| Share
 

mesta

mesta (māˈstä) [key], association of Spanish sheep farmers, formed to regulate sheep raising and to prevent cultivation of pastureland. Its date of origin is uncertain, but by 1273 Alfonso X of Castile formally recognized its long-established privileges, which were confirmed and extended by his successors. The mesta gradually escaped local jurisdiction and came under direct supervision of the crown. It prospered, especially in the 15th and 16th cent., by exporting wool from its highly prized Merino sheep. The mesta yielded large revenues to the crown, but its monopoly of large areas of land exhausted the soil and contributed to the economic decline of Spain by preventing intensive agriculture. Attacked by reforming ministers in the 18th cent., it was not abolished until 1837.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on mesta from Infoplease:

  • Made in Ash (Az do mesta As) - Starring Dorotka Billa, Maria Billa, Jarka Bucincova, Silvia Halusicova, Robin Schmidt
  • Mesta, Perle - Mesta, Perle social figure Birthplace: Sturgis, Mich. Born: 1889 Died: 1975 Information Please® ...
  • Abdera - Abdera Abdera or Avdira, town, NE Greece, in Thrace, near the mouth of the Mesta River. It is a ...
  • Macedonia, region, Europe: Land and People - Land and People Corresponding roughly with ancient Macedon, it extends from the Aegean Sea ...
  • Balkan Peninsula - Balkan Peninsula Balkan Peninsula, southeasternmost peninsula of Europe, c.200,000 sq mi (518,000 ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Balkans Physical Geography

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring