TITLE

Labour and improvement: agricultural change in East Anglia, circa 1750-1870

AUTHOR(S)
Martins, Susanna Wade; Williamson, Tom
PUB. DATE
December 1997
SOURCE
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Winter1997, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p275
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article discusses the concept of "labour productivity" as this applies to East Anglian agriculture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and then considers the relationship between geographical variations in the character of agricultural labour, and the nature of the East Anglian agricultural revolution. A number of historians have recently emphasized that the "agricultural revolution" was a period in which the productivity of farming and the way of farming improved. Traditionally, historians have concentrated on the way that yields per acre rose in this period: but improvements can also be measured in terms of labour productivity, that is, the amount of labour required to produce a given volume of crop. Although sweeping national, "top-down" generalizations seem easy to make, in practice it is surprisingly difficult to hazard any confident statements about labour productivity on a "bottom-up" basis, at a regional or local level. It was not primarily the absolute levels of pay which were important, however. Of more significance was the fact that in the course of the eighteenth century the East Anglian workforce became increasingly casualised.
ACCESSION #
6380847

 

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