacks and peasants who had fled from the center; religious minorities like the antistate old believers, national minorities and workers of the Ural mines and metal industry were also active. The inability to keep it all togeter around a program showed itself to be the greatest weakness of the movement.
This last rebellion was the first to have any positive effects, like reduced taxes, but the peasant resistance to serfdom continued. Between 1826 and 1854 official sources estimate 556 local peasant rebellions, all against serfdom as a system. Only in 1861 the interests in integration outweigh the interest in control so much that serfdom was abolished. But since Russia never was attached to the system center, there were never resources enough to solve the land question for the peasants in a way that permitted continued exploitation. For that reason, the land question is still charged in Russia. The last peasant rebellion so far in 1917-21 only led to temporary concessions from a state that had no other interests than qualifying into the system center.
South East Asia
The Dutch system built on a very limited and economical use of violence. Only commercial competitors were attacked. So the control by the Dutch East India Company, VOC, was mainly financial and depending on alliances with established rulers .
This didn't prevent others within the local upper class to resist VOC's efforts for monopoly, if they had been marginalized in the process. In the 1640s for example, people from the Moluccas almost overcame their local patriotisms to throw out VOC and their middlemen; it took the Dutch ten years to repress them. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries VOC had to fight local rebellions at Java, and on two instances they almost bankrupted as a result. The rebellions seem to have been broad alliances but they were controlled by local upper class factions who were no longer prepared to sell monopoly rights over foreign trade. Meanwhile, the coast towns resisted the colonial rule in the form of Muslim revivals, but they never reached majorities. Only in the nineteenth century, when the Dutch had begun to meddle more direct in the administration, the peasants engaged in rebellions in the form of religious revivals.
One important building stone in the world market system, perhaps the most important at all, was the Atlantic system, or the Triangular trade - the trade with African slaves and tropical monoculture crops raised by them in the Caribbean. The system was introduced by Spaniards and Portuguese in South America, but in the seventeenth century, English and French financiers threw themselves into the opportunity to compete with the VOC through accumulating capital in slave trade and cultivation of sugar, cotton, coffee, cacao and other crops, with slave labour .
The slaves were caught in commercial war businesses, organised by West African coastal communities, and were bought by European merchants. The African sellers gained much from this for a while and used the proceeds to build up elitist states and trade companies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They had to pay for it in the mid nineteenth century, when the Europeans succeeded in organising the victim peoples against them to establish their own colonial empires.
The Africans who survived the passage over the Atlantic developed several techniques to defend themselves against the mostly brutal regime at the plantations.
The most elementary method, the one all slaves were engaged in, was to guard their collective identity with an African inspired culture. They organised self-help and religious ceremonies, created music, new family relations and developed their own dialects.
Almost as elementary was to develop the everyday resistance. Slow work and sabotage are typical products of the slavery institution. To make oneself scarce, both as elementary everyday resistance, and as a kind of strike to bargain for better conditions, was developed into an art.
The most advanced kind of resistance was what in French is called marronnage, i.e. to run away. There were different methods and strategies. One was to utilize the rivalry between European states and to offer help to the competitor in exchange of freedom. This was sometimes successful; the problem was that Europeans didn't heed promises to Africans. Another was to take to the woods and either ask for protection from unsubdued Indians or found colonies of their own. In this way societies of runaway slaves were created some distance from the Atlantic coast; they communicated with the slaves at the plantations and stimulated slaves to run away; the slaver societies fought constant wars with them, wars that might roll on for decades. Some of the marronnage societies were able to grow to ten thousand inhabitants, like the famous Palmares behind Sergipe in Brazil in the seventeenth century; some of them would be recognized as municipalities under Spanish rule on the condition that they stopped help other slaves to run away, and some of them survive to this day, like the Nicaraguan Miskitos .
Direct rebellions didn't exist - except in connection with escape, when slaves sometimes would burn plantations. Not until 1791 in Haiti. Then, on the other hand, they would contribute greatly to revolutionize both the world and the peoples' movement repertoire, through their contribution to the French revolution.
