Wealth, Kinship, and Credit. Lower Austria during the 18th Century
The project examines the interdependent relationship between wealth and kinship in historical perspective based on the town of Eggenburg and the nearby lordship Kattau in northern Lower Austria during the 18th century. It proceeds from the thesis that kinship not only structured wealth transfers, but that wealth conversely also defined and structured kinship relations. The concrete forms this relationship took had an impact on various forms of inequality and on the functioning of land and credit markets in premodern societies. For instance, highly variable regional practices of inheritance and wealth transfer—and their interaction with marital property law—had severe repercussions for women’s ability to own and administer assets and for the scope of action of the various involved parties.
Matthias Donabaum is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna. He studied History and Economics at the University of Cambridge, the University of Vienna, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business. From 2020 to 2023 he was a research associate in the Department of Economic and Social History, University of Vienna, in an FWF-funded project on »The Role of Wealth in Defining and Constituting Kinship Spaces from the 16th to the 18th Centuries«. During winter term 2022–23 he was an academic visitor at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge. His research interests include early-modern economic and social history, kinship, family and marriage, wealth, property transfer and inheritance practice, the history of consumption and material culture, and quantitative methods.
gem. mit Janine Maegraith, »Verbriefung und Finanzierung von Erbteilen und Ehegütern. Rechtskontexte im Vergleich: Niederösterreich und südliches Tirol im 18. Jahrhundert«, in: Themenheft Formen des Kredits, (=Zeitschrift für Agrargeschichte und Agrarsoziologie 70, 1 (2022), S. 21–40.
Gerade im Zusammenhang mit der ungleichen Verteilung unbezahlter Care-Arbeit rückt der Haushalt als Bühne ökonomischer und sozialer Auseinandersetzungen in den Mittelpunkt.