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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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Agricultural Enlightenment and Agricultural Revolution

Agricultural Enlightenment and Agricultural Revolution

(p.133) 6 Agricultural Enlightenment and Agricultural Revolution
Agricultural Enlightenment

Peter M. Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores topics of perennial interest to economic historians: patterns of agricultural production, land and labour productivity, enclosure, farm size, and the transition from Agricultural Enlightenment to full-scale Agricultural Revolution. It illustrates these themes with two cases studies of agricultural change in action in Denmark-Norway and in Scotland. The potential of urban growth and expanding consumer markets to kick-start growth is revisited, as is the capacity of government interventionism and institutional restructuring (enclosure, abolition of the manorial economy, etc.) to raise agricultural yields and per capita/per hectare productivity. The contemporary debate as to whether large farms were inherently more productive than small ones and therefore better able to exploit the knowledge and technology inputs of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is also examined.

Keywords:   population, productivity, enclosure, institutions, comparative advantage, rotations, markets, Denmark, Scotland

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