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Arthur Young and the English landed interest 1784-1813

Veliz, Claudio (1959) Arthur Young and the English landed interest 1784-1813. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is a study of agrarian pressure-groups during the last two decades of the eighteenth century. The body of the work consists of an examination, of three important controversies which affected the landed interest! the struggle for a general hill of enclosure, the opposition to the Tool Bill of 1788, and the attempt to reform the existing system of tithe collection. In these three issues, Arthur Young, the agricultural journalist and pamphleteer, participated as unofficial leader and representative of a loosely organized group which, although mainly agrarian in composition and outlook, was basically different from the traditional landed interest. In fact, in those three controversies the "farming interest" of Arthur Young upheld positions towards which the traditional landed interest was either indifferent or opposed. The first case examined is the struggle for a general enclosure hill which took place between 1789 and 1001, Boring these years there were six different attempts to pass such a law and they were all unsuccessful. Even the 1801 so-called General Enclosure Bill was a far cry from what Young and the farming interest had asked for. There were a number of reasons why these attempts failed, including the question of parliamentary fees, the tithes clauses, etc., but the main one was the indifference of a Parliament controlled by the landed aristocracy. The second controversy was that over the hill which increased the penalties and restrictions on the exportation of wool from England. This bill was opposed by a well-organised pressure-group which included most of the wool-growers of the kingdom, but it passed both Houses with comfortable majorities. The third case under study did not receive as much parliamentary attention as the first two. The attempt to commute tithes was debated throughout the last twenty years of the century with irregular intensity* This projected reform, like the other policies supported by the farming Interest, was also unsuccessful. These three failures indicate that Young was not, as it Is believed, the spokesman for the landed interest, but for a smaller group of agriculturists. This group held views different from those of the traditional landed interest and constituted a commercially-minded, agrarian middle-class with an egocentric attitude towards economic problems. Their rigidity of outlook was one of the main causes of their early disappearance as an important agricultural pressure-group.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1959 Claudio Veliz
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use

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