A cat with nine lives: Rural history in the Netherlands after 1900

P.J. van Cruijningen

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Initially, Dutch rural history was mostly practised by non-historians, including geographers, agronomists and sociologists. This changed after the Second World War, when B.H. Slicher van Bath founded a research group at Wageningen University. Because this group was the first in the Netherlands to apply the ideas of W. Abel and the French Annales School, it became prominent in the 1970s and 1980s. It specialised in long-term regional studies with the emphasis on economic and demographic development in the Early Modern Period. From 1990, the field was widened to include the Medieval and Modern Periods and with new themes such as political and water management history. During the last decade, rural history has become more comparative thanks to new international networks and the European Rural History Organisation (EURHO).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
JournalTijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • rural history
  • agriculture
  • environmental history
  • water management


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