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Agrarian Debt in Rural Switzerland: Economic Causes and Political Responses (1890–1940)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2017

LUIGI LORENZETTI*
Affiliation:
Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio (Switzerland)

Abstract

The article seeks to determine the causes of the agrarian debt in rural Switzerland since the First World War and illustrate this growing phenomena in the 1920s and 1930s, by correlating the increase to the costs of the change in production beginning at the end of the nineteenth century, to the cut in the prices of agricultural products and the parallel depreciation of the soil after the war. After having outlined the effects of indebtedness reflected in the increase in the number of distraints, the article focuses on the political responses put in place to ensure the smooth running of mortgage loans – integrated since 1930 into a system of guarantees designed to limit the risks for creditors. The bill of the federal government intended to promote agricultural debt relief was long put off by some political circles, preferring to step in with precise measures, such as credit payments and extraordinary subsidies.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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