Haiti was the most valuable of all plantation sites, and counted alone for a third of the French foreign trade. The Haitian society consisted of about 20.000 Europeans - officials, planters and artisans - and about as many mulattoes, economically equal to the Europeans but without any political rights. They two parties constantly quarrelled with eachother. Outside society were 400.000 African slaves .
The French revolutionary declaration of human rights immediately stirred the mulattoes to struggle for their interests. A triangular struggle between mulattoes, planters and European artisans broke out, and in the middle of the turmoil, in August 22, 1791, slaves from five sugar plantations attacked their owners.
According to Ott, there was no plan to abolish slavery among the revolters. Some may have had this radical aim, others hoped for reforms within the system, others hoped to run away from it and establish themselves as subsistence peasants. But the rebellion had its own logic. Plantations were burned, planters were killed or forced to flee, and the slaves were very soon a power factor. When the upper classes appealed to British help, the French authorities had not much choice but to trust the slaves who had got a military genius as leader, the ex-gardener and ex-cattle-tender Toussaint Louverture. In 1793 the government had to declare slavery abolished.
After five years, the slaves had thrown out the British who had
lost 100.000 men.
The Haitians didn't get much joy from their world-historic importance. After invasions and trade wars, thrust upon them by jealous European powers, only devastation and poverty remained. But it must be admitted that it is better to be a poor subsistence peasant than to be a plantation slave. And as this was the aim of the original slave movement, it must be considered to be successful after all.
India was conquered by the British East India Company, EIC, during the eighteenth century, apparently to get a bridge-head in the internal Asian trade it was most interested in. EIC differed not too much in its early days from other financiers which supported one or the other of the local and regional interests that begun to free themselves from the control of the Mughal empire . But EIC had some assets that permitted it to triumph: the European superiority in arms and naval technology, and access to American silver, which was an advantage in the bullion-scarce India. In 1757, EIC was able to use a local power struggle to turn the rich Bengal into a banana republic. Eight years later EIC took over the administration itself, formally as the representative of the Mughal emperor. Then it begun to take over the economic control over India, supported by its superior army and superior finances, sometimes also the administration when it was considered expedient .
EIC used its power primarily to tax the peasants, whom in exchange were given opportunity to earn the necessary money from selling cash crops to EIC. The main part of EIC's profits at this time came from land taxes, either taken from the peasants directly or as leases from commercial agriculturalists whom in this way were tied to EIC; all Indian finance institutes acted similarly. What was new was the commercialization of the crops.
The proceeds were invested in industrial machinery in England.
Only in the 1830s, the EIC began to rationalize its practices and actively aim at fitting the Indian society into the role as a system periphery. A reform period was launched: strict Roman property laws were introduced, to the advantage of absent landowners in the Bengal and of the more prosperous farmers in the rest of India. Law and order was regulated after more than a hundred years of uncertainty, which implied that peasants and border peoples were disarmed and prevented to take to the woods to avoid taxation. To a certain degree this was done forcibly through cutting down the forests. But it also implied that the property of petty urban traders was protected, which converted them into a bulwark for the British rule. The administration of justice and taxes was bureaucratized and taken away from local Muslim and Hindu arbitrators and their customary practices. Paternalist protection and collective security were abolished as much as possible, and the peasants were obliged to pay taxes during bad years as well as good.
The effect of the EIC rule was that the social structure in the countryside was made more homogeneous. In this stratification some were winners but most were losers.
To the losers belonged the majority of peasants, whose taxes increased and whose security declined. Many were degraded from free warriors to tenants without legal protection. They reacted with countless revolts, all local and all subdued - but sometimes not without some concessions from the authorities.
To the losers belonged also the former ruling class. Some of them could adjust to the new times and become junior partners to the British, but for many this appeared as a step downwards.
To the winners belonged primarily those who could use their links to the British to establish themselves as landowners and/or taxfarmers and/or money lenders in the countryside. This was a rather numerous group, whose younger family members often made careers as intellectuals and administrators.
