Mill compulsion

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thirlage or mill spell is a arisings in the 12th century fundamentally glorious Commercial spell right . It guaranteed the landlords the sole right to build and operate a mill ( Mühlregal ) and forced the farmers of the neighboring communities to have their grain ground there.

Background and story

Friedrich Barbarossa passed the law 1158. The mill compulsion obliged all subjects of a landlord to have their grain milled exclusively in the Kameralmühle, Zwangmühle or Bannmühle and thus ensured the miller constant income for centuries. Violations of the ban law were punished with penalties. This prevented competition between the mills and the artificially increased grinding wages made it possible to generate additional income. However, many mill tenants had little of this, as the lease payments to the owner were often very high.

The mill compulsion is often treated in legal historical literature as if it had been binding in the entire German Empire or even beyond. However, this is by no means the case. Often, laws relating to mills were only passed with the introduction of Roman law . Such regulations were regularly associated with an economic policy intended and planned by the authorities , which, however, often did not begin until the 18th century or even later (official mill).

At the beginning of the 19th century, with the introduction of the freedom of trade through the Stein-Hardenberg reforms in Prussia in 1810 and in all of German territory by 1866, this ban was abolished. In Austria , the mill ban was abolished under Joseph II in 1789.

Similar legal institutions


  • Jutta Böhm: Mill bike tour. Routes: Kleinziegenfelder Tal and Bärental , Weismain environmental station in the Lichtenfels district, Weismain / Lichtenfels (Lichtenfels district), 2000, 52 pages (numerous illustrations, canton)
  • Article "Mühlzwang" in the German legal dictionary
  • Daniel Schneider: The milling industry in the county of Sayn-Altenkirchen. In: Heimat-Jahrbuch des Kreis Altenkirchen 59. (2016), pp. 219–237 (with an explanation of the development of the mill compulsion).

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Böhm (2000), p. 8
  2. Archive for the latest legislation of all German states, Volume 2 by Alexander Müller at google.books