Saturday, January 7, 2012

Capitalisation in the southwest

Agriculture in the 1830s was very much in a state of change (does that make sense!), and one way of detecting rates of change on a regional basis is by calculating the ratio of farmers to the agricultural labourers employed. A higher ratio of employees to employer implies a greater degree of capitalisation. A smaller ratio means that much of the labour would have been supplied by the farmer and his family. Malcolm has found me the XY coordinates for 138 datapoints, and Amy and I have calculated the ratios. The datasource for the numbers of farmers and labourers is the 1851 census. Together we have created a 'surface' which interpolates between the 138 datapoint. The result is below. The surface is draped over an outline map of the southwest.

The darker the blue, the greater the ratio (goes from 0.97 to 14). There is an obvious pattern. The closer we go towards London, the higher the ratio. Similarly, the very low ratio in Cornwall seems to imply almost peasant subsistence. 

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