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Agricultural EnlightenmentKnowledge, Technology, and Nature, 1750-1840$
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Peter M. Jones

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198716075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716075.001.0001

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Vectors and Agents of Knowledge Transmission

Vectors and Agents of Knowledge Transmission

(p.57) 3 Vectors and Agents of Knowledge Transmission
Agricultural Enlightenment

Peter M. Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter places the emphasis on the build-up or ‘supply’ of agricultural knowledge in the eighteenth century. It explores how this knowledge supply was packaged and accredited for use. Several important vectors of transmission are identified, notably the role of agronomic travel and the burgeoning associational culture of the Enlightenment. In this context the significance of the career of the agricultural writer and inveterate traveller Arthur Young is referred to, as is the steadily expanding network of ‘economic’ societies which developed in every country of Europe after the mid-century point. Several categories of agents and instigators emerge as having played a particularly important role in the transmission of agricultural knowledge: improving landlords, land agents, well-to-do tenant farmers and the rural clergy. In this connection the debates among historians about the primary responsibility for agricultural change and growth (population growth, knowledge supply, expanding urban markets etc.) are considered.

Keywords:   knowledge supply, agronomic travel, economic societies, landlords, tenant-farmers, clergy, agronomic travel

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