The opposition to India's adjustment to a periphery expressed itself mainly, as stated, as scattered peasant risings which were easy for the British to put down. The well organised social banditism - thugs, as it was called by horrified Europeans - was widely dispersed until it was repressed in the 1830s. Added to that there were in the nineteenth century an increasing number of bread seizures in the towns, because of the declining in living standards that usually accompany peripherization. But atone occasion all kinds of revolts were co-ordinated in time, which almost defeated the British. This was the socalled Seapoys' revolt in the summer 1857.
The co-ordination was created by a mutiny within the Bengal army. This was symtomatic, because the English rule primarily was military. The power vacuum released in the Ganges valley when the army was gone was soon filled by revolting peasants and others who sought compensation for their losses.
The revolters were arguably too many and represented too many interests to create a tenable program. There were, except the peasants, the soldiers who sought to reestablish a status as warrior caste. There were aristocrats who sought to reestablish their lost splendour. There were religious brotherhoods who sought to reestablish the righteous society the world market system had destroyed. Unfortunately there was no agreement if this society was Muslim, as the Naqshbandi movement asserted , or Hindu.
The solidarity among the revolters was not improved by the peasants, who radically disregarded the Roman law of the occupants. The pre-colonial aristocracy, which in the beginning of the revolt tried to use the situation for their own gain soon saw the British rule as a lesser evil than the peasants, and supported the repression, with few exceptions.
Even if the revolt was repressed it had consequences for the future.
The British initiated a policy of broader integration, particularly
of the urban middle class which got subordinated roles in the administration,
in exchange of acceptance of the world market system and its culture.
This was a condition they gladly accepted.
The organisation of the British rule was regulated. Instead of EIC's arbitrary rule, an occupation authority was built up as a government agency, which in time also gave rise to a more homogeneous Indian resistance.
But a lasting consequence of the failure of the rebellion was that even many future proponents of Indian independence were caught in a British defined view on development. What tens of thousands of peasants had died for was out-defined as "reactionary", while the world market system was seen as "progressive" - probably not without connections with the policy of today of the Indian upper classes.
North Africa and West Asia
The Islamic countries in North Afrivca and West Asia were drawn into the world market system in the early nineteenth century. They were sparsely populated, poor in raw materials, and not particularly attractive. Egypt served as a cotton plantation and a strategic transport road to India; and Algeria as a wine and wheat plantation. But for the rest, the development was slow. Mostly, it was only near 1900 that the world market system was disorganizing enough to make people protest more widely against its consequences .
The most encompassing movements, and also the most militant, occurred in Algeria and Sudan, probably because the institutional religious lawyer corps, the 'ulamate, was less coopted by the Ottoman state there, more dependent on popular support for their living, and for that reason closer to popular political needs .
Algeria was successively conquered by the French between 1830 and 1851, after a tough resistance organised by a Sufi brotherhood, the Qadiriya. This had been a sleepy corner of the Ottoman empire where the rule of villages and clans had been almost complete. Now, the French confiscated the best land to give it to settler colonists. They also introduced Roman ownership to link local notabilities to themselves in corruption ties like those the British used in India.
Against this, peasant in distant regions where some autonomy persisted, rose in rebellions of which some were short but others were able to go on for decades.
Almost all risings were organised by religious lay movements. Only they had enough legitimacy to rise beyond clan and village level and be large enough to count; they were however seldom able to get support from established local powers who were afraid to lose their privileges. Only the Sufi brotherhoods were able to set a goal for the movement enough universal to arouse enthusiasm - jihad, struggle for a just society.
The most successful, for a time, of these risings was however the Mahdist rebellion in Sudan 1881-1989 .
Sudan was conquered by Egypt in the 1820s and together with Egypt fallen into British control in the end of the nineteenth century. This implied both British control over trade and a much stricter taxation and government administration than before. Against that, Sudanese traders, peasants and nomads from the periphery, who had never been under government control, rose; the organising power of the rising was a religious revival, the Mahdiya, which turned against the domination of infidels and perhaps as much against the official religious hierarchy that cooperated with the British.
