Zwischen Dreifelderwirtschaft und Agrarrevolution: Zur Entwicklung der landwirtschaftlichen Methoden in Sachsen im 19. Jahrhundert (PDF Download)
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Data from unique agricultural surveys from the late 18th century as well as recent research on deforestation give surprising results concerning agricultural development in Saxony, one of the most densely populated and industrialized regions of Europe and Germany in the 19th century. For the first time for Germany, the pattern of land use can be reliably reconstructed for as early as 1800. Change was slow but steady afterwards. Instead of full enclosures, fencing of small plots (“Hegung”) within the fallow allowed for modifications of crop rotations within traditional methods and institutions. However, characteristics of the classic three field rotation were kept until the end of the 19th century and key characteristics of the English agricultural revolution could not be found: cultivation of legumes stayed quite low, cultivation of grain stayed above 60 percent even until after 1900, and four crop rotations were never dominant. Still, food supply was stable during the 19th century. If a continental and land-locked region could sustain dramatic population growth while largely keeping the traditional system, then the English standard model of an agricultural revolution cannot be a template for continental development. Specifically, crop rotations must have contributed far less to agricultural growth than previously thought.
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