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Het waterschap en de mythe van democratie in het Ancien Régime. Het voorbeeld van de Vlaamse Kustvlakte in de Late Middeleeuwen
Soens, T. (2003). Het waterschap en de mythe van democratie in het Ancien Régime. Het voorbeeld van de Vlaamse Kustvlakte in de Late Middeleeuwen, in: Soens, T. et al. (Ed.) Tussen politiek, economie en ecologie: waterbeheer in het verleden. Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis, 2001: pp. 39-55
In: Soens, T.; Thoen, E. (Ed.) (2003). Tussen politiek, economie en ecologie: waterbeheer in het verleden. Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis, 2001. Academia Press: Gent. ISBN 90-382-0473-6. 107 pp., more
In: Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis. Academia Press: Gent, more

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Keywords
    Historical account; Water management; ANE, Belgium [Marine Regions]; ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

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Abstract
    Like any other form of organisation in history, the organisation of water management reflects the physical and social constraints of a well-defined society. Furthermore, the organisation itself influences policies pursued. From the late medieval period on, water management in the Flemish and Dutch coastal plains has been entrusted to institutions, 'waterschappen', often praised for their 'democratic' way of working, allowing all people involved to control and adjust their policy at least indirectly. But on closer examination, this assumption does certainly not apply to all of these institutions. Historical research of some late medieval and early modern 'waterschappen' round Bruges and adjacent to the river Scheldt in the former county of Flanders, shows that the organisation of these institutions reflected the property structures in the coastal plain. In this period, landed property tended to become concentrated and one has to consider whether this concentration of property and wealth influenced the water management policy. In view of the huge loss of land in the Scheldt area between 1300 and 1600, this evolution may have had important ecological consequences.

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