Crises and Alternative Agriculture in a European Perspective

Abstract

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.

Thursday, December 5th

15:00 - 15:45 Welcome.

16:00 - 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, December 6th

9:30 - 12:00 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

14:00 - 19:00 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, December 7th

9:00 - 12:00 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

12:00 - 12:30 Conclusion. Salvatore Ciriacono

Informations pratiques

Chercheur(s):
Date(s)
  • Jeudi 5 décembre 2013 - 15:00
Lieu(x)
  • Villa Emo Castelfranco, Via Stazione 5, 31050 Fanzolo di Vedelago Treviso (Italy),