Population, agriculture, and famine: Iceland, 1784–1785 View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

1991-09

AUTHORS

Daniel E. Vasey

ABSTRACT

Studies of past famines are useful as portrayals of a society under stress and valuable as testing grounds for ideas on the causes and consequences of famine. Older historical sources may lack some of the richness and detail available to students of modern famines, but history offers hindsight and valuable opportunities to integrate famine studies with long-term views of a society and its ecology. This paper takes a different tack from many economic histories of past famines, especially those that rely heavily on economic measures of ecological sufficiency, such as the prices of wheat, labor, and land. It describes the effects of the disastrous 1783 eruption of Iceland's Lakagigar (Laki craters) on a largely subsistent population for whom relief measures were belated and few. At the time of the disaster the entire population lived in households whose main livelihood consisted of farming or fishing. Both these activities were acutely disrupted by the eruption. In this paper, the course of the famine and its effects on population will be analyzed and reviewed in the light of long-term trends in Icelandic population and food production. More... »

PAGES

323-350

Journal

TITLE

Human Ecology

ISSUE

3

VOLUME

19

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf00888981

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00888981

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1006240753


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