Agriculture and Industrialization: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day

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By setting industrialization against the background of wider processes of economic growth, recent trends in economic history have once again placed agriculture at the center of debate on the formation of modern economies. The nine essays in this volume examine the broader terms and implications of this new emphasis, and reassess the contribution of agriculture to economic growth in contexts that range from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries and from Europe to Russia and Asia.The essays are tightly focused around a set of central themes. Emphasizing how contexts of time and place have determined the relationship between agricultural change and economic growth, they explore comparatively such issues as the problems of interpretation and methodology posed by the close inter-dependence between agriculture and social organization, the critical role of political intervention in agricultural change, as well as the technical difficulties involved in measuring changes in productivity and their wider impact on economic growth. As a result the volume offers a uniquely broad but coherent and critical assessment of current trends in the interpretation of agriculture's major but complex historical role in modern economic growth.