Recent studies have focused on the 'silent' agricultural revolution that occurred in rural West German society during the postwar period. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new framework by reviewing these recent studies in three research fields: (1) German rural social history, (2) the history of German agricultural policy, and (3) the ecological aspects of the land consolidation program ('Flurbereinigung'). First, social historical studies revealed that the mass influx of refugees from the former eastern territories of Germany heavily influenced rural society and caused a radical change in the local political culture and the 'habitus' of rural residents. However, the pathways to rural modernization demonstrated regional diversity. Second, historical studies on the German agricultural policy revealed the following: (1) how people under occupation experienced the postwar food crisis; (2) the transition from a national agricultural policy to the European common agricultural policy in the 1950s; and (3) how farmers revolted against the agricultural structure policy in the European Economic Community (EEC), known as the 'Mansholt-Plan' (1968-1972). Third, we examined the postwar land consolidation program, with a focus on the discourse on the ecological elements of the rural landscape. We found conflicts between the 'euphoria' of technological innovation and the social desire of making a new home village ('Heimat').
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