By Peter M. Jones
Agricultural Enlightenment explores the modernization of the agricultural financial system in Europe in the course of the lens of the Enlightenment. It specializes in the second one half the eighteenth century and emphasizes the function of invaluable wisdom within the strategy of agrarian swap and agricultural improvement. As such it invitations financial historians to reply to the problem issued by means of Joel Mokyr to appear past quantitative facts and to take heavily the argument that cultural elements, generally understood, could have aided or hindered the evolution of agriculture within the early glossy interval ("what humans knew and believed" had an instantaneous relating their fiscal habit [Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy]). proof in help of the concept that a without problems obtainable offer of agricultural wisdom is helping to provide an explanation for the trajectory of the agricultural financial system is drawn from the entire nations of Europe. The e-book comprises situations reports of quick rural modernization in Scotland and Denmark the place Agricultural Enlightenment was once speedily by way of full-scale Agricultural Revolution.
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Extra resources for Agricultural enlightenment : knowledge, technology, and nature, 1750-1840
The apparatus of government, along with institutions and ideology fell into the latter category, whereas the constraints of the natural environment in which agriculture was practised, together with the impact of the seasons, made up the physical realm. Arthur Young’s Suffolk neighbour John Symonds1 drew this distinction when contributing to the Annals of Agriculture an essay ‘Upon the Effects of Government on Agriculture in Italy’. 2 Of course governments in the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries varied hugely in their capacity and also in their readiness to intervene in matters to do with agriculture.
In his Tableau économique (1758–59) Quesnay constructed a model of the entire production process in which the capital stock underpinning the market circulated by virtue of natural mechanisms quite independently of manmade arrangements. Whilst the role of landlords and other possessors of agrarian capital such as tithe and seigniorial dues beneficiaries was highlighted, the truly productive class, in his view, consisted of the big farmers who rented the land in large blocks and hired the labour to till it efficiently.
We have seen as much in Maximilien de Lazowski’s trenchant first-hand analysis of Britain’s remarkably resilient and prosperous economy in the aftermath of the American Independence War. Both Lazowski and Adam Smith were political economists who had moved well beyond the physiocrats’ insistence on agriculture as the sole source of wealth. Indeed, Lazowski included in his explanation a survey of institutions which drew attention to the strengths of English civil law, the absence of fiscal privilege, and the relative ease with which rural landholdings could be consolidated and enclosed (see pp.