A Land of Milk and Butter: How Elites Created the Modern Danish Dairy Industry

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

How and why does Denmark have one of the richest, most equal, and happiest societies in the world today? Historians have often pointed to developments from the late nineteenth century, when small peasant farmers worked together through agricultural cooperatives, whose exports of butter and bacon rapidly gained a strong foothold on the British market.

This book presents a radical retelling of this story, placing (largely German-speaking) landed elites—rather than the Danish peasantry—at center stage. After acquiring estates in Denmark, these elites imported and adapted new practices from outside the kingdom, thus embarking on an ambitious program of agricultural reform and sparking a chain of events that eventually led to the emergence of Denmark’s famous peasant cooperatives in 1882. A Land of Milk and Butter presents a new interpretation of the origin of these cooperatives with striking implications for developing countries today.
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About the author

Markus Lampe is professor of economic and social history at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Paul Sharp is professor of business and economics at the Historical Economics and Development Group, University of Southern Denmark, and the co-author of An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 12, 2019
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780226549644
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Industries / Agribusiness
History / Europe / Scandinavia
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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These essays discuss principal and much-debated issues in European agrarian history within the context of the general economic history of northwestern Europe. The authors endeavor to explain the phenomena with explicit use of economic reasoning, and several of the papers draw on fresh historical source materials. The use of economics provides a relevance beyond the specific historical context, at the same time making possible a broader understanding of the reasons for the persistence, spread, and variation of certain peasant practices and forms of organization.

The topics discussed include: the origin, persistence, and demise of the famous open or common field system of village agricultural organization; the development of peasant and rural industry preceding and during the Industrial Revolution; and the nineteenth-century adjustments of agriculture on the continent to world competition. A foreword by William N. Parker describes the economic and social setting to which the essays are relevant and an afterword by Eric L. Jones relates the papers not only to traditional concerns of economic development and European economic history, but also to the history of the European physical and biological environment in the past several centuries.

Originally published in 1976.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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