An Agrarian History of Portugal, 1000-2000

Economic Development on the European Frontier


Volume Editors: and
This book follows the renovation of European economic history towards a more unified interpretation of sources of growth and stagnation. To better understand the diversity of patterns of growth, we need to look beyond the study of the industrialization of the core economies, and explore the centuries before it occurred. Portuguese agriculture was hardly ever at the European productivity and technological forefront and the distance from it varied substantially across the second Millennium. Yet if we look at the periods of the Christian Reconquista, the recovery from the Black Death, the response to the globalization of the Renaissance, to the eighteenth century economic enlightenment, or to nineteenth century industrialization, we may conclude that agriculture in this country of the European periphery was often adaptive and dynamic. The fact that economic backwardness was not overcome by the end of the period is no longer the most relevant aspect of that story.

Contributors are: Luciano Amaral, Amélia Branco, Dulce Freire, António Henriques, Pedro Lains, Susana Münch Miranda, Margarida Sobral Neto, Jaime Reis, Ana Maria Rodrigues, José Vicente Serrão and Ester G. Silva.

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Dulce Freire, PhD (2008) in Contemporary History (FCSH-UNL), is research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. She works in rural and agricultural history in Portuguese and Iberian contexts. She is coordinator of the FCT research project: "Portuguese agriculture: food, development and sustainability, 1870-2010", and chair of the Rural History Network/ESSHC-IISG. Among her publications are To Produce and To Drink. The wine issue in the Estado Novo, 2010 and Rural world: transformation and resistance in the Iberian Peninsula (20th Century), 2004.

Pedro Lains, PhD (1992) in History (European University Institute, Florence), is research Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. He researches mainly in Economic History of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Among his publications are História da Caixa Geral de Depósitos, 1876-2010, 2011 and Agriculture and Economic Development in Europe since 1870, 2008.
"A pioneering collaborative effort, based largely on a rich but 'hidden' literature in Portuguese. It opens the distinctive and fascinating history of Portuguese agriculture over a millennium to the outside world." – Cormac O’ Grada, University College Dublin
"This book is a very significant contribution to the economic history of Europe.Since the formation of Portugal to the present, it offers a comprehensive analysis of the evolution of Portuguese agriculture by the best specialists in the subject." – Vicente Pinilla, University of Zaragoza
List of Maps, Tables and Graphs
Notes on the Contributors

Dulce Freire and Pedro Lains

Part I – State formation and Malthusian growth

Chapter 1 – The Reconquista and its legacy, 1000-1348
António Henriques
The Reconquista
Institutional developments
Cities, markets and agrotowns
Production and productivity

Chapter 2 – The Black Death and recovery, 1348-1500
Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues
Plague, war and demographic decline
The reversal of fortunes
The impact of the overseas expansion

Part II – New frontiers, crisis and growth

Chapter 3 – Coping with Europe and the Empire, 1500-1620
Susana Münch Miranda
Population pressure and urban expansion
Institutional framework and output cycles
The landscape and the production structure
The marketplace

Chapter 4 – Conflict and decline, 1620-1703
Margarida Sobral Neto
Domestic settlements and emigration
Colonial trade
Subsistence farming and the market
Output cycles

Chapter 5 – Extensive growth and market expansion, 1703-1820
José Vicente Serrão
The rural landscape
The macroeconomic context
Grain issues
Property rights

Chapter 6 – Gross agricultural output: a quantitative, unified perspective, 1500-1850
Jaime Reis
Method and data
Trend, cycles and short term fluctuations
Are the results consistent?

Part III – Growth, structural change and economic policy

Chapter 7 – Growth and structural change, 1820-1929
Amélia Branco and Ester G. Silva
Land, output and productivity
Institutional change
Agrarian innovation

Chapter 8 – Economic policy, growth and the demise, 1929-2000
Luciano Amaral and Dulce Freire
Quantitative evolution
State and corporatist organizations
The Common Agricultural Policy

Part IV – Lessons from the second Millennium

Chapter 9 – Agriculture and economic development on the European frontier, 1000-2000
Pedro Lains
Lessons from the European frontier
Convergence and divergence in European agriculture

Appendix – Maps and data for climate, relief, administrative divisions, urbanization, agricultural output and infrastructures in Portugal, 1000-2000

The book will be of interest to academic specialists, graduate students, economic historians interested in contemporary issues relating to the causes of backwardness in Europe and the World. It will also attract a wider readership interested in the subject of agricultural development.
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