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Deforestacija u mletačkoj Dalmaciji (16.-18. st.): ekohistorija


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Vilović, Ivan. (2017). Deforestacija u mletačkoj Dalmaciji (16.-18. st.): ekohistorija. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of History. [mentor Petrić, Hrvoje].

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This work explores the issue of deforestation in Venetian Dalmatia from the 16th century to the end of the 18th century. It begins by asking whether the Venetians really did destroy all the forest in Dalmatia and to what degree they contributed to the process of deforestation in the region. An analysis of the relevant sources and literature in the realm of historiography, environmental history and natural sciences reveals a complex problem which requires that a number of factors be taken into account to resolve the issue. There is no doubt that the Venetians, through their presence and centralized rule, contributed to the overall degradation of forest land. Dalmatian forests were a valuable source of firewood for the city, and to a lesser degree, they served as a source for shipbuilding for the Venetian Arsenal. The Venetian Senate issued a large number of regulations to preserve those forests and reserved a sufficient amount for use by the city on the lagoon. However, Dalmatian forests were not the primary source of wood for Venice which was supplied from the region of Terreferma, in other words, a region in close vicinity to the city. Other reasons exist for the deforestation on the territory of today’s Dalmatia. The local population contributed to the start of the process to a large extent. Livestock raising, which was the main commercial activity of the Dalmatian population, significantly influenced the process of deforestation. Slash and burn agriculture endangered large areas of forest land, which due to specific geomorphological characteristics of the terrain, were never able to recover. Trade in wood and shipbuilding also contributed to excess forest use, which was especially noted on the island of Korcula, where an intense conflict between the government and population and an unresolvable divergence in the interests of the two sides could be seen. Ongoing wars and overall poverty had an additional negative impact on the state of forests throughout the whole modern period. Demographic developments in the 18th century accelerated and intensified all the processes mentioned so far. Finally, one cannot disregard the fact that in the early modern period, wood served as the primary source of energy and that it was used in almost every aspect of life. In the 18th Century Venetia made attempts to put an end to the excessive dependence of the Dalmatian population on livestock raising and improve agricultural conditions. This reform was only partially successful and processes of deforestation continued. At the same time, the state’s forestry policy did not develop in accordance with trends in other countries, as opposed to the Habsburg Monarchy where modern forestry was introduced and developed under the rule of Maria Theresa.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Subjects: History
Departments: Department of History
Supervisor: Petrić, Hrvoje
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 10:05
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 10:05

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