Europe in the Family
The Polish landed gentry in the 20th century
Labourers on Kazimierz Fudakowski's estate in Krasnobród
Above: Labourers on Kazimierz Fudakowski’s estate in Krasnobród.

Estate management

The landed gentry’s standard of living depended on effective management. The two major factors were competent management and labour organisation, which were the landowner’s responsibility. By contrast, the vast estates of aristocrats were run by professional managers and plenipotentiaries. The landed gnetry’s sources of income were: cultivation of land, animal breeding, forest exploitation, and possible profits made from agri-food industry. In bigger estates, the most common industrial plants were distilleries, which produced spirit from cereal and beets grown on the estate. The volume of that production was controlled by the Polish state.