19세기 중반 남부베트남의 地主像 - 딘 뜨엉(Dinh Tuong 定祥) 성 빈 까익(Binh Cach 平格) 촌의 쩐(Tran 陳) 씨 집안의 사례를 중심으로
The 19th Century Landlords of the Southern Vietnam With an Example of the Tran Family in Binh Cach Village of the Dinh Tuong Province
This article aims at constructing a realistic and concrete image of the southern Vietnamese landlord. By the various politicians and scholars, the image of southern landlords has been shaped by the political purposes and by the methodological theories rather than by the serious study based on the solid materials. The political purposes have been managed by the revolutionary and nationalist groups who have agreed, though unintentionally, on the point that the pre-colonial landlords should be labelled reactionary or backward. And the methodological theories have been applied by the scholars who tried to use the pre-colonial peasant society as the background of the nature of the peasant society during the colonial period. Well known main themes are "Moral Economy" and "Rational Peasants." To be used to prove either theme, both the pre-colonial peasants and landlords should be claimed as the beings of "moral" or "rational" without enough evidence. By the careful study on the recently found documents such as "The Will of Tran Van Phien Couple (1857)," "The Will of Tran Van Hoc Couple (1876)", and "The Land Trade Bills" of southern Vietnam, this article challenges to illuminate several points of the southern past of the landlords in the context of the historical change of the southern society before the French presence. In addition, this article has the goal to confirm the traditional peasant society of the 19th century was neither of moral economy nor of the rational peasants. Four issues are discussed in this article. First is the way of settlement. In contrast to other previous works on this kind of issue, author"s emphasis goes to the fact that a southern landlord"s origin was a poor peasant, and the 19th century southern landlords were aware of their roots as the immigrant peasants, thus their identity was more closer to the peasant class than to the privileged ruling class. Southern landlords were more interested in investing their surplus into land rather than into official career. This is an important aspect of southern landlords considering that the existence of the 19th century landlords in other regions, north and center, was related to the official status, power, and wealth. Various ways of land accumulation of southern landlord are discussed in the second chapter. Not only the legal ways such as trade, clearance, and inheritance, but also the hiding land, bribing officials, and purchasing the land by the small children"s names to get more land were used. What encouraged the landlords to accumulate land was the desire to increase the rice product. Landlords were strongly market oriented. Southern rice was connected to the international traders who were linking the southern landlords to the international markets. Next discussion is about the landlord-tenant relation. The reality in the relation of the landlords to their tenants informs us of the broader prospective on the nature of the peasant society of the southern Vietnam. The relation was "rational" rather than "moral" form the points of both sides, landlord and tenant. But it was not based on the tension or potential conflict as the vindicators of the rational peasants theme claim. It was rational due to a mutual demand. Landlords needed manpower, while the tenant needed a safe shelter. Exploitation from the landlords could not be attempted because the tenants were well prepared to leave to another place whenever they felt the condition was not good enough. From the point of the landlord, tenant was not the object of exploitation but the precious manpower to increase his rice product. Tenant, in turn, regarded landlord as the protector as long as the condition was acceptable. Consequence was the compromise between the former and the latter, and the co-existence of the both. Based on this..
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