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Danish Revolution, 1500-1800 tells the story of a fertile European country that, as a result of over population and military armament, over exploited its fields and forests in a non-sustainable fashion. By the eighteenth century Denmark, along with other European countries, found itself in an ecological crisis involving clear felling of forests, sand drift, floods, inadequate soil fertilization and cattle disease. This crisis was overcome by a green biotechnological revolution that changed the whole pattern of agriculture, and by the abandonment of wood as a raw material and source of energy in favour of coal and iron. Danish Revolution, 1500-1800 outlines the background of the present-day ecological crisis, both in the industrial world and in developing countries, and attempts to understand early modern Europe from a consistently ecological viewpoint.
"The author presents a great number of data to support his theses, and this reviewer is convinced that Kjærgaard is on the right track. It is to be hoped, that scholars outside Denmark will read the book and make it part of a fruitful debate on an ecohistorical interpretation of history. It deserves it."
- Sixteenth Century Journal
" [...] a persuasive case for an ecological interpretation – a conclusion supported by an impressive body of primary evidence, as well as chronological logic."
- John D. Post, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
List of illustrations
Part I. Denmark, 1500-1750: A Country in an Ecological Crisis
1. The road to the crisis
2. The anatomy of the crisis
Part II. The Ecological Revolution
3. The green revolution
4. The energy and raw materials revolution
Part III. The New Denmark
6. Labour burden and social structure
7. The disease pattern
Part IV. The Driving Forces Behind the Danish Revolution, 1500-1800
9. Agrarian reforms
10. Technology and communications systems
Part V. The Inheritance
11. The social and political inheritance: individualism and the liberal democratic society
12. The ecological inheritance
Sources and bibliography
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