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Stabilité et perfection d'un système agricole : la châtellenie de Furnes

Annales Histoire Sciences Sociales
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3406/ahess.1981.282746
  • Agricultural Science
  • Political Science


This article is a study of agriculture in the Kasselrij Veurne (45 000 ha.) between 1550 and 1645. In 1550, there were about 24 000 people living in this area, i.e 53 people per sq km, the actual number of people being strongly influenced by political events. The land was farmed in units averaging between 10 and 25 ha in the polders and between 5 and 15 ha in sand-loam soil areas. The greater part of the land (63%) belonged to the farmer class. From a technical point of view, the farming methods employed were very modern, with few fallow periods and with no rigid crop-rotation system. There was also extensive cattle-breeding, both for dairy-production (2 800-3 400 litres of milk per cow per year) and for meat-production. Agricultural output was very high in the second half of the 16th century (between 29 and 43%) and during the first half part of the 17th century (between 7 and 28%). Looked at in medium and a long-range perspective, agriculture in this region developed slowly without undergoing any crucial change.

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