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Competing forms of cooperation? Land League, Land War and cooperation in Ireland, 1879 to 1914

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Two distinct forms of cooperation emerged in response to structural changes in the agricultural sector of the Irish economy in the late nineteenth century: the Land League and the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS). This article argues that the Land League fostered cooperation among tenants and agitated for government intervention to reduce rents and transfer landownership from landlords to tenants, whereas the IAOS encouraged the imitation of continental forms of cooperative agricultural enterprise. This article analyses the relationship between both forms of cooperation and finds that the Land League and subsequent Land War did not hinder the adoption of cooperation enterprise and were instead complementary to cooperative organization. However, the article argues that the IAOS cooperatives were ideologically motivated and misguided and that cooperative enterprises introduced offered no institutional advantages compared to incumbent institutions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Agricultural History Review is the leading journal for the publication of original research in all aspects of agricultural and rural history. First published in 1953, the Review reflects the diversity of approaches which are possible in rural history. Its editors welcome submissions in any aspect of the history of agriculture, rural society and rural economy over the past millennium. Whilst it is not concerned with current policy debates, it is interested in considering discussions of the historical dimensions of current problems in rural society and food supply. The Review is especially strong in British rural history, but actively seeks submissions in European and American rural history and has no bar on submissions concerning the remainder of the world. It is also the journal of record for book reviews in the discipline.

    Agricultural History Review has an international editorial board. The current editors are Professor P. S. Warde, University of Cambridge, UK, who is responsible for articles, and Dr J. E. Morgan, University of Bristol, UK, who serves as editor for book reviews. The Review is fully peer-refereed.

    Agricultural History Review is published by the British Agricultural History Society from whom personal subscriptions may be obtained.
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