The state and the farm worker: the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture in England and Wales, 1909-24

HOWKINS, Alun and VERDON, Nicola (2009). The state and the farm worker: the evolution of the minimum wage in agriculture in England and Wales, 1909-24. Agricultural history review, 57 (2), 257-274.

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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
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
    Page Range: 257-274
    Depositing User: Lorna Greaves
    Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 11:42
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 13:00
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5913

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