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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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Nature and Environment

Nature and Environment

Chapter:
(p.188) 8 Nature and Environment
Source:
Agricultural Enlightenment
Author(s):

Peter M. Jones

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716075.003.0009

The ambition to bring order to Europe’s landscapes via the rational allocation and use of physical space was another facet of the Enlightenment project. This chapter explores the concerted attempts made to subdue and exploit the natural world from circa 1760 (land reclamation, scientific forestry, abolition of the fallow, sustainable management of the farming environment etc.). Attempts were also made to alter the patterns of human settlement so that they matched more closely the needs of a truly progressive agriculture. However, only in England, in Denmark and in southern Sweden did radical land reform actually take place in the context of Agricultural Enlightenment. Elsewhere the desire to modify both the built and the unbuilt landscapes of Europe was mostly confined to wishful thinking. Systematic land consolidation (remembrement, Flurbereinigung) only began to happen when European high-yield agriculture entered a period of crisis in the late nineteenth century.

Keywords:   nature, environment, resource management, landscape planning, land reclamation, drainage, enclosure, remembrement, Flurbereinigung, the village habitat

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