Response to John Holt "School Is Bad for Children"

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An example of earlier change:
English Agriculture: 1500-1850
taken from:
Agricultural Revolution in England
the transformation of the agrarian economy
1500-1850
by
Mark Overton
Cambridge University Press, 1996

c B.J. Heinzen 1998 p. 1

Estimates of English Agricultural Output
1520--1850
18
16

Output - population method

250

Output - volume method - value of total ag. output
(crops, meat, dairy) in £million at 1850 prices

12

200

10
150
8
100

6

Output Index 1700=100

14
Population (millions)

300

Population - in millions (previous limit 5-6 mln people)

4
50
2
0
1851

1831

1801

1791

1781

1761

1751

1741

1701

1661

1651

1601

1551

80% of pop.
in agric. for
own family

1520

0

20% of pop.
in agric. for
markets

c B.J. Heinzen 1998 p. 2
Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p.75& p.8

A Rising Demand for Food 1520-1851
100
Agricultural
population

90
% of total population

80
70

Rural non-agric’l
population

60
50
40

Towns >5000,
excl London

30
20
10

London

0
1520

1600

1670

1700

1750

1801

1851

“…the impact of London on the demand for food was greater than these figures indicate because
average consumption per head in London was at least double the national average.” c B.J. Heinzen 1998 p. 3
Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p138

A Changing Social Structure
England & Wales 1436-1973
% of ownership

120

Crown

100

Black
Plague

80

1348, 1350s,
1370x

Church
Yeomen
freeholders

Dissolution

60

of

Gentry

Monasteries

40

1530

20

Civil War
Great owners

1640s

0
1436
(Eng)

c.1690
range of estimates
for 1690

c.1790

1873
(Eng.)

“The pioneers of new methods in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries … were not the great landowners but smaller farmers … the most dramatic advances in output and land productivity came in those areas (such as Norfolk) where lordship was relatively weak.”

c B.J. Heinzen 1998 p. 4
Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p.168 & 205

The Development of Markets
< 1600

1601-1650

de
cli
ne

of

Local
markets, in
800 market
towns;
strong reg.,
no
middlemen
allowed

1701-1750

1751-1800

1801-1850
Middlemen
indispensable

gu
lat
io

1750: London
Corn Exchange

n

between mkt
towns

700 mi
rivers

1660

900 mi
rivers

1700

1838:
60 million
letters sent

1790: end
of domestic
market reg.
15, 000 miles turnpikes

en
em
l
idd
Trade

1663: reselling &
storing allowed

weak
enforc’t
of reg.

Grain traded
nationally &
in N. Europe

1772

20,000 miles turnpikes

private market’g
by samples of
1690s?
grain
weekly grain
prices
published

rivers linked

m
of
se
ri

ma
rke
t re

1651-1700

1846:
Corn
Laws
repealed

1830
c B.J. Heinzen 1998 p. 5

Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, 137-47 passim

Controlling the Use of Land by Enclosures
post 1850

undated

1675-1749

1575-1674

1525-1574

1750-1849

100

90

1701-1750

1651-1700

1601-1650

1751-1800

80

70

60

50

40

30
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