An agricultural economy during the 19th century

Still around 1800 the local farming practices clearly reflected a traditional system that had evolved over thousands of years. Several of the crops that were in use had been cultivated for over 1,000 years. Winter feed for livestock came predominantly from wooded meadows that were mowed. It was an open landscape. The population increased rapidly during the 19th century and food shortages were common in spite of labour-intensive cultivation. Widespread starvation occurred as late as 1868.

Significant changes took place during the 19th century. The potato became important as a local food crop and a major land reform was carried out. Organised schooling started whereby literacy was promoted and it became easier to catch up with developments and influences from the outside world.