The author Daniel Vickers in his book “Farmers and Fishermen” describes, presents the data analyzes the changing strategies that were used by the colonists such as New England in order to develop the world and the amateur nations and introduce the world to the industrial era. These colonists in the result of lack of the resources to purchase labor adapted the Labor System of Europe.
Later on the economy was transformed by the changes occurred in the form of the development of the world. In this book Daniel Vickers has closely analyzed the history of farmers and fishermen of Massachusetts. He spotted that who worked for whom. He also described the terms and conditions under which these farmers and fishermen had worked.
The book Farmers and fishermen is a book that clearly demonstrates Daniel Vickers’s leading command on the knowledgeable background of the general literature of Essex County, Massachusetts and the historical interpretations of the labor in the earliest centuries of European arrangement. The author has written the book in the most clearly and easy-to-understand manner that allows the reader to understand and gain knowledge of the preindustrial America and structure of the labor in the district’s farming and fishing communities (Vickers, 1994).
Daniel Vickers has structured the existing literature regarding farmers and fishermen with conclusions brought out from the 16th years of recorded researches. His effort of bringing the literature and interpretation of the historians such as Massachusetts Tax Valuation list of 1771 and the substantial tables of data from the recorded data of account books and diaries has been considered as hard work according to great many authors.
Daniel Vickers has creatively drawn conclusions and historical sequels of the farming and fishing professions throughout the history. Daniel Vickers has defined the history into three sections, the first section involves the first century of the settlement of farming and fishing. Later on in the second sections, author has described the period after the revolutionary war when the industrialization was leading in the region (Vickers, 1994).
The author describes that the basic problem was that the people who wanted to use the English pattern of labor in the world and this was the conflict among the masses. This is defined in the two halves of the book. The study about the colonists, use of labor and the system designed by European is described in two halves of the book. The first half of the book inspects the lack of labor and capital within rural and maritime economics and the circumstances under which a number of systems were developed (Vickers, 1994, p. 6) .
The second half of the book is a tour to the history and the development of the county’s socioeconomic maturation. This half of the book deals with the strategies which were employed in the New World and how these strategies served so well to the district (Vickers, 1994, p. 7).
The book is actually describing the history in whole of so many fishermen and farmers from all around the world; this is why this study by Daniel Vickers is not complete. There are broad arguments but the research available is narrow to give a complete overview of the history and the development of the two most important occupations fishing and farming. The farming and fishing has been considered as the driving force of the colonialism and transformation of the old world into the new world.
The most important feature of the book is that the researches and interpretations of the historians used in this book covers a long period though it is limited to some regions but it gives measures for the authors to understand about the productive relations and changes which occurred in the period of development.
Daniel Vickers in this book describes and observed the history of farming and fishing carefully through the interpretations and research by the historians in the detailed and classified form such as addition of age, ethnicity, social origin, economic status etc. The flaw of the book is that the readers, who might expect to read and analyze the systematic data in this book by Daniel Vickers, won’t get the sequence because of the lack of the data present (Vickers, 1994).
In the book Farmers and Fishermen, the author Daniel Vickers with extensive knowledge about the material of the related subject allows him to write amicably and become the arbiter among the historians. The author describes the century of early fishery i.e. COD covered the work by the farmer-fishermen rather than those who fished alone. In the later part of the book the author describes on the basis of historian interpretations that the market and the social approaches to the early American economy are entirely incorrect. The author has greatly considered the research conducted by Virginia De John and Christine Heyrman in the course of the book (Vickers, 1994).
The author introduces the readers to the later part of the fishing business which was once the most dominant feature of the New England’s emerging market, started to dissolve.
The reason behind this was the merchants and the accumulation of the capital into colonies. The fishermen were not being paid in advance for their catch of fishery which was essential for the outfit of their ships for the fishing. Instead of paying these fishermen, these merchants put their money in the purchase of their own larger ships. These merchants began to hire these fishermen as laborers on their ships for the purpose of the directing these merchants into deeper offshore waters