By Peter M. Jones

Agricultural Enlightenment explores the modernization of the agricultural economic climate in Europe during the lens of the Enlightenment. It specializes in the second one 1/2 the eighteenth century and emphasizes the position of priceless wisdom within the strategy of agrarian swap and agricultural improvement. As such it invitations financial historians to reply to the problem issued through Joel Mokyr to seem past quantitative info and to take heavily the argument that cultural components, commonly understood, can have aided or hindered the evolution of agriculture within the early smooth interval ("what humans knew and believed" had a right away concerning their monetary habit [Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy]). proof in help of the concept a quite simply obtainable provide of agricultural wisdom is helping to give an explanation for the trajectory of the agricultural economic climate is drawn from the entire international locations of Europe. The publication contains situations reviews of quick rural modernization in Scotland and Denmark the place Agricultural Enlightenment was once rapidly via full-scale Agricultural Revolution.

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They were subsequently joined by a number of other thinkers including Pierre-Samuel Dupont who coined the term ‘physiocracy’—meaning the rule or reign of nature. The physiocrats would mount a sweeping critique of mercantilist trade policies, focusing particularly on intervention to stimulate manufacturing activity which was practised by governments throughout Europe. However, their insistence that agriculture be treated as the sole source of national wealth would be undermined in turn by the advent of large-scale industrialization and the reconfiguration of the economy and society that followed in its wake.

It must have been particularly dispiriting to find that the ample 41 ‘On the Commercial Errors of England. By Mons. Du Pont, deputy in the National Assembly for Nemours’, Annals of Agriculture 16 (1791), 158. 42 Annals of Agriculture 16 (1791), 158. 43 Arthur Young’s Travels in France, p. 349. 44 Arthur Young’s Travels in France, p. 349: ‘The impossibility of levying the œconomistes, land tax, is found in France to be as great in practice as the principles of it were absurd in theory’. 45 Arthur Young’s Travels in France, p.

The Elector Palatine granted it official recognition in 1777, notwithstanding some princely displeasure at the fact that the Institute tended to attract more trainees from other German states than from his own territories. The moving force behind the developments at Lautern was Friedrich Medicus (1736–1808), a physician from Mannheim with an enthusiasm for botany who is sometimes mistaken for a physiocrat. But Medicus’s interest in agriculture always formed part of a much wider vision of the economic system.

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