During 1881-1885, the rising spread to all Sudan - but when the religious leader Muhammad Ahmad died in 1885 the movement changed character. Instead of liberation, it now emphasized state-building to be able to withstand the British. But the more success they had in this endeavour, the more they had to tax and administer, exactly what they had opposed to start with. When the Mahdists were repressed militarily, their movement had already begun to fall apart from within.
China was more able than India to resist the pressure of the world market system. But after the socalled Opium war 1841 - a project launched by the EIC to improve its trade balance - the Chinese government had to accept that the system knocked out Chinese crafts and that European merchants sold drugs on the Chinese market .
The Chinese regime, which was unpopular already because of its ethnical origin and narrow power base, lost its legitimacy, its financial strength, and its ability to maintain law and order because of the war. The period 1850-1870 was for that reason a period of rebellion. Several contemporaneous peasant rebellions almost succeeded to overthrow the regime.
The Chinese tradition of peasant rebellion is strong. Several of China's historical regimes had had a peasant rebellion origin - see for example the story about the Ming revolution in chapter 3. Like all peasant rebellions the Chinese had local causes and had local aims. But because China traditionally has a strong state, synergy effects easily appeared between many contemporaneous peasant rebellions. The same reasons tended to give rise to many local rebellions at the same time who helped eachother to enfeeble their common foe. Moreover, there was the specifically Chinese tradition of secret societies, oppositional, ideologically well-formulated organisations for mutual aid, which united peasants and other lower class groups and which were able to carry on oppositional traditions for generations. One may compare with late medieval European radical Christianity. But in China also peasants took part in such traditions, which according to Eric Wolf is due to the fact that Chinese villages from the twelfth century were involved in a money economy and exposed to greater uncertainty than their European counterparts .
The greatest and programmatically most developed peasant movement in the mid-nineteenth century was the Taiping. It had its origin around Guangzhou, the most important trading city of China, and organized artisans, sailors and peasants who had been thrown out of work because of world market imposed restructuring of the economy. Taiping aimed from the beginning at collective welfare and security and built like the secret societies on a religiously motivated vision about communism and equality, also between the sexes.
To guard itself against attacks from an alien upper class, Taiping begun to arm itself, as secret heterodox societies used to do in China. It was soon involved in armed fights. After six years Taiping annihilated an army sent out to repress it, and the rebellion was a fact. In January 11, 1851, the leader Hung Xiuchuan proclaimed a new regime and departed with 30.000 members to conquer China. They were close to success.
After only a year, Taiping had conquered the Yangtse valley and occupied Nanjing. On the way it had grown to 100.000 participants. Debts and taxes were abolished, houses of local tyrants were pulled down and their registers were burnt, the imperial armies sent out to stop them were annihilated and middle class people were recruited on a nationalist program to throw out the Europeans. But when Taiping had conquered Nanjing it stuck there and the movement petered out.
According to Chesneaux, all Chinese peasant movements have been forced to make the same choice. Would they go on "attacking the rich, defending the poor" and keeping the representatives of the state away? Or would they go beyond this, establishing a new "just" state? Taiping chose the latter - but this led to new difficulties. They had to build a new administration, collect taxes, discipline the peasants - and in their attempts to do that, Taiping repelled the peasants who had carried them to success. To organise a state, according to traditional Chinese conceptions, implied relying on professional administrators, not on peasants organised into self-administration or not even keeping the professional administrators under democratic control. No Chinese peasant movement had ever got round this Confucian bureaucratic conception, not even Taiping.
While the Taiping leadership under growing internal division sat stuck in Nanjing, organising its state, local landowners helped by European soldiers organised a counter-offensive. In 1863 Nanjing was stormed and Taiping was annihilated. A few escaped; a small group landed in Vietnam where they took part in the struggles against the French.
Another movement, Nien, appeared at the lower Hoangho. It was content "taking from the rich and defending the poor"; during the 1850s and 1860s it went around in the plain with in the end 100.000 men and plundered landowners and beat imperial armies. It used the same tactic the People's Liberation Army would use: hit and run; between the campaign it lived as common peasants in fortified villages. In the end it was tempted to greater ends, to organising an army to attack Beijing. That army was beaten by the same army that had defeated Taiping.
