Response to John Holt "School Is Bad for Children"

An example of earlier change: English Agriculture: 1500-1850 taken from: Agricultural Revolution in England the transformation of the agrarian economy 1500-1850 by Mark Overton Cambridge University Press, 1996 c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 1 Estimates of English Agricultural Output 1520–1850 18 16 Output – population method 250 Output – volume method – value of total ag. output (crops, meat, dairy) in ? million at 1850 prices 12 200 10 150 8 100 6 Output Index 1700=100 14 Population (millions) 300 Population – in millions (previous limit 5-6 mln people) 4 50 2 0 1851 1831 1801 1791 1781 1761 1751 1741 1701 1661 651 1601 1551 80% of pop. in agric. for own family 1520 0 20% of pop. in agric. for markets c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 2 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 75& p. 8 A Rising Demand for Food 1520-1851 100 Agricultural population 90 % of total population 80 70 Rural non-agric’l population 60 50 40 Towns >5000, excl London 30 20 10 London 0 1520 1600 1670 1700 1750 1801 1851 “…the impact of London on the demand for food was greater than these figures indicate because average consumption per head in London was at least double the national average. ” c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 3

Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p138 A Changing Social Structure England & Wales 1436-1973 % of ownership 120 Crown 100 Black Plague 80 1348, 1350s, 1370x Church Yeomen freeholders Dissolution 60 of Gentry Monasteries 40 1530 20 Civil War Great owners 1640s 0 1436 (Eng) c. 1690 range of estimates for 1690 c. 1790 1873 (Eng. ) “The pioneers of new methods in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries … were not the great landowners but smaller farmers … the most dramatic advances in output and land productivity came in those areas (such as Norfolk) where lordship was relatively weak. c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 4 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 168 & 205 The Development of Markets < 1600 1601-1650 de cli ne of Local markets, in 800 market towns; strong reg. , no middlemen allowed 1701-1750 1751-1800 1801-1850 Middlemen indispensable gu lat io 1750: London Corn Exchange n between mkt towns 700 mi rivers 1660 900 mi rivers 1700 1838: 60 million letters sent 1790: end of domestic market reg. 15, 000 miles turnpikes en em l idd Trade 1663: reselling & storing allowed weak enforc’t of reg. Grain traded nationally & in N. Europe 1772 20,000 miles turnpikes rivate market’g by samples of 1690s? grain weekly grain prices published rivers linked m of se ri ma rke t re 1651-1700 1846: Corn Laws repealed 1830 c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 5 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, 137-47 passim Controlling the Use of Land by Enclosures post 1850 undated 1675-1749 1575-1674 1525-1574 1750-1849 100 90 1701-1750 1651-1700 1601-1650 1751-1800 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 1551-1600 County Durham 1551-1850 184,733 total acreage enclosed 0 % of enclosed acreage 1450-1524 pre 1450 South Midlands 1450-1850 2,850,866 total enclosed acreage 1801-1850 660: Modern Law of Mortgage “From the mid-eighteeth century the most usual way in which common rights were removed was through a specific act of parliament for the enclosure of a particular locality. … Moreover the majority required for enclosure was calculated in terms of acres rather than landowners … ” “… the major upsurge in agricultural output and productivity came after the mid-eighteenth century: this coincides with the major burst of parliamentary enclosure. ” c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 6 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 149-150 & p. 167 Value of Enclosures In short, the farmer on enclosed land, in Kalm’s words, ‘could in a thousand ways improve his property and earn money. ’ [because] “the return on investment made in that land by an individual would accrue to that individual and not to the community as a whole. ” c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 7 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 149-150 & p. 167 Development & Diffusion of Technology < 1600 1601-1650 1651-1700 1701-1750 1751-1800 1770s Jethro Tull seed drill imitated DIFFUSING 1801-1850 1851-1900 Norfolk system* spreads widely 1870 80% of wheat harvest’d with scythes 835 scythes 1790s R’m widespread plough made in 1830s ag. engin’g 1850s seed drill local widely used indus. dev’d foundaries LEARNING Upsurge in ag. writing 1767 Royal Lancashire Ag. Society 1770s 1st local farmers’ assoc. 1664 Royal Society studies ag. practices 1630 turnips* known as fodder crop 1803 23 local farmers’ assoc. 1838 Royal Ag. Society of Eng. 1850s wide range of farm’g journals: 17,000 readers 1855 700 local farmers’ assoc. 1731 Jethro Tull’s seed drill INTRODUCING 1500s designs for seed drills published 1845 Circencester Ag’l College 1650s clover* appears as fodder crop 1730 new R’m lough patented 1799 scythes introduced in S. Engl’d c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 8 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, 122-32, passim Changes in Farming Techniques Norfolk 1250-1854 100% % land in turnips 90% 80% % land in clover 70% 60% % land in legumes 50% 40% % land in grain 30% 20% Use of arable sown land, excluding fallow 2/3rd soil nitrogen lost by 1850 => need to manage soil nitrogen 10% 0% 1250-1349 1350-1449 1584-1640 1660-1739 1836 1854 “Partly because these integrated mixed-farming systems comprised so many mutally dependent components their evolution took time.

