Article ID: CBB341534102

Growing the Future: The Debate over Agricultural Reconstruction in the Western Zones of Occupied Germany, 1945–1950 (2021)


Christine Fojtik (Author)

Agricultural History
Volume: 95
Issue: 4
Pages: 609-632
Publication date: 2021
Language: English

After World War II, Western Allied and German agricultural experts largely agreed both on the desirability of reinvigorated industry and on the changes needed to maximize agricultural output in hungry occupied western Germany. Drawing on the reports and correspondence of American and German economists and agronomists to explore the continuities between American and German ideas of agricultural efficiency both during and after the war, this article shows that the Allies had three key goals in managing postwar German agriculture: to maintain stability; to keep Germans fed; and to encourage agriculture’s market orientation. Keeping Germans fed would enhance stability, while encouraging agriculture’s market orientation would, they hoped, undercut the danger of German militarism once and for all by tying German farmers to a global economy and mitigating the possibility of agricultural autarky. While Allied planners feared that German farmers hewed to an autarkic ideal that protected their rural way of life above all, they were mistaken: German farmers prioritized their livelihoods, whether or not they were able to practice them along traditional lines.

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Authors & Contributors
Bess, Jennifer
Carmona, Juan
Clarke, David D.
Gerhard, Gesine
Huston, James L.
Moon, Suzanne Marie
Agricultural History
Economic History Review
History and Technology
International Journal of African Historical Studies
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
Yale University
Louisiana State University Press
Minnesota Historical Society Press
Princeton University Press
University of Toronto Press
Forum Editrice Universitaria Udinese
Economic development
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
United States
Southern states (U.S.)
Great Britain
Wisconsin (U.S.)
Tennessee Valley Authority
United States. Office of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Plant Industry (United States)

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