Between 1850 and 1870 half a dozen other, lesser rebellions rose. Some were organised around secret societies, others were minority people who tried to get rid of the imperial occupation. All these movements were defeated after Taiping.
The most important immediate result of all these rebellions was that the prestige of the regime was dissolved. The beneficiary was the ethnical Chinese local upper class that had the defeat of the Taiping. Another result was that the European powers, and the world market system, got an enfeebled China to deal with. Meanwhile, the peasant movements were forced underground. But the breakdown of all regular administration would be a challenge and a help for next great peasant movement.
The last peripherized regions
Remain Africa and Southeast Asia, which were drawn into the world market system and were given monocultural duties about 1900, during the breakdown of the British hegemony, while the challengers amassed resources for the final struggle.
During the first phase, when the rivalizing colonial powers penetrated, the traditional leaders organised the resistance in the name of traditional order. But as John Iliffe says, the stateless societies were the most resistant. It was easier for the colonial powers to buy support and corrupt a society if it was hierarchically organised .
When the colonial powers were in control, resistance were organised as religious awakenings, like in the Islamic regions. In Central Africa, Christian movements turned against the occupation rule in the 1930s. In today's Congo, preachers from the Kitawala and Kibangu churches stigmatized the colonial rule as a work of Satan and urged a boycott. In today's Zambia, the socalled Watchtower movement played the same role. In Burma, a Buddhist awakening among the rice peasants almost broke the colonial rule in the thirties and demanded a lot of military violence to repress. In Java, the peasants' discontent over forced deliveries of sugar and coffee took the form of an Islamic revival which begun a jihad against the Dutch.
For only religious movements were able to achieve legitimacy over large areas and supply an organisation and an ideology for translocal peoples' movement alliances in a village and clan organised society, particularly in the vast, sparsely populated Africa. This was true even if the religions were imported like in Africa - but as Kartodjirdjo says, such movers were sometimes highly divisive within the potential base because they are over-ideologized, and not always able to talk to all concerned. Perhaps one may compare with the revolt of the civil society against the empires two thousand years ago.
It is perhaps not necessary to enumerate more social movements against the introduction of the world market system. People everywhere revolted locally against the colonial rulers' rising demands of taxes and forced labour, and against the market's threat against the moral economy of the villages. The methods were the same as they always had used against their rulers, even if some scholars like Gabriel Baer think they can see a rising frequency of opposition. But the globalisation of the system changed the technique of the opposition.
The direct producers in the whole world achieved an increasing ability to act coordinated over vast geographical distances during the world market system. Before the sixteenth century, regional popular movements were extremely uncommon. By degrees, the resistance was coordinated trans-locally, in the beginning with religious awakenings as coordinators. From the early twentieth century even local peasant movements everywhere acted in cooperation with transregional popular movement with aims pertinent to countries and continents, that exercised hegemony over other popular movements, and contributed to making the local movements effective.
In the system center, the labour movements exercised this hegemony, even if some movements disputed this. In the system peripheries, the national movements played this role, without protests. These movements are the subjects of the two following chapters.
 Charles Tilly, Coercion, capital and European states, Blackwell 1990. Karl Polanyi, The great transformation, Henry Holt 1944, is primarily about the violence the state uses to prepare the way for markets.
 Yves-Marie Bercé, Revolt and revolution in early modern Europe, Manchester University Press 1987; Victor Magagna, Communities of grain, Cornell University Press 1991; Perez Zagorin, Rebels and rulers, Cambridge University Press 1982; Roland Mousnier, Peasant uprisings, Harper & Row 1970; George Rudé, Paris and London in the eighteenth century, Viking Press 1952; and Charles Tilly, The contentious French, Harvard University Press 1986. C Tilly, L Tily & R Tilly, The rebellious century 1830-1930, J.M. Dent & Son 1975 tells something about earlier periods to show the difference. E.P. Thompson, The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century, Past and Present, 1971, and James C. Scott, The moral economy of the peasant, Yale University Press 1976, deals with the concept moral economy.
