Peasants and entrepreneurship in the nineteenth-century agricultural transformation of Sweden
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Social Science History
Förlag: Duke University Press
In post-World War II agricultural research, a new perspective on "peasant society" developed. This approach is still vigorous today and implies that peasant society defined by subsistence production, the safety-first principle, and a stable village system with moral obligations-leads to conservative behavior toward change. It also assumes that only external forces can tear down the system and force peasants into markets. However, many researchers throughout Europe have challenged these opinions of peasant mentality and peasant behavior. This study investigates five parishes in southern Sweden (Scania) to analyze the behavior of peasants during the agricultural transformation (c. 1750-1850). Important organizational and institutional changes, such as enclosures, the emergence of a formal credit market, and the growing land market, are analyzed. Results reveal that some peasants actively participated in the agricultural transformation in a number of ways and that peasant farmers in Scania did not demonstrate a conservative attitude toward change.
- Economic History
- ISSN: 0145-5532