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Wenzel Anton Kaunitz-Rietberg, "Most Graciously Commissioned Report on the Improvement of the Domestic System" for Maria Theresa (April 14, 1773)

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Along with these useful functions, the village judge has to perform one more, which will provide the greatest material for the comprehensive understanding of the domestic condition of the entire land. Tables will be published with rubrics for the district and village name, the number of houses, the male and female inhabitants, the draft animals, the [size of] fields, pastures, forests, etc., according to measurements taken by the schoolmaster, and the harvest and produce of these properties. These tables will be filled out by the village judge himself, if he can write, or by the schoolmaster, and be read aloud to the assembled community and then sent to circuit officials, so that they can form one summation from all the tables of the villages under them and more closely examine and verify the particulars. [ . . . ]

These tables would actually contain the established real annual state inventory, which in comparison with the previous year, rubric to rubric, would display in detail and in summary how much every village, every district, every circuit, and finally the entire kingdom had increased or decreased in people, livestock, harvests, and industry. Then the upper administration can judge with true and comprehensive reliability where the good or the bad is, from what sources it originates, and also how the good found in one district or circuit can be introduced in all districts and circuits, and how the bad and the damaging can generally be removed and eradicated. [ . . . ]

Source of original German text: Der Josephinismus. Ausgewählte Quellen zur Geschichte der theresianischen Reformen [Der Josephinismus. Selected Sources on the History of Reform in the Era of Maria Theresa], edited by Harm Klueting. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995, pp. 183-91.

Reprinted in Helmut Neuhaus, ed., Zeitalter des Absolutismus 1648-1789 [The Era of Absolutism, 1648-1789]. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, volume 5. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1997, pp. 414-25.

Translation: Ben Marschke

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