2013 |

Crises and Alternative Agriculture in a European Perspective. Treviso 5-7/12/2013

MàJ : 12/02/2014

International Research Network (GDRI of CNRS)

 CRICEC (Crises and Changes in the European Countryside)

 

Centre de Recherches Historiques/ERHIMOR (France),

Università degli Studia di Padova (Italy)

Fondazione Villa Emo, Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World, Biblioteca Internazionale "La Vigna", Vicenza (Italy)

Centre de Recerca d'Història Ruralde la Universitat de Girona (Spain)

 

3rd Treviso Conference on the History of the European Countryside

(5th-7th of december 2013)

 

Crises and Alternative Agriculture

in a European Perspective

 

Organizing Committee

 

Gérard Béaur

Jean-Michel Chevet

Rosa Congost

Danilo Gasparini

 

Scientific Committee

Gérard Béaur

Jean-Michel Chevet

Salvatore Ciriacono

Rosa Congost

Danilo Gasparini

Elisabetta Novello

 

The history of agricultural progress has long been a story of grain production and increased yields, an approach apparently well-suited to an agricultural economy primarily geared to cereal crops and bread-based diets. Not surprisingly, subjects like production crises and the constraints imposed by a Malthusian ceiling dominated the literature. The upshot was that the increase in cereal yields often became the criterion for evaluating agricultural development.  Attempts were made to use tithes to measure long-term changes in production, the gravity of agricultural crises was measured by shifts in wheat prices and general indices were constructed to express overall production levels.

True, other forms of production were not forgotten.  An abundant literature developed on wine production and on cattle-raising, in regions where they had become specialisations. But these sectors were assigned a relatively secondary place because of the overwhelming importance of cereal production for the basic survival of the population.  Recently however, a radical change has taken place.  Once it was recognised that the growth of urban consumption had a decisive influence on rural development and that agriculture was not always tied to a subsistence economy, and once it was accepted that peasants were not necessarily allergic to markets, students of the subject began to pay more and more attention to commercial agricultural products designed for more affluent customers, and to products of the soil which could be reprocessed by artisans or manufacturers. In this way, other forms of agricultural production such as fruits, vegetables, forage and industrial crops came under more scrutiny.

This was the broadening context in which Joan Thirsk made her plea for the study of what she described as “alternative agriculture”. By demonstrating the importance of these “marginal” crops in the peasant economy, especially in England, she drew attention to a major historical phenomenon.  Her book gave rise to increasingly thorough studies on the precise importance and origins of these crops. The result is a growing belief that all towns or all manufacturing activity generated a demand which could only be satisfied by expanding agricultural activity to products not destined solely for consumption in situ, or for the grain market alone. Beyond this, Joan Thirsk’s book raised questions about why producers gave up food production or subordinated it to commercial agriculture. For Thirsk, these changes were set off by economic recessions, and the rise of alternative agriculture was strongly correlated with the difficulties of traditional crops, that is, with falling prices and hard times in traditional, mainly cereal-based, agriculture.  Against this, Jean-Pierre Poussou has put forward the view that the rise of alternative agriculture is unrelated to periods of depression, and that its importance increased much more often during phases of economic prosperity and rising prices.

The published research on these crops has renewed our vision of old regime agriculture, and we propose to build on these foundations.  We are looking for conference papers that will examine how alternative agriculture provided answers to the crises in the agricultural economy and, conversely, on the ways in which such strategic choices gave birth to new crises or to difficult transition periods. We ask contributors to explore three questions:

1) Where, when, how and in what conditions did alternative agriculture develop?

2) What links can we find between phases of recession or expansion and the success of alternative agricultures?

3) If the link between the rise of alternative agriculture and the symptoms of crisis is not established, how, conversely, might alternative agriculture have brought agricultural crises to the regions that adopted it?

These are the themes around which the GDRI CRICEC (Crises and Changes in the European Countryside) and the University of Padua are organizing the Third Treviso conference,  following on those of 2009 and 2011. The meeting will take place in the Villa Emo (www.villaemo.org) near Castelfranco Veneto (Treviso, Italy).

 

Thursday afternoon, the 5th

15. - 15.45 Welcome.

16. – 16. 15 Présentation. Gérard Béaur, Jean-Michel Chevet, Rosa Congost, Danilo Gasparini

16. 15 Introduction. Jean-Pierre Poussou.

16. 45 – 19. 15 Three models for alternative agriculture

Chair. Rosa Congost

Anne-Lise Head-König, Alternative agricultural production in Switzerland from the seventeenth to the beginning of the twentieth century

Gabriel Jover Avella, The second experience, 1650-1750: the olive-oil specialization in the island of Majorca

Giuliana Biagioli, La Toscane de la polyculture : où, quand comment et dans quelles conditions les alternative cultures se sont-elles développées ?

