Against the Grain: Some Hope for Today from the Jewish Rural Past
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
What might the long history of Jewish agricultural resettlement be able to tell us today? Perhaps the hard-learned lessons from this past might be a cost-effective, useful vehicle to ease the immense suffering unleashed among dislocated civilians from the Near East and Africa. Could it be that lessons learned over many decades among Jewish farmers in the Americas, the FSU and of course in Israel could help bring relief to part of the multitudes of displaced refugees near their countries of origin or for those displaced in Europe? Although nothing can be said for certain, proven models of successful mass agrarian resettlement do exist in modern Jewish history.
This presentation begins with a brief overview of the global arc of modern Jewish agrarianization. It continues with a set of applied “lessons” from those many cases of organized resettlement in a variety of political regimes and environmental conditions. These could constitute a blueprint for contemporary reconstruction programs for endangered refugee communities and also perhaps ease some of the nationalist tensions in Europe around this latest wave of migration.
Modernisation of Rural Landscape before and after World War II in Taiwan: the Case of Jianan Irrigation System
National Taipei University, Taiwan
The Jianan Irrigation System, built in 1920s, consisted of reservoir, various water works, and canals, is one of important modern achievement to Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945). Through the system and its related structures, dry farmland depended on rainfall in the past were transformed into productivity paddy fields, for which it became a remarkable milestone in the history of Taiwan. After the World War II, new political and international scheme established. Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction, which established in 1948, became the most important organization on the guiding rural and economic development policy. Not until 1979, with joint efforts from the government of the United States, new agriculture policy and development aims were regulated, which have influenced the rural landscape and industry in Taiwan. In this paper, different agriculture policy in the field of Jianan Irrigation System will be explored, and influences of landscape will be also analyzed through different documents, literatures, and government records.
Industrial expansion and agricultural change
University of Exeter, UK, United Kingdom
The idea of modernity in the countryside is conventionally associated with the concept of an industrialised agriculture, but the relationship between agricultural change and the growth of urban industry has been less explored. Yet urban industrialisation creates a demand for labour, of which the agricultural sector may be the only source, and is also likely, in the long run at least, to increase the demand for agricultural products. This paper sets out to test the hypotheses that (1) peak rates of agricultural output growth are associated in time with peaks of industrial growth, and that (2) labour-demanding industrial growth either absorbs surplus or under-employed farm labour or promotes labour-replacing technical changes in agriculture. It should be possible to test these hypotheses across several different countries and time periods.
Early modernization success and late adaption problems in the Danish agrarian sector, 1880 - 1972
In the late 19’th century, the Danish agrarian sector - including the processing industry – experienced a fast modernisation, which enabled a successful penetration of export markets with high value animal products. Simultaneously, there was a political, economic and cultural mobilization of the countryside, which culminated in 1901 with the first government led by “Venstre”, a politically liberal party, which mainly represented the interest of the influential medium size farmers.
The production model faced exogenous challenges during the world wars and the 1930s, and at the political and organizational level the hegemony of the established players was also challenged from the political right during the 1930s. Nevertheless, well into the 1950s, the political, economic and cultural setup introduced in the late 19’th century remained an important factor in Danish society. However, by the late 1950s the model faced challenges, which were difficult to overcome, without a thorough modernization and consolidation at the farm level and in the processing industry. Yet, the cultural and organizational tradition and the uncertainty regarding Denmark’s eventual membership of the EEC, contributed to a hesitant response in the 1960s to the problems, both from within the sector and from the political sphere.
Da selección á indución? Análise de dous modelos de cambio tecnolóxico a través do caso da introdución de tractores na agricultura galega 1920-1975.
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Grupo HISTAGRA, Spain
O obxectivo principal desta comunicación é describir unha determinada traxectoria histórica de cambio tecnolóxico a través da introdución de tractores na agricultura en Galiza. Este proceso preséntase determinado por dous contextos político-institucionais ben diferenciados pola picota da 2 Guerra Mundial. Non obstante, centrarémonos sobre todo na intensificación das dinámicas de produción capitalistas na agricultura baixo a Ditadura Franquista. Deste xeito, e baixo o pano de fondo da hexemonía tecnolóxica e militar dos EE.UU, reflexionaremos sobre os roles xogados polo Estado, o mercado e a sociedade nun novo contexto. Con todo, buscarase debater acerca das lóxicas do cambio tecnolóxico baixo o influxo das teses da Green Revolution e das súas formas e impactos tanto en perspectivas macro como micro. Intentarase así dar resposta á cuestión da indución ou selección duns determinados itinerarios tecnolóxicos na agricultura, as súas lóxicas, as súas contradicións, alternativas e impactos no caso concreto da agricultura familiar e de pequena escala.
