By Mark Overton
This ebook is the 1st on hand survey of English agriculture among 1500 and 1850. Written particularly for college kids, it combines new fabric with an research of the prevailing literature. It describes farming within the 16th century, analyzes the explanations for advancements in agricultural output and productiveness, and examines adjustments within the agrarian economic system and society. Professor Overton argues that the effect of those comparable alterations in productiveness and social and fiscal constitution within the century after 1750 quantity to an agricultural revolution.
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Additional resources for Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy 1500-1850
Once a herd had been established income would flow fairly evenly throughout the year from the sale of dairy products, although sales of male calves, barren cows and female calves not needed for replacements would be concentrated in the spring, since they would be bought by farmers who would fatten them up before slaughter. The extent to which farmers could vary the quantity or the nature of their output in response to changes in the prices of agricultural products (their elasticity of supply) depended more on the size of their enterprise than on whether it was geared towards crops or livestock.
Thus in many situations, if the market was not the major influence on what was produced, the actual mix of crops and stock was determined by local custom and tradition as well as by subsistence needs. Although the market did not have much influence over their production decisions, farmers producing at subsistence levels went to the market to buy the few necessities they needed, to sell surplus corn in a good year, and, in a poor year, to buy corn if their harvest fell below their subsistence needs.
The explanation for this behaviour is that people worked for as long as it took to provide enough money for their basic needs: higher wages meant that these needs could be met with less work. This behaviour was probably a consequence of the absence of 'consumer goods' in the sixteenth century; there was little that extra income could be spent on. 6 show how farmers were described by contemporaries according to their status. In ascending order, the farmers' status ladder rose from husbandman at the bottom, through yeoman, gentleman and esquire.