Between the 1930s and the 1950s rural life in Europe underwent profound changes, partly as a result of the Second World War, and partly as a result of changes which had been in progress over many years. This book examines a range of European countries, from Scandinavia to Spain and Ireland to Hungary, during this crucial period, and identifies the common pressures to which they all responded and the features that were unique to individual countries. In particular, it examines the processes of agricultural development over western Europe as a whole, the impact of the war on international trading patterns, the relationships between states and farmers, and the changing identities of rural populations. It presents a bold attempt to write rural history on a European scale, and will be of interest not only to historians and historical geographers, but also to those interested in the historical background to the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, to which the changes discussed here provided a dramatic prologue.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Leen Van Molle, Yves Segers, and Paul Brassley Part I: The International Perspective 2. Natura Non Fecit Saltus: The 1930s as the discontinuity in the history of European Agriculture Giovanni Federico 3. International Trade in Agricultural Products, 1935-1955 Paul Brassley Part II: State Regulation and Agricultural Policy 4. Paths to Productivism: Agricultural regulation in the Second World War and its aftermath in Great Britain and German-annexed Austria John Martin and Ernst Langthaler 5. Spanish Agriculture 1931-1955: Crisis, wars, and new policies in the reshaping of rural society Juan Pan-Montojo 6. Wartime Agricultural Policy in Peacetime: A case study of Hungary 1940-1956 Zsuzsanna Varga Part III: The State – Farmer Relationship 7. From War Profits to Post-War Investments: How the German occupation improved investments in Danish agriculture in the post-war years Mogens R.Nissen 8. Corporatism, Agricultural Modernisation and War in Ireland and Switzerland 1935-55 Peter Moser and Tony Varley 9. Farming, Favoured in Times of Fear: Swedish agricultural politics 1935-55 Carin Martiin 10. The Social Impact of State Control of Agriculture in Britain 1939-55 Brian Short Part IV: Rural Identities 11. Change in the European Countryside: Peasants and democracy in Germany 1935-55 Gesine Gerhard 12. Heroes of the Reconstruction? Images of British farmers in war and peace Clare Griffiths 13. Food Stocks, the Black Market, and Town and Country Tensions in France during Two World Wars and Beyond Edouard Lynch 14. Conclusions Paul Brassley, Yves Segers, and Leen Van Molle Notes on Contributors Notes Index
Paul Brassley is a Senior Research Fellow in the University of Exeter, and a former chair of the British Agricultural History Society.Yves Segers is Professor of Rural History and Director of the Interfaculty Centre for Agrarian History (ICAG) at the University of Leuven, Belgium.
Leen Van Molle is Professor of Social History and chair of ICAG.