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By Peter M. Jones

Agricultural Enlightenment explores the modernization of the agricultural economic system in Europe in the course of the lens of the Enlightenment. It makes a speciality of the second one 1/2 the eighteenth century and emphasizes the position of beneficial wisdom within the strategy of agrarian switch and agricultural improvement. As such it invitations financial historians to reply to the problem issued through Joel Mokyr to seem past quantitative information and to take heavily the argument that cultural components, greatly understood, could have aided or hindered the evolution of agriculture within the early glossy interval ("what humans knew and believed" had an immediate pertaining to their fiscal habit [Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy]). proof in aid of the concept that a conveniently available provide of agricultural wisdom is helping to provide an explanation for the trajectory of the agricultural economic system is drawn from the entire nations of Europe. The publication comprises instances reports of quick rural modernization in Scotland and Denmark the place Agricultural Enlightenment used to be speedily by way of full-scale Agricultural Revolution.

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In Sundberg, Germundsson, and Hansen (eds), Modernisation and Tradition: European Local and Manorial Societies, 1500–1900, pp. 78–102; J. Engelhardt, ‘Patriotic Societies and Royal Imperial Reforms in Denmark, 1761–1814’, in Koen Stapelbroek and Jani Marjanen (eds), The Rise of the Economic Societies in the Eighteenth Century: Patriotic Reform in Europe and North America (London, 2012), p. 227 and n. 35. 18 John Robertson, The Case for the Enlightenment: Scotland and Naples, 1680–1760 (Cambridge, 2005), p.

Both of these developments lie largely beyond the scope of our study, however. It is nonetheless true that the very first agricultural research or experiment stations came into being in France and Great Britain in the 1830s and 1840s (see pp. 180–3). Until that time the direction in which agronomy would travel remained uncertain. In the eyes of many, perhaps the majority of ordinary, unsung practitioners it remained a field discipline which had relatively little to learn from the laboratory sciences.

25–54. -A. Alletz, L’Agronome ou dictionnaire portatif du cultivateur (Paris, 1761), in L’Année littéraire (1761). 48 None of this sheds much light on who the agronomists were in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, though, or on how they related to other economic thinkers and practitioners. 50 According to Bourde the agronomists were not system-builders but empiricists who mostly avoided social speculation and concentrated their efforts on the search for optimal agricultural techniques, whether in the domain of field systems, crops and cropping cycles, stock-raising, or farm implements and machinery.

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