ONE of the leading characteristics of nineteenth centuryeconomic development has been a reconstruction of the whole of agricultural life and methods of cultivation in Europe and the United States. This was all the more important as agriculture was, and still is, the great predominant interest on the continent and in America. While the problems confronting Great Britain were those connected with the rise of a new industrial class collected in factories and massed in towns, the problems of the continent for the first three quarters of the century centred round the freeing of a people attached to the soil. After that date the chief agricultural question was one of defence against the imports from the United States and the development of intensive farming.