BRITISH AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION 1600-1870 Dr Frances Richardson [email protected]

BRITISH AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION 1600-1870 Dr Frances Richardson [email protected] https://open.conted.ox.a ltural-revolution-1600-18 70 AIMS To study agricultural changes between 1600 and 1870 in a number of regions, to understand the technical, social and economic aspects that reshaped the British countryside and rural society. OBJECTIVES 1) To gain a knowledge and understanding of agricultural change from 1600-1870. 2) To examine the factors leading to the growth of capitalist agriculture and the social consequences. 3) To evaluate recent scholarly findings and debates. Dryburgh, J. Slezer, Theatrum Scotiae (1693) Course overview

1. Course overview British agriculture, population growth and the standard of living 2. The seventeenth-century yeomans agricultural revolution 3. Improved farming methods 4. The growth of landed estates and capitalist farms 5. Parliamentary enclosure in the lowlands 6. Expansion into the uplands 7. The role of agricultural improvers and estate agents 8. The social impact 9.

The nineteenth-century second (or third?) agricultural revolution 10. The Land Question and growth of allotments Resources Borrowing books Continuing Education Library, Rewley House: SOLO to search for books. Register in person or online:,-online,-summer-schooland-short-course-students/weekly-class-students Online resources articles and Bodleian e-books via computers in Student Resource Room or Conted Library, for OU e-Journals Course loans Course website: Portfolio of 2 to 3 short pieces of work total up to 1500 words, based

on class discussion topics OR One 1500 word essay based on suggested topics or agree topic with Frances. Feedback can be sought on essay outline before end of term OR A 10 minute presentation on a topic agreed with Frances Assessment Deadline for submitting written work 6th April Mark and feedback by 20th April Key issues 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

What are the criteria for an agricultural revolution? Why does agricultural revolution matter? Old theories Evidence for agricultural revolution New theories Phases of agricultural change Actors 1. CRITERIA Conceptual and empirical Technical: 2. A wide variety of changes in farming techniques 3. Success in responding to the challenge of feeding a growing population 4. An increase in output brought about by rising productivity

Institutional: 4. Subsistence or capitalist farming 5. Private property rights, farm tenures 6. How workers were employed 2. Why does agricultural revolution matter? arch/keyword:baker-wheatfield Thomas Baker (18091869), Wheatfield, Newbold Farm, Leamington (Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum) Population growth Constraints on expansion of food production with traditional methods The Malthusian trap Transition to modern economic growth Model for developing countries? Impact of rising food prices on working class standard of living Social impact of changing farming practice

30 Population growth 25 20 15 10 5 0 1541 1560 1600 1650 1700 1750 1800 English population (m) British population (m) Source: Broadberry et al. British Economic Growth 1270-1870 ( 2015) 1850 1870 Constraints

on food expansion with traditional agriculture Fewer draught animals Poorer diet Stint common Fewer livestock Reduce grazing area Less manure Plough marginal lands Lower crop yields

Reduce fallow Increase arable area Land shortage Population pressure The Malthusian trap? Overpopulation occurs when population growth causes output per head to fall to subsistence level and rising mortality causes population growth to cease. T. R. Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) War, famine, disease Transition to modern economic growth Historically unique growth after 1700 Accompanied

1650 Key - by increased urbanisation after role of agriculture in industrialization: Growing enough food for industrial and service sector workers - Main source of raw materials oils, hides, textile fibres, fuel, fodder - Agricultural population the primary market for manufactures and services Agricultural revolution made possible the industrial revolution British economic growth real GDP per capita Source: B. AHearn, The British industrial revolution in a European mirror, in R. Floud, J. Humphries and P. Johnson (eds.) , The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain, Vol. I, 1700-1870 (2014), p. 2

Working class standard of living Standard of living or real wage = wage / cost of living 160 140 120 How many days did a rural worker need to work to earn a subsistence family wage? 100 80 60 40 20 0 17 7 0 7 7 4 7 7 8 7 8 2 7 8 6 7 9 0 7 9 4 7 9 8 8 0 2 8 0 6 8 1 0 81 4 8 1 8 82 2 8 2 6 8 3 0 8 3 4 8 3 8 8 4 2 8 4 6 8 5 0 8 5 4 8 5 8 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Consumer Price Index Real male wage pa in 1860s prices Number of Working Days per Year of Rural Farm Workers, 13101830 (dashed line = implied working year; solid line = implied working year 10 year moving average) Source: Allen & Weisdorf, Was there an industrious revolution? Malthusian crisis avoided, but workers did not benefit till 1830s, and rising inequality Changing farming practice and institutional framework had profound implications for rural society: - Decline of small landowner and farmer

- Increased proletarianisation more agricultural labourers - Loss of resources from commons with enclosure impact on living standards of workers, viability of small tradesmen - Rural to urban migration - Highland clearances forced migration Social impact Thomas Faed, The last of the clan CC BY-NC-ND Glasgow Museums 3. Old theories Peasant progress

Great farms and open fields stifled agricultural men revolutionised farming Enclosures and large farms created private property and capitalist agriculture responsible for increased productivity Increased Ina M. Sheldon-Williams (18761955), Oxen Ploughing, the Cuckmere, Hastings Museum g-the-cuckmere-73720/view_as/grid/search/key word:sheldon-williams-oxen/page/1 productivity inferred from rent increases Growth in agricultural productivity a pre-requisite for industrialization Released growth Social

labour from agriculture for industrial consequences and increased inequality an inescapable consequence Great men Robert Bakewell. Turnip Townsend, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, after Kneller, Public Domain Robert Bakewell (public domain) Jethro Tull (16741741), British agronomist (British School, public domain) 4. Evidence for an agricultural revolution productivity growth Land, labour, capital and total factor productivity Total factor productivity estimated to increase c. 70% 1700-1870 Cultivated 1700

m 1850 m % increase 1700-1850 112 232 107% - implements 10 14 40% - farm horses 20 22 10% 41 85

107% 183 353 93% Landlords capital Farmers capital: land increased 25% 1700-1870 Wheat yields increased 45%, oat yields 84%1720-1870 Landlords capital 1850 Agricultural capital in England and Wales increased 107% 1700-- other livestock Total capital Source: Allen (2004) 5. New theories

New crops and rotations still important Greater prominence for increased animal output Increased emphasis on convertible husbandry and regional specialisation Innovation possible in the open fields Capitalist institutions such as large farms and enclosure were not a necessary condition for growth Britain more industrialised by 1700 than previously thought 37% of men worked in crafts and industry Only 50% of men worked in agriculture c. 1710. Critical shift of labour from agriculture to industry started well before the classic period of agricultural revolution Food production must have increased significantly before 1700. Agricultural productivity showed steady improvement over a longer period less revolutionary Timing Three main periods of revolution in England A 17c yeomans revolution (Bob Allen) Scotland The 18c landlords revolution (Overton, Mingay) Rapid change in later 18c

The 19c second agricultural revolution (Thompson) Discussion topic: Was there a yeomans agricultural revolution in the seventeenth century? e.g.: - What is the evidence from Blith for new agricultural methods in the 17c? - Who were the yeomen farmers? - Why does Overton argue for an 18c agricultural revolution? - Why does Allen argue that agricultural productivity was increased more by a yeomans agricultural revolution in the 17c? - What other major agricultural changes took place in the 17th century? Prep for week 2: The seventeenthcentury yeomens agricultural revolution Short readings W. Blith, The English Improver Improved (1653), Introduction, Dip into Chapters III & XI, G. R. Boyer Review of Allens Enclosure and the Yeoman, Journal of Economic History 53, no. 4 (1993). Online in Conted. Library or Student Resources Room, 2 class copies. G. Mingay, Review of Overtons Agricultural Revolution,

M. Overton, BBC website Agricultural Revolution in England 1500 1850 Longer readings R. C. Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2009), Especially Ch. 3., The agricultural revolution. Class copy. OR *R. C. Allen, Enclosure and the Yeoman, Ch. 1, Introduction (also Ch. 4, The rise of the yeoman) Conted. Library or online in library or student resources room, class copy. M. A. Havinden, 'Agricultural progress in open-field Oxfordshire', Agricultural History Review 9 (1961). Online in Conted. Library or student resources room, 2 class copies. A. Kussmaul, A General View of the Rural Economy of England (Cambridge, 1990), Ch. 4. 2 copies in Conted. Library.

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