Historische studie over den Zeeuwschen landbouw

M.J. Boerendonk

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


With 14 chapters devoted to technical aspects and 8 chapters on social, economic and geographical studies, this was the first comprehensive historical study of agricultural development in a Dutch province. The study covered the period 1200-1900 and focused on the agricultural profession and the prosperity of farmer and farmhand, and not on juridical and political facets as was customary.

In contrast to most other agricultural regions of Europe the closed village economy was non-existent through international trade and navigation.

Weaving, breweries, madder factories and weekly markets grew up in the villages. New crops were introduced by the impulses of commerce: madder 1380, buckwheat 1485, potatoes, tobacco, hop, cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke in the 18th century and mangold, sugar-beet, caraway, clover and lucerne in the 19th century. Cereals, rape-seed, beans and peas were the ancient crops cultivated in a 7 years rotation. The lease period had the same duration.

Agriculture was mainly crop growing on the 'wheat system', intensified by the cultivation of flax and madder, requiring deep tillage and abundant manure. Cattle raising was considered only as a necessary evil for getting manure.

This agriculture occupied a prominent place in Europe, but measured by our standards the prosperity was unstable, the farmhands were poor and often unemployed. Up to 1870 the farmers were lacking initiative and there was a painful surplus of them and of their labourers.

A new era of dynamic progress was opened at the end of the 19th century, despite the agricultural crisis, by the introduction of extension, organization, artificial manure and sugar-beet growing, the sugar-beet in place of madder.

Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Minderhoud, G., Promotor
Award date10 Jul 1935
Place of PublicationDen Haag
Publication statusPublished - 1935


  • agriculture
  • history
  • netherlands
  • zeeland

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