Skipnavigation Virtuelles Museum zur Geschichte Mecklenburgs und Vorpommerns

Springe direkt zu:

Menü öffnen

Agriculture 1850 up to 1900

Locomobiles with steam plough on the manor
Groß Wüstenfelde 1890

In 1862 the inheritance of leases for rural posts in Mecklenburg-Schwerin became law. Farming property was generally created in state farms at the level of small landowners and tenant farmers. They continued to be dependent on secondary occupations. Many of them could not afford to buy their freedom. Their farms went to landowners who intensified arable farming and created large areas of grassland for keeping livestock. Agriculture with properties over 100 hectares was prevalent and showed a high degree of market-based flexibility. The number of machines and large livestock was above the average for the empire.

Ratzeburg, which belonged to Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was an exception to this as the manorial economy showed hardly any development and thus had a relatively strong farming community.

Friedrich Wachenhusen, Bauer beim Pflügen, 1891
Friedrich Wachenhusen, Farmer ploughing the fields, 1891

The liberation of farmers proceeds in the opposite direction in Pomerania. Farmers are required to cede shares in their villages to the landowners as compensation for their discharge from servitude. The estate owners intensify agriculture and create grazing land for livestock. Farming remains the dominant force in Pomerania. Accounting for just one per cent of the population, the nobility owns 50 to 60 per cent of the farmland. Pomerania becomes Germany's potato powerhouse. New Western Pomerania has the richest soil in the province.

Many of the former serfs seek their fortunes in America. Around 243,000 Pomeranians leave their homeland. Foreign seasonal workers compensate the shortfall. The situation for the farmers does not improve until 1879, when protective tariffs are imposed and state subsidies provided. New machinery for mowing and other tasks also helps.