Het wettelijke land en het werkelijke land wetgeving en praktijk bij het houden van openbare markten in Belgiƫ in de 19de eeuw



This contribution explores the tension that existed in the nineteenth century in the Southem
Netherlands between the liberal legislation and the principle that markets without
official recognition were illegal. How did the authorities deal with that tension? The focus
here is on 'real' markets: formal or informal gatherings of buyers and sellers for the purpose
of trading commodities, often with a certain periodicity, sometimes in public, sometimes
in private places. The first part goes through the restrictive rules on the establishment
of such markets. The second part confronts these rules with the implications of the
liberal decree d'Allarde, declaring the exercise of all professions free. Finally, the last
part explores the legal means this ambiguous legal framework offered to act against illegal
markets: markets being held without official recognition. This contribution shows that
it mainly depended on local authorities whether such illegal markets could continue to