|Enquiries, Agrarian Interests and Response to economic change, c. 1860-1900. The case of the Netherlands|
|In this contribution I will discuss the Dutch Enquiries of the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. What were the objectives? Who were the people behind the enquiries? How were the results of the enquiries used? What were the unintended consequences of the enquiries? What kind of ideas on agriculture and its improvement do these enquiries reflect?
In Dutch historiography these enquiries have been heralded at times as the beginning of the modern age, at times their influence has been belittled. I will evaluate them against the background of the construction of the Dutch Agricultural Institutional Matrix in which since the 1840s private agricultural organizations played a major role.
In international perspective the Dutch case is interesting because of the fact that landowners and large farmers wanted to modernize agriculture and asked from the national government not in the first place subsidies and protection, but help in making agriculture more efficient, productive and competitive.