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Respectable LivesSocial Standing in Rural New Zealand$
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Elvin Hatch

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780520074729

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520074729.001.0001

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The Historical Pattern

The Historical Pattern

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter Two The Historical Pattern
Source:
Respectable Lives
Author(s):

Elvin Hatch

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520074729.003.0002

The farms were devoted exclusively to feeding the small local population, but by the early 1850s, land was being put to a new commercial use. The local food market expanded over time as New Zealand's population grew, and this in turn facilitated upward mobility. Wheat came to rival wool as an export item in New Zealand. The chapter then discusses the stratification system of rural New Zealand in the last two or three decades of the nineteenth century. It focuses on sheep production. The main changes in the stratificational pattern from the late 1890s to the 1920s were that the gap between large landholders and farmers narrowed as the latter grew more numerous and the gap between farmers and workers widened. Rural New Zealand was dominated by the family farm in 1981. The most notable social distinction in rural New Zealand was that between working people and landholders.

Keywords:   land, feeding, wheat, New Zealand, sheep production, wool, family farm

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