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Agriculture and authority - responses to the food production campaign 1917 - 1918

Reason, Christopher M. (1983)
M.Soc.Sc. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to examine aspects of the food production campaign of 1917 - 18, and to test the strength of existing conceptions about its methods, problems and results.
Histories of the period regard the campaign as a significant success at all levels and tend not to delve too deeply into the mechanics of food production. As a result, little detailed investigation has been made of the degree to which compulsion was needed to ensure the co-operation of farmers; there is still considerable confusion surrounding the question of labour shortage and supply; and a somewhat limited appreciation of the contribution made by new machinery, especially tractors.
These issues are discussed with reference to both national and local experience, drawing in particular upon the surviving records of various War Agricultural Executive Committees. Evidence from these sources suggests that compulsion was far from sparingly used, that the shortage of labour was less than contemporary writers believed but subject to significant local variation, and that the tractor programmes may have been of greater value in some cases than is generally supposed.
The final chapter assesses the overall impact of the campaign and argues that the uncertainty surrounding the government's long term plans for agriculture, and the resentment engendered by the methods employed to achieve success, resulted in the food production drive having a negligible influence on the immediate post-war period.

Type of Work:M.Soc.Sc. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Garside, W. R.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Social Science
Department:Department of Economic and Social History
Subjects:D501 World War I
H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3684
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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