Hence the long lag between the appearance in England of clover, turnips and the other components of the Norfolk four-course system and the perfection of the system itself, whose widespread diffusion must be dated to the first half of the nineteenth century. ” c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 9 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p120 & p. 16 Larger Farms, Fewer Farmers 1714-1833 percent of all estate acreage 100 The Example of the Leveson-Gower estates 1714-1833 Farm Size >200 acres 80 60 40 100-200 acres 20 20-100 acres 0-20 acres 0 1714-20 1759-79 1807-13 1829-33 c B.

J. Heinzen 1998 p. 10 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p174 The Sequence of Change 1500-1850 6. Spread of technical knowledge & use 5. New property rights secure benefits of investment 4. Regulations adapt to informal market realities 3. Development of informal markets to meet need 2. Fluidity in social structure; willingness to experiment 1. A rising demand/need c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 11 Time Lags in the Agricultural Revolution “Partly because these integrated mixed-farming systems comprised so many mutally dependent components their evolution took time.

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Hence the long lag between the appearance in England of clover, turnips and the other components of the Norfolk four-course system and the perfection of the system itself, whose widespread diffusion must be dated to the first half of the nineteenth century. ” Mark Overton, 1996 Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850 c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 12 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p120 detailed back-up slides follow c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 13 The Sequence of Change 1500-1850 6. Spread of technical knowledge & use 1770-1870 diffusion of agricultural techniques 5.

New property rights secure benefits of investment 1750-1850 Parliamentary Enclosure Acts 4. Regulations adapt to informal market realities 1750 London Corn Exchange; 1790 Domestic mrkt reg. ended 3. Development of informal markets to meet need: 1601-1650 corn traded between market towns 2. Fluidity in social structure; willingness to experiment 1640s Civil War 1. A rising demand/need 1520 demand rising c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 14 Changes in Norfolk Farming 1250-1854 Wheat Yields & Animals 70 Use of Arable Sown Land* 100% 90% 60 1250-1349 80% 1350-1449 60% 1660-1739 40 70% 1584-1640 50 50% 30 40% 1854 30% 0 20% 10 10% 0% 0 Livestock ratio** Draught beasts*+ Wheat Yields* **Livestock units/100 acres *+ Oxen & horses/100 sown acres *Bushels of wheat/ acres 12501349 13501449 15841640 % Land in turnips % Land in clover 16601739 1836 1854 % Land in legumes % Land in grain *Excluding fallow land c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 15 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p120 English Land Use & Yields 1300-1850 1700 = 100 200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1700 1800 1850 Arable Sown arable Meadow & pasture Total 250 200 Cereal yields 150 100 Wheat yields 50 0 1300 1600 1700 1750 1800 1850 B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 16 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 86 Enclosing the Land 1450-1850 Enclosures in South Midlands 1450-1850 100 90 % of total enclosed acreage 80 70 Enclosures in County Durham 1551-1850 100 90 undated post 1850 80 70 1751-1800 1750-1849 60 60 1675-1749 1701-1750 50 50 1575-1674 40 1801-1850 1525-1574 40 1651-1700 30 30 1601-1650 1450-1524 20 pre 1450 20 1551-1600 10 10 0 0 (2,850,866 total enclosed acreage) (184,733 total acreage enclosed) c B. J. Heinzen 1998 p. 17 Mark Overton, Agricultural Revolution in England … 1500-1850, 1996, p. 149-150

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