 The concept is most explicitly dealt with in Charles Tilly, The contentious French. Tilly's periodization is tax rebellions 1550-1700, bread seizures and land occupation 1650-1850, and strikes, boycotts, political parties, demonstrations and mass metings 1800-.
 Alf Åberg, Nils Dacke och landsfadern, LT 1960. The story of this rebellion is also related in Michael Roberts, The early Vasas, Cambridge University Press 1968, but Roberts is more interested in the state building of the king than in peasants trying to protect their villages.
 Charles, Louise and Richard Tilly, The rebellious century 1830-1930, J.M. Dent & Son 1975, p 17. E.P Thompson, The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century, and George Rudé, Paris and London in the eighteenth century, are also about bread seizures. Charles Tilly, Food supply and public order in modern Europe, in Charles Tilly (ed), The formation of national states in Europe, is a more structural account.
 The standard work about the revolution of the Netherlands is Pieter Geyl, The revolt of the Netherlands, Williams & Norgate 1932. It takes social and popular aspects easy; here you must complete with Perez Zagorin, Rebels and rulers, and with Geoffrey Parker, The Dutch revolt, Allen Lane 1977.
 Brian Manning: The English people and the English revolution, Heineman 1976, tells how ordinary farmers and artisans propelled the revolution during its first ten years. Christopher Hill has written many books about the revolution, for example The century of revolution, Sphere 1974; his essay The poor and the people, in Frederick Krants (ed), History from below, Blckwell 1988, is about the ambiguous Puritan attitude towards the lower classes; and his book The world turned upside down, Maurice Temple Smith 1972, is about popular ideas during the revolution. W Haller, Liberty and reformation in the Puritan Revolution, Columbia University Press 1955 stresses the Puritan care for freedom of expression. Perez Zagorin, Rebels and rulers, has also something to contribute.
 The triangular drama is best described in Immanuel Wallerstein, The modern world-system III, Academic Press 1989. Otherwise, my narrative follows Peter Kropotkin, The great French revolution, many editions, f.ex. Schocken 1971, and George Rudé, Paris and London in the eighteenth century. C-G Ekerwald, Frihet, jämlikhet, broderskap, Rabén & Sjögren 1988, is a short summary with the popular movement in the center. Georges Lefèbvre, 1789 The coming of the French revolution, Princetoon University Press 1947, describes the interplay between the social movement and the reformists in the early phases. By the way, Kropotkin's book is an early forerunner of Thompson's, with its insistence of charting ordinary peoples' action rather than "great men's".
 Robert Darnton, The literary underground of the old regime, Harvard University Press 1982, describes how Marat, Brissot, Desmoulins and the other wellknown people were defeated in the struggle for profitable enlightenment employments and made their best to take revenge on the government.
 James C. Scott, The moral economy of the peasants, have listed the causes I refer to. - In some cases, for example north America, Siberia and West Africa, great parts of the population were able to profit from the world market system and sell products to it, for a while. The price for that was that their economies were adopted to an increasing dependence of a capricious foreign trade. See Eric Wolf, Europe and the peoples without history, University of California Press 1982, and L.S. Stavrianos, Global rift, William Morrow 1981.
 Since the Americans didn't keep any national registers, the population figures before the conquest is subjected to violent speculation. Figures between 10 and 100 millions have been put forth. The scrupulous Braudel distrusts the extremes, avoids fixing himself to a figure, and establishes the terrible depopulation (Fernand Braudel, The structures of everyday life). Eric Wolf, Sons of the shaking earth, University of Chicago Press 1959, and Europe and the peoples without history, are my sources for the explanation.
 Derek Urwin, From ploughshare to ballotbox, Universitetsforlaget 1980. - Literature on possible peasant resistance in Central Europe seems non-existing. Willliam Hagen, Village life in East-Elbian Germany and Poland 1400-1800, in Tom Scott (ed), The peasants of Europe, Longman 1998, says nothing of resistance, which is a common feature in other chapters of the book. Bronislaw Geremek refers in a privatte letter to peasant movements before 1550, i.e. before the establishment of grain plantations, and during an era when there were few difference between East and West in Europe. It may be so frightening that the Central European peasants completely lacked defence against what befell them. I would appreciate proofs of the opposite.
