Editors. "Agricultural crisis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 August 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1469, accessed 31 October 2014.]
English landowners benefited from a long arc of improvement starting in the 1770s and ending around 1875. There were moments of difficulty, notably at the end of the French wars in 1816, but generally a rising population with greater spending power and increased productivity brought through greater investment, artificial fertilizers, improved drainage and more scientific farming enabled improving rentals. Poor harvests in the late 1870s were the harbingers of a change in fortunes which would last until the end of the second world war. The main cause was the introduction of steam-driven machinery in the American prairies, and steam-driven shipping across the Atlantic, both conspiring to drive down the cost of grains. Refrigerated meat …
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