Agricultural Statistics of the Province Westfalia (1750-1880)

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Nitsch, Meinolf
  • Gudermann, Rita
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    (Key Words: 19th century, agriculture, agricultural production, agricultural revolution, agrarian revolution, agricultural statistics, cultivation statistics, harvest statistics, statistics of livestock production, primary sector, Westfalia, Prussian Province Westfalia) Introductory Statements The project titeled „Prussian Agriculural Statistics, Province Westfalia‘ (‚Preußische Agrarstatistik, Provinz Westfalen‘) was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2001 to 2005. It was carried out under the guidance from Prof. Dr. Wolfram Fischer and Prof. Dr. Heinrich Volmann. Dr. Meinolf Nitsch and Dr. Rita Gudermann analysed the historical sources, collected and processed the data and commented the data critically. Subject of the Study In the framework of deep changes of agricultural production (new plant types and animal races, larger area under cultivation, changed methods of cultivation, agricultural production intended for the market, etc.) the German agriculture underwent a rapid growth of it’s productivity. To answer the questions of historical facts and developments in agricultural economics and in the social history of the agricultural sector, a reliable source of data is needed. The datacompilation on Agricultural Statistics of Westfalia during the 18th and 19th century is an attempt to offer a comprehensive statistical standard compendium. It contains mainly unpublished statistical material on the level of single agricultural country estates and their administration units in secular or in church ownership for the pre-statistical period until 1871. Since 1871 and the following years the official Prussian statistics of the Prussian Province Westfalia on the level of its governmental or administrative and county districts offers statistical material on agricultural entrepreneurs, on the working population of the agricultural sector, on land use, cultivation and harvest statistics and on livestock production in Westaflia. Time and Place of the investigation: Research period is the period between the end of the 18th century until 1889. During this time period the change from feudal and class-oriented structure of agricultural production to an industrial way of agricultural production took place. The period under investigation has been also narrowed by the sources available. Except price rows on basic foodstuffs, a broader quantitative source on agriculture is available only since the last third of the 18th century. Therefore, the start of the period of investigation is equal with the period of beginning and recovering official statistics. Geographical description of territory under investigation: The territory of Westfalia is about 30000 square kilometres and is mainly characterized by four natural landscapes: - the northern part of the procince contains the Westfalian lowlands with the so called ‘Geest-countrysied sandy grounds (see for example the Luneburg Heath), - the Westfalien bight and the Münsterland region with partly loamy grounds as well as fertile loess soil, - the Weser Hills, a hill landscape with small fertile vallies, - and finally the ‚Südergebirge‘, which is in the southern part of Westfalia. The different locations with their different grounds as well as the absence of big navigable waterways leads to a transportation system with the following characteristics: Trade routes from Frankfurt/Main leads directly to the netherland and german coastal. Therefore, a strong internal or local traffic develops in western-eastern direction (traffic routes between the towns Rheine-Osnabrück-Minden and Essen-Dormtund-Soest-Paderborn) and between the Flemisch-Dutch coast and the eastern Westfalia. Important cities developed along these transport axis. The characteristics of the local countrysides influenced the development of different economic regions with agriculture as well as trade areas and regions affected by handicraft. Processes of industrialization and urbanization took place in the second half of the 19th century, which leads to a strong growth of the Ruhr area. Political description: The political borders of Westfalia underwent a change very often. Until the end of the 18th century the area was characterized by a strong fragmentation with clerical and secular dominions. Therefore, there was a large variety of legal structures or legal systems. In 1815 Westfalia became a Prussian Province. Prussia integrated the different administrative systems and build up a consisten system of administration and management for the Westfalian Province. For this process, the statistcs played a decisive role. Prussia arranged the Province into three administrative districts (Münster, Minden, Arnsberg). Each administrative district was arranged into 34 counties again. The borders of the counties have been constant from 1832 to 1967, which is important for statistical comparisons. Sources and their problems: The investigators tried to collect data, which stems from a period, in which uniform and standardized methods of data collection not yet have existed. They were faced with a big variety of degrees, measurements, and definitions. Quantitative information on the development