 M.C. Ricklefs, A history of modern Indonesia, Macmillam 1981; Sartono Kartodjirdjo, Protest movements in rural Java, Oxford University Press 1973, and Ira Lapidus, A history of Islamic societies, Cambridge University Press 1988.
 The system is described by Eric Wolf, Europe and the peoples without history, and by John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the making of the Atlantic world, Cambridge University Press 1991. Thornton has also a chapter on the slaves' resistance forms. Monica Schuler, Akan slave rebellions in the British Caribbean, in Hilary Beckles & Verene Sheperd, Caribbean slave society and economy, Ian Randle & James Currey 1991, deals only with this. According to Richard Drayton, The collaboration of labour, slaves, empires and globalization in the Atlantic world 1600-1850, in A.G. Hopkins (ed), Globalization in world history, Pilico 2002, the slave trade was the greatest contributor to the capital accumulation at the time and created key businesses as shipping, insurance and banks.
 According to Ravinder Kumar, Essays in the social history of modern India, Oxford University Press 1983, the Mughal empire was primarily defeated by Bhakti inspired peasant revolts in Punjab and Maharashtra, see chapter 3. The British conquest came later.
 C.A. Bayly, Indian society and the making of the british Empire, Cambridge University Press 1988, is the main source for this section. Kathleen Gough, Indian peasant uprisings, in A.R. Desai (ed), Peasant struggles in India, Oxford University Press 1979, lists the claims of the peasants in a clear way. Jan Myrdal, India waits, Lake View Press 1986, tells the same things but less exhaustively. Ravinder Kumar, Essays in the social history of modern India describes the social stratification during the british regime. Eric Wolf, Europe and the peoples without history has an excellent short description.
 The Naqshbandi was, or is, a sufi brotherhood which struggled against the British sn the early nineteenth century, both in reforming Islam through its Deoband university, and with arms. See Olivier Roy, Islam and resistance in Afghanistan, Cambridge Middle East Library 1986.
 Some literature about the Islamic region are Edmund Burke & Ira Lapidus, Islam, politics and social movements, University of California Press 1988 - particularly Burke's own introduction is lucid; there is also something about Algeria in Peter von Sivers, Rural uprising as political movements in colonial Algeria 1851-1914 - and Rudolph Peters, Islam and colonialism, Mouton Publishers 1979. Algeria, also in the nineteenth century, is also described in Eric Wolf, Peasant wars of the twentieth century, Harper & Row 1968, and in John Dunn, Modern revolutions, Cambridge University Press 1972. Peasant movements in Gabriel Baer, Fellah and townsman in the Middle East, Frank Cass 1982.
 Jean Chesneaux, Peasant revolts in China 1840-1949, Thames and hudson 1973, is the classic in this field. Eric Wolf, Peasant wars in the twentieth century, touches on Chinas older history. Albert Feuerwerker, Rebellions in nineteenth-century China, The University of Michigan, Michigan Papers in Chinese Studies no 21, 1975, refers the stories of Taiping and Nien in detail - really so much in detail that the whole is almost invisible.
 Africa and African poples' movements are described in John Iliffe, Africans - the history of a continent, Cambridge University Press 1996; Robert Rotberg & Ali Mazrui, Protest and power in black Africa, Oxford University Press 1970; Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Rural society and the Belgian colonial economy, in David Birmingham & Phyllis Martin (ed), The moral economy of the peasant, Yale University Press 1976; Elizabeth Ichikei, A history of Nigeria, Longman 1983; Donald Crummey, Banditry, rebellion and social protests in Africa, Heinemann 1986; and Allen F Isaacman, The tradition of resistance in Mozambique. Southeast Asian experiences are described in Sartono Kartodjirdjo, Protest movements in rural Java and James C. Scott, The moral economy of the peasant.