Between the 1930s and the 1950s rural life in Europe underwent profound changes, partly as a result of the Second World War, and partly as a result of changes which had been in progress over many years. This book examines a range of European countries, from Scandinavia to Spain and Ireland to Hungary, during this crucial period, and identifies the common pressures to which they all responded and the features that were unique to individual countries. In particular, it examines the processes of agricultural development over western Europe as a whole, the impact of the war on international trading patterns, the relationships between states and farmers, and the changing identities of rural populations. It presents a bold attempt to write rural history on a European scale, and will be of interest not only to historians and historical geographers, but also to those interested in the historical background to the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, to which the changes discussed here provided a dramatic prologue.

chapter |11 pages


ByLeen Van Molle, Yves Segers, Paul Brassley

part |39 pages

The International Perspective

chapter |18 pages

Natura Non Fecit Saltus

The 1930s as the Discontinuity in the History of European Agriculture
ByGiovanni Federico

part |58 pages

State Regulation and Agricultural Policy

chapter |20 pages

Paths to Productivism

Agricultural Regulation in the Second World War and Its Aftermath in Great Britain and German-Annexed Austria
ByJohn Martin, Ernst Langthaler

chapter |21 pages

Spanish Agriculture, 1931–1955

Crisis, Wars, and New Policies in the Reshaping of Rural Society
ByJuan Pan-Montojo

chapter |15 pages

Wartime Agricultural Policy in Peacetime

A Case Study of Hungary, 1940–1956
ByZsuzsann Varga

part |82 pages

The State–Farmer Relationship

chapter |24 pages

From War Profits to Post-War Investments

How the German Occupation Improved Investments in Danish Agriculture in the Post-War Years
ByMogens R. Nissen

chapter |16 pages

Farming, Favoured in Times of Fear

Swedish Agricultural Politics, 1935–1955
ByCarin Martiin

part |52 pages

Rural Identities

chapter |14 pages

Change in the European Countryside

Peasants and Democracy in Germany, 1935–1955
ByGesine Gerhard

chapter |20 pages

Heroes of the Reconstruction?

Images of British Farmers in War and Peace
ByClare Griffiths

chapter |13 pages


ByPaul Brassley, Yves Segers, Leen Van Molle