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A Land of Milk and ButterHow Elites Created the Modern Danish Dairy Industry$
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Markus Lampe and Paul Sharp

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226549507

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226549644.001.0001

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The Agricultural Reforms, 1750s–1800s

The Agricultural Reforms, 1750s–1800s

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 The Agricultural Reforms, 1750s–1800s
Source:
A Land of Milk and Butter
Author(s):

Markus Lampe

Paul Sharp

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226549644.003.0003

We discuss the Danish agricultural reforms of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which both preceded and went alongside the evolution of the dairy sector. These reforms included the abolition of adscription, a mild form of serfdom, which bound peasants to the land, as well as the abolition of communal land ownership (enclosure). We present the long and tortuous progress of these reforms, and how they eventually led to a countryside based on individual property rights over land and labor. These reforms of course made possible the eventual founding of the cooperatives, but also reflected the general enlightenment of the elites. We explain that they also led to losers, however, as a new class of cotters and landless laborers was created. Finally, the enclosure of the traditional landed estates laid the basis for much of the innovation discussed in subsequent chapters, as traditional manors with rights to coerced labor and tax privileges were converted into large farms.

Keywords:   agricultural reforms, land reform, enclosure, serfdom, property rights, family farms, peasants

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