Agrarian Reform and Resistance in an 'Age of Globalization': The Euro-American World, 1815-1914
Hardiman Research Library
National University of Ireland, Galway
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The purpose of this conference is to explorethe myriad experiences of agrarian reform and resistance that characterized rural regions of Europe and the Americas, whether based on either free or unfree labour, between 1815 and 1914. In this period, the economic changes associated with the influence of the Industrial Revolution transcended national boundaries, profoundly affecting rural societies by transforming patterns of demand for agricultural commodities. In response to these global processes, ‘progressive’ landowners, serfowners and slaveholders throughout the Euro-American world endeavoured to rationalize their management of land and labour while embracing scientific farming techniques and technological innovations. The resulting drives for ‘improvement’ and better market integration typically exacerbated the fundamental economic, political and social inequalities that prevailed in most agrarian regions. In all those regions, the proprietors’ efforts were often resisted by the diverse range of unfree and free labourers who produced agricultural commodities for sale on the world market, including slaves, serfs, sharecroppers, tenants and peasant proprietors. Focusing on the above issues, this conference welcomes scholars of rural Europe and the Americas to discuss the possibilities for comparative and transnational research within and between the different agrarian regions of the Euro-American world.
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