On this Side of the Wall: West Germany’s Green Revolution in the 20th Century
University of the Pacific, United States of America
The history of rural transformation in Germany during the 20th century often reads like a success story. An agricultural sector that at the beginning of the 20th century was threatened by economic crisis, globalization and political divisions, found itself 60 years later cushioned in a European agricultural system that spent large sums of money to protect domestic agricultural production and to preserve the remaining facets of rural life. The number of peasants had shrunk dramatically, but those agricultural producers were integrated into the social market economy. The main agricultural interest organization had a voice in political decision making. Peasants had become farmers. But is this the only way to read the history of German agriculture in the 20th century? Who were the winners and losers? What effect did agricultural modernization have on the family farm and on the various actors in the countryside? What were the alternatives proposed? In the German case, we encounter two ways to modernization: the socialist experience in the Workers and Peasants’ State of the German Democratic Republic, and the market-driven economy in the Federal Republic of Germany. This paper will focus on the West German “Green Revolution” in the context of a divided country.
On the "Institutional Cloning" Hypothesis. United States Agricultural Cooperation Programmes in Latin America Since World War II
Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica
The paper analyses the implementation of United States cooperation programs in Latin America from WWII to 1955. It argues that the programs’ capability for “institutional cloning” was key to their operation in fields such as agriculture and health over the region. Projects and processes were successfully cloned from one country to another despite of their variegated political, economic and social contexts. Its first part analyzes the institutional context in the United States in which the cooperation programs were created. The following section explores the administrative and institutional logic ruling these programs. Finally, the final section compares the performance of the Servicio Técnico de Cooperación Agrícola (STICA) in Costa Rica, and the Servicio Cooperativo Interamericano de Producción de Alimentos (SCIPA) in Perú.
Modernization of Swedish farming, from the late 1940s to the late 1980s: Another tractor, or a more rational kitchen?
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
The late 1940s to the end of the 1980s saw explicit political aims for modernization and rationalization of Swedish farming being formulated and realized. Step by step average farm sizes rose and the use of purchased inputs, such as tractors, fertilizers, pesticides and electricity increase. At the same time large shares of the many small holdings disappeared, and the comparably vast countryside became even more sparsely populated. Over time many farmers found themselves more or less alone, having to manage more hectares and more farm animals, without being able to compensate for all of this through rationalization. This opened for alternative ways to consider the continued modernization and rationalization in Swedish farming, which is the focus of this paper that highlights how authorities and even the tractor industry put attention to how extra work hours might be made available for work in the barn and on the land, if just the household could be rationalized, too.
Modernizing the Hungarian agriculture through a transsystemic transfer during the 1960-1970’s
Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary
After the completion of collectivization in early 1960s most countries in the Soviet Bloc faced serious food shortages because the new collective farms failed for years to produce their anticipated results. This situation prompted the Hungarian political leadership to strike new compromises with collective farms’ members in addition to the living standards-political promises that it had already made. Learning from the West represented the other means of addressing post-collectivization problems.
The focus of my paper is on the so-called transsystemic transfer that had produced a unique hybrid agricultural system in Hungary by the 1970s, one in which modern Western John Deere, Claas and Steiger machinery cultivated the land on socialist state and collective farms that had been established on the Soviet model. This transsystemic transfer resulted in the transplantation of the most modern capitalist production systems into socialist large-scale farms; it quickly generated a dramatic rise in production and thus the end of food shortage in Hungary. In my paper I’ll investigate not only the economic, but also the social consequences of the transsystemic transfer.
The methodology I use in my analysis is based primarily on the new analytic approach integrating historical comparison and transfer research called transnational comparison.
What kind of change? A proposal for conceptualising the fundamental changes and continuities in agriculture 1900-1990
Archives of Rural History, Switzerland
While agriculture has undoubtedly experienced fundamental changes in the 20th century, there are also continuities to be observed. Therefore, for a better understanding of the often intriguing character of the agricultural modernisation in the 20th century a more precise explanation is needed than simply determining a transition process. In order to do this, this contribution suggests to look more closely at the interactions between the resource basis and the epistemic cultures. By doing so we can identify an overlapping of the “agrarian-industrial knowledge society” (which emerged in the second half of the 19th century) by a newly evolving “industrial-agrarian knowledge society” in the 1950/60s where elements of the "old" and the "new" agriculture are closely entangled. This historical approach allows us a better grasp of the contemporaries and social scientists similarly irritating developments in agricultural modernisation in the second half of the 20th century.