Economizing Agricultural Resources in the German Economic Enlightenment

Marcus Popplow

in Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226439686
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226439709 | DOI:
Economizing Agricultural Resources in the German Economic Enlightenment

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To avoid hunger crises and avert shortages of plant resources for the arts and crafts, government officials, clergymen, and members of the Republic of Letters introduced a broad set of measures for agriculture, forestry, and animal breeding. This article explores how advanced knowledge, envisioned in the second half of the eighteenth century in many European states in the so-called industrial or economic enlightenment, was used to increase the production of domestic agricultural resources. It analyzes the “economization” of natural resources in Germany and discusses how economic societies acted as mediators between different social groups and sectors of the economic system. Members of economic societies collected data about agricultural practices, performed experiments, and proposed technical measures for agricultural innovation as well as methods for the dissemination of knowledge, including the education of peasants.

Keywords: agriculture; knowledge; economic enlightenment; agricultural resources; economization; natural resources; Germany; economic societies; peasants

Chapter.  10925 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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