Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850

Robert (Bob) Allen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Introduction British agriculture developed in a distinctive manner that made important contributions to economic growth. By the early nineteenth century, agricultural labour productivity was one third higher in England than in France, and each British farm worker produced over twice as much as his Russian counterpart (Bairoch 1965; O’Brien and Keyder 1978; Wrigley 1985; Allen 1988, 2000). Although the yield per acre of grains was no higher in Britain than in other parts of north-western Europe, the region as a whole reaped yields twice those in most other parts of the world (Allen and O’Gráda 1988; Allen 1992.) Most accounts of British farming link the high level of efficiency to Britain’s peculiar agrarian institutions. In many parts of the continent, farms were small, operated by families without hired labour and often owned by their cultivators. Farms often consisted of strips scattered in open fields, and animals were often grazed on commons. Peasant farming of this sort was consolidated by the French Revolution. In contrast, in Britain, the open fields were enclosed, farm size increased and tenancy became general. While this transformation had been underway since the middle ages, it reached its culmination during the industrial revolution. Furthermore, it is often claimed that the agrarian transformation made important contributions to industrialisation by increasing output and supplying the industrial economy with labour and capital.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1
    Subtitle of host publicationIndustrialisation, 1700-1860
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Pages96-116
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139053853
    ISBN (Print)0521820367, 9780521820363
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

    Fingerprint

    Farm
    Agriculture
    Industrial Revolution
    Farming
    Labor
    Economic Growth
    Labour Productivity
    England
    Industrialization
    Acre
    Medieval Period
    Workers
    Peasants
    France
    French Revolution
    Animals
    Economy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    Allen, R. B. (2004). Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850. In The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1: Industrialisation, 1700-1860 (pp. 96-116). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521820363.005

    Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850. / Allen, Robert (Bob).

    The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1: Industrialisation, 1700-1860. Cambridge University Press, 2004. p. 96-116.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Allen, RB 2004, Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850. in The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1: Industrialisation, 1700-1860. Cambridge University Press, pp. 96-116. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521820363.005
    Allen RB. Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850. In The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1: Industrialisation, 1700-1860. Cambridge University Press. 2004. p. 96-116 https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521820363.005
    Allen, Robert (Bob). / Agriculture during the industrial revolution, 1700–1850. The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain Volume 1: Industrialisation, 1700-1860. Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 96-116
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