By Mark C. Cleary
The entire agricultural strain teams in early sleek France have been very important in shaping the evolution of French farming during this century. The transformation of an remoted peasantry into hugely effective agricultural manufacturers, the position of the country in influencing agricultural modernization, and where of the ecu neighborhood in French political and agricultural lifestyles were suffering from an more and more complicated community of businesses which are the topic of Cleary's ebook. Their historical past and geography is a revealing indicator of the social, cultural, and financial evolution of rural France. by means of combining an historic technique with a attention in their modern function, the ebook serves to clarify their position in shaping the nation-state of the longer term.
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Extra info for Peasants, Politicians and Producers: The Organisation of Agriculture in France since 1918
22 In the Beauce, the granary of France, the syndicate at Chartres, created in 1885, owed its development to the role of the professor of agriculture, M. Garola. At the heart of the syndicate was a group of radical republicans who, in the course of some fifteen years, established a network of syndicates and cooperatives in the region. The policies and action of the syndicate were, according to Leveau, vital in helping to transform the economic and social milieu of the region. The local depots of the syndicate (15 in 1914), a network of some 24 banks in 1912 and a widely distributed journal, La Defense agricole, were designed both to transform the economy of the region and cement the influence of its republican notabilite.
What this has meant is that government policy on such issues as land reform, price support, the development of new markets, the installation of young farmers has increasingly been mediated through and implemented by farming groups. The profession, through the syndicate, has increasingly taken on the role of a client of the state - retaining some input into policy formulation in exchange for agreeing to implement and service that policy either directly or through such bodies as the chambers of agriculture.
These somewhat intangible influences, coupled with an agricultural depression in the late nineteenth century, created the need for powerful farming organisations. The growth of syndicates in France, the Boerenbond in Belgium, the Peasant Union in Switzerland and the Bund der Landwirte in Germany were linked, Barral argues, to this agrarian upsurge. The imposition of tariffs on imported cereals and the beginnings of a protectionist policy towards agriculture in Germany (1885,1887), France (1885,1887,1892) and Italy (1887) reflected, it has been argued, the growing power of this agrarian lobby.