Agriculture and Economic Growth in England, 1660–1750: Agricultural Change Academic Article uri icon


  • Between the middle of the seventeenth century and the middle of the eighteenth century, English agriculture underwent a transformation in its techniques out of all proportion to the rather limited widening of its market. Innovations in cropping took place on a wide, though not a universal, front and independently of any great expansion of demand, which was to stimulate the extension of improved methods during the classic agricultural revolution of the late eighteenth century. Except in the sphere of stock breeding, the remainder of the century really had little to offer in the way of techniques which were new in principle. Yet the initial introduction of the most important advanced techniques had come during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, when the slow and ultimately uncertain growth of population and the modest rise in per capita national income combined to produce only a gradual growth of demand.

publication date

  • March 1965