New PDF release: Genealogies of Capitalism

By Keith Tribe (auth.)

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465), and it might be expected that a period of rapid agricultural advance would see the publication of a number of such treatises, disseminated through newly founded agricultural societies. This phenomenon is true of the later eighteenth century; while at the beginning of the century those works that appeared were either focused on horticulture, fruit-growing and cider-making, or were simply reprints of earlier manuals (Tribe, 1978, pp. 64-5 ). Mingay, in a reply to Kerridge, pointed out that the latter's list of privileged factors in agricultural change omitted some important features of nineteenth-century agriculture, or rather discounted them altogether - for example, ignoring underdrainage, guano and artificial fertilisers, oil-cake feeding and the supplementing of turnips with other root crops (Mingay, 1969.

The relation between 'theory' and 'history' here is however an uneasy one, where the argument first establishes that certain events must have happened if a certain outcome is observed, and then historical cases are marshalled as confirmation for theoretical hypotheses. While recognising that the organisation of a narrative should not be confused with the form in which historical generalisations are arrived at, the status of Studies as a histqrical work can on the evidence of such passages be called into question.

This had the effect of liquidating the political historiography of the English revolution, and was therefore always rejected in favour of the first solution, despite some obvious problems. It is significant that no historian sought to elaborate the nature of this seventeenth-century feudal monarchy in the course of the debate - instead, historical evidence was directed to the character of the feudal economy, in contributions from Hilton, Takahashi and Hibbert (1976 and 1953). But it is the manner in which political forms were simply deduced form the interests of economic classes that itself produced this gap in the chronology of transition.

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