of agriculture in this period are characterized by very different quality and they are scattered in different publications and archives. Since the End of the 18th century an increased number of statistical-topographical descriptions of counties and administrative or governmental districts appeared in Prussia. However, the statistics, published in these descriptions, are too different in time of collection, measurement, and definitions for a comparison of districts and counties. The investigators used only a small part of these publications for their data compendium. Journals, which often published statistical materials on different regions of Westaflia, have been an important source for the authors. Examples of the journals are: - Westphälisches Magazin zur Geographie, Historie und Statistik (westphalian magazine on geography, history and statistics), - Mittheilungen des Statistischen Bureaus, Berlin (information of the statistical office in berlin), - Tabellen und amtlichen Nachrichten über den Preußischen Staat (tables and official notices about the Prussian State), - and so on. In these journals statistical information on agriculture and fostery have been published regularly. In the 1870es and 1880es the consistently structured occupation and establishment census in agriculture and foster took place in Prussia, so that reliable and comparable statistical material was gathered. The investigators and authors collected the material of the different, widespread sources, inspected the quality and reliability of the statistical information and, in the case of material which stems from the time before Prussian statistics, tried to make the statistical information comparable. They described the material and, if necessary, the recalculation or transformation of data (for example the conversion into another currency). It was not possible to create long and constant tiemeseries for the region Westfalia, describing the region, the different areas of agriculture and the change of time continually because of the difficult quality of sources and availability of statistical information, as described above. However, the statistical compendium contains valuable, critical edited and in detail described statistical information, which make further investigation on the field of agricultural development and agricultural revolution possible. In this context, the important and valuable work of Dr. Meinolf Nitsch, who made different datasets comparable, exposed and revised arithmetic errors, which were made from data collectors in that period of 1750 to 1880, should be mentioned. The data of this studies is into the following parts: Statistical data have been collected in the areas: - Social and enterprise structure (Sozial- und Betriebsgrößenstruktur), - Proportion of cultivated plants and cultivation circumstances (proportion of fields, grassland, meadows, farmland, and uncultivated land), - cultivation- and harvest statistics, - livestock production statistics, - income and prices, - stock prices of agricultural products in the stock-markets of Minden, Münster, Paderborn, and Dortmund. Satistics, which are available as time series, have been processed, described and imported into Histat under the subject: Production: agriculture and forestery (=Produktion: Land- und Forstwirtschaft). The subcategorisation of the data is as followes: A. Social structure and structure of agricultural enterprises: (Sozialstruktur und Betriebsgrößenstruktur) A.1 Territory size and Population of the counties of the Westfalian Province (1818-1871). (Fläche und Bevölkerung der Kreise der Provinz Westfalen 1818-1871) A.2 Population of the Principality Münster (1722-1792) (Bevölkerung des Fürstentums Minden 1722-1792) A.3 Amount of villages, estates, brickworks, and furnaces to produce tars in the shire Minden (1795-1801) (Anzahl der Hufen, Dörfer, Feuerstellen, Ziegeleien und Teeröfen in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Minden 1795-1801) A.4 Structure of agricultural enterprises (Number of farms and area) by governmental districts for the years 1849, 1852, 1855, and 1858. (Betriebsgrößenstruktur (Zahl der Betriebe und Flächen) nach Regierungsbezirken für 1849, 1852, 1855, 1858.) B. Cultivation circumstances (Kulturverhältnisse) B.1 Percentage of cultivated plants in the Province Westaflia. (Prozentuales Verhältnis der Kulturarten in der Provinz Westfalen 1815-1883) B.2 Development of land use in the Province Westfalia. (Entwicklung der Bodennutzung in der Provinz Westfalen in Prozent seiner Gesamtfläche, 1815, 1849, 1864, 1913.) B.3 Cultivation of plants in percent of agricultural crop land in the Province of Westfalia. (Anbau der Kulturpflanzen in der Provinz Westfalen in Prozent der Ackerfläche, 1815, 1883, 1893, 1913.) C. Cultivation and Harvest Statistics, Livestock (Anbau- und Erntestatistik, Viehbestand) C.1 Sowing and Crop C.1.1 Quantity of sowing by the counties of the shire Mark for different years. (Aussaatmengen in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Mark, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1804.) C. 1.2 Fruit production by governmental districts of the Province Westfalia measured as deviation from a calculated average harvest (average harvest = 100). (Fruchterträge in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen als Abweichung von einer = 100 gesetzten „Mittelwerternte“, 1846-1873.) C. 1.3 Fruit production of the Province Westfalia measured as deviation from a calculated average harvest (average harvest = 100). ( Fruchterträge der Provinz Westfalen insgesamt als Abweichung von einer = 100 gesetzten „Mittelwerternte“, 1868-1877.) C. 1.4 Straw yields of the Province Westfalia (Stroherträge in der Provinz Westfalen als Abweichung von einer = 100 gesetzten „Mittelwerternte“, 1850-1860.) C. 1.5 Weight of fruits by governmental districts. (Fruchtgewicht in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen, 1848-1858.) C. 1.6 Fruit production by governmental districts. (Fruchtertrag in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen, 1865-1872.) C. 1.7 Straw yields by governmental districts. (Strohertrag in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen, 1865-1872.) C. 1.8 Aggregate yield by governmental districts. (Gesamtertrag der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen, 1878-1903.) C. 1.9 Yield per hectar by governmental districts. (Hektarerträge der landwirtschaftlichen Produktion in den Regierungsbezirken der Provinz Westfalen, 1878-1903.) C. 1.10 Crop yield by conties of the governmental or administrative district Minden. (Ernteerträge in den Kreisen des Regierungsbezirks Minden, 1878-1882.) C. 1.11 Crop yield by conties of the governmental or administrative district Münster. Ernteerträge in den Kreisen des Regierungsbezirks Münster, 1878-1882. C. 1.12 Crop yield by conties of the governmental or administrative district Arnsberg. Ernteerträge in den Kreisen des Regierungsbezirks Arnsberg, 1878-1882. C.2 Livestock C.2.1 Number of sheeps and wool production by counties of the shire Mark. (Anzahl der Schafe sowie Wollproduktion in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Mark, 1730-1786.) C.2.2 Livestock by counties of the shire Mark. (Viehbestand in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Mark, 1756-1786.) C.2.3.1 Number of sheeps by towns and protectorates of the princedom Minden and the shire Ravensberg. (Anzahl der Schafe in den Ämtern und Städten des Fürstentums Minden und der Grafschaft Ravensberg, 1786-1798.) C.2.3.2 Woolproduction by towns and protectorates of the princedom Minden and of the shire Ravensberg. (Wollproduktion in den Ämtern und Städten des Fürstentums Minden und der Grafschaft Ravensberg, 1786-1798.) C.2.4 Number of sheeps and woolproduktion by counties of the shire Mark. (Anzahl der Schafe und Wollproduktion in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Mark, 1788-1799.) C.2.5 Livestock by counties of the shire Mark. (Viehbestand in den Kreisen der Grafschaft Mark, 1795-1804.) C.2.6 Livestock of the governmental district Münster. (Viehbestand in den Kreisen des Regierungsbezirks Münster, 1816-1825.) C.2.7 Livestock by counties of the province Westfalia. (Viehbestand in den Kreisen der Provinz Westfalen, 1828-1883.) C.2.8 Average weight of slaughter cattle in Prussia and in the German Empire. (Durchschnittsgewicht des Schlachtviehs in Preußen und im Deutschen Reich, 1809-1905.) D. Income and Prices (Löhne und Preise) D.1 Löhne (income, earnings) D.1.1 Tagelohnsätze für Waldarbeiter in den preußischen Staatsforsten der Provinz Westfalen, 1800-1879. D.1.2 Ländliche Tagelöhne in Zehnjahresdurchschnitten, umgerechnet in Roggenwerte, in den Regierungsbezirken Minden, Münster und Arnsberg, 1811-1850. D.2 Preise (prices) D.2.1 Jahresdurchschnittspreise (annual prices as annual averages of grain by different crop-markets, i.e. Münster, princedom Minden, shire Ravensberg, Paderborn, Witten/Ruhr, Paderborn, and Dortmund) D.2.1.1 Martini-Marktpreise für Getreide in Münster pro Münsterische Malter, 1811-1850. D. 2.1.2 Kornpreise im Fürstentum Minden und in der Grafschaft Ravensberg, 1638-1747. D. 2.1.3 Martini-Marktpreise für Roggen in Minden-Ravensburg und im Paderborner Land, 1765-1850. D. 2.1.4 Marktpreise für Getreide auf dem Kornmarkt Witten/Ruhr, 1692-1794. D. 2.1.5 Marktpreise für Getreide auf dem Kornmarkt Witten/Ruhr, 1806-1883. D. 2.1.6 Jahresdurchschnittspreise von Agrarprodukten in Münster, Minden, Paderborn und Dortmund, 1816-1871. D.2.2 Monatspreise (monthly prices as monthly averages of agricultural products by different markets of the towns, counties and administrative districts of the Province Westfalia) D.02.02.01 bis D.02.02.14 Monatspreise von Agrarprodukten je Regierungsbezirk und nach Regierungsbezirken und Kreisen (1819-1834) [insgesamt 14 Tabellen] D.02.02.15 bis D.02.02.22 Monatspreise von Agrarprodukten als Durchschnittspreise der Märkte in den verschiedenen Städten (1866-1872) [insgesamt 8 Tabellen] D.02.02.23 bis D.02.02.26 Börsenkurse für landwirtschaftliche Produkte in Münster, Minden, Paderborn und Dortmund(1876-1880). [insgesamt 3 Tabellen]
Temporal Coverage
  • 1750 / 1880
Geographic Coverage
  • Historical German lands (-1871) (DQDE)
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
  • Wesfalian area
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 130
    Number of Variables: 3207
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8523 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Nitsch, Meinolf / Gudermann, Rita: Agrarstatistik der Provinz Westfalen 1750-1880. Paderborn: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 2009.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 248 | Registration Date: 2012-04-13