Discussant : Franco Cazzola

 

Friday morning, the 6th,

9.30 – 12. Alternative agriculture and cities

Chair. Saverio Russo

Michael Limberger, The importance of alternative agriculture during the rise and decline of Antwerp (16th-17thcenturies)

Hervé Bennezon, Montreuil dans la seconde moitié du XVIIesiècle. Un modèle agraire original

Nadine Vivier, L'horticulture au 19e siècle : le cas de la vallée de la Seine en aval de Paris

Discussant : Rosa Congost

 

Friday afternoon, the 6th

14. –19. Alternative Agriculture and Crises

Chair. Danilo Gasparini

Antoni Furio, Commercial Agriculture, Irrigation and the Crisis of the late Middle Ages. The case of Valencia

Caroline Le Mao, Guerre, crise et cultures alternatives : les cas du chanvre et de la vigne en France dans les années 1688-1697

Salvador Calatayud, Les nouvelles cultures dans les crises agricoles en Méditerranée: Valencia, 1800-1950

Franco Cazzola, Après la crise agraire. Nouvelles cultures pour l'industrie dans la plaine orientale du Pô: la betterave sucrière et la tomate (1890-1915)

David Celetti, Le chanvre face à la crise. Les cas italien, français et russe (17e-19esiècles)

Niccolo Mignemi, Blé et agrumes dans la crise italienne des années 1930

Discussants : Gérard Béaur et Jean-Michel Chevet.

 

Saturday Morning,

9. – 12.Growth of alternative agriculture

Chair. Jean-Pierre Poussou

Emmanuelle Charpentier, L'émergence de la ceinture dorée bretonne : le pays malouin au XVIIIe siècle

Tim Le Goff, Une culture alternative de la Bourgogne du Nord : les vins de l’Hôpital Général de Dijon au XVIIIe siècle.

Luigi Lorenzetti,  L’arboriculture fruitière dans l’espace alpin entre reconversion et innovation. Trajectoires régionales, 1870‐1970

Francesco Vianello, From maize to tobacco. The growth of tobacco in the Brenta Valley.

Discussant : Danilo Gasparini

 

12. – 12.30 Conclusion. Salvatore Ciriacono

 

The history of agricultural progress has long been a story of grain production and increased yields, an approach apparently well-suited to an agricultural economy primarily geared to cereal crops and bread-based diets. True, other forms of production were not forgotten.  An abundant literature developed on wine production and on cattle-raising, in regions where they had become specialisations. But these sectors were assigned a relatively secondary place because of the overwhelming importance of cereal production for the basic survival of the population.  This was the broadening context in which Joan Thirsk made her plea for the study of what she described as “alternative agriculture”. By demonstrating the importance of these “marginal” crops in the peasant economy, especially in England, she drew attention to a major historical phenomenon.  For Thirsk, these changes were set off by economic recessions, and the rise of alternative agriculture was strongly correlated with the difficulties of traditional crops, that is, with falling prices and hard times in traditional, mainly cereal-based, agriculture. Against this, Jean-Pierre Poussou has put forward the view that the rise of alternative agriculture is unrelated to periods of depression, and that its importance increased much more often during phases of economic prosperity and rising prices.

We ask contributors to explore three questions:

1) Where, when, how and in what conditions did alternative agriculture develop?

2) What links can we find between phases of recession or expansion and the success of alternative agricultures?

3) If the link between the rise of alternative agriculture and the symptoms of crisis is not established, how, conversely, might alternative agriculture have brought agricultural crises to the regions that adopted it?

Document(s) à télécharger

EHESS
CNRS

flux rss  Actualités

Knowledge networks in rural Europe since 1700

The aim of this conference is to unravel the mechanisms of knowledge production, diffusion and reception in the agricultural sector and in the countryside. It aims specifically at fueling research and critical reflection on rural knowledge from an innovative and promising perspective, namely that of networks. According to the sociologists Van Dijk and Castells, we live nowadays in a ‘network society’ steered by new means of communication and spreading of knowledge. It will be reveali(...)

- Lire la suite

26th Seminar of economic and social history. Social and geographical mobility in the history of rural societies

The seminar aims to bring together research that analyses social and geographical mobility processes in different moments of history, from the Middle Ages to the present. In their presentations, the researchers will analyse the connection between social and economic changes and changes in residence and will explore new methodologies to analyse this relationship. Research on changes in residence associated with family or marriage, as strategies of social reproduction, will also be presented. In a(...)

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Globalisation, révolution industrieuse et commerce international : Hambourg, 1733-1798

Conférence d'Ulrich Pfister, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), professeur invité de l'équipe de recherches pour l'histoire du monde rural.

- Lire la suite

ERHIMOR

EHESS-CRH

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75013 Paris, France
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Dernière modification :
17/10/2014