Bonden, bygden och bördigheten. Produktionsmönster och utvecklingsvägar under jordbruksomvandlingen i Skåne ca 1700-1870
Sammanfattning: The great transformation of Swedish agriculture in the 18th and 19th centuries was part of a European-wide development sharing similar characteristics. While researchers agree that extensive agro-technological, social and institutional changes took place, opinions differ with regards to the causes, spread, timing and sequence of events. Through a systematic study of agricultural production, land use and long term development in different geographical settings, this thesis contributes with new knowledge and sheds new light on one of the most important episodes of long term societal change. The aim of the thesis is to investigate how natural conditions and institutions affected the production patterns of agriculture during its transformation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Focus is set on valuing the importance of natural conditions, local traditions, cultivation techniques and property rights on the production patterns of peasant agriculture. Revising a model presented by previous research illustrating factors affecting pre-industrial agricultural practice, the study delineates to new models presenting time-dependent hypothetical relationships. The results show that agricultural practice during the 18th century was still marked by the production patterns of traditional agricultural regions, the collective nature of the open field system and the cultivation techniques and limitations of traditional agriculture. Market incentives had a weaker impact as well as local variations in natural conditions due to a lower degree of commercialisation and individualism. Entering the 19th century, the situation changed. Through enclosures the open field system was abolished. Due to the individualisation and consolidation of land, agricultural practice became more affected by local variations in natural conditions and less marked by the traditional production patterns of the agricultural regions. New cultivation techniques enabled peasants to overcome the limitations of traditional agriculture and create a bigger surplus. Meanwhile, the market had a bigger impact due to the expansion of both domestic and foreign markets and a gradual deregulation of trade. Moreover, the results show that the traditional agricultural regions (plain land, brushwood/intermediate land and woodland) differed regarding production and land use patterns as well as their paths of development during the agricultural transformation.
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