The state and the farm worker: the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture in England and Wales

Howkins, Alun and Verdon, Nicola (2009) The state and the farm worker: the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture in England and Wales. Agricultural History Review, 57 (2). pp. 257-274. ISSN 0002-1490

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Abstract

Whilst the legislative history of British agricultural policy in the early twentieth century has received considerable attention from historians, the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture and the formation of the Agricultural Wages Board has been largely ignored. This article aims to rectify this neglect. It argues that there were three distinct phases of development, which, whilst overlapping to a certain extent, were ultimately shaped by different political, social and economic imperatives. It will show that the first phase, 1909-14, was overshadowed by the rhetoric of the newly formed trades boards and was ultimately unsuccessful. The second phase, 1917-20, was dominated by wartime concerns over food and labour supply and resulted in legislation in 1917 and 1920. The final phase, from 1921 to 1924, shifted the focus to the desirability of a living wage in agriculture, which was finally enshrined in the Agricultural Wages Act of 1924

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Depositing User: Alun John Howkins
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:23
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 12:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25731
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