This chapter focuses on how the farming population's working and living conditions have been evolving and, through the prism of sociology, tries to identify correlations between the long-term evolution of certain elements which have influenced the social structure of the countryside and farming. During the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which included the Czech lands, farming was an important sector not only for the countryside but also for the existence and stability of the Empire itself. Collectivisation after 1949 caused one of the most radical upheavals in the Czech countryside and farming within their entire development history. Collectivisation was in a way an organised concentration of production forces. West European agriculture has undergone similarly complicated processes of concentration and specialisation. Agricultural policies were launched by extensive personnel purges. The unification of the co-operative system marked the end of all the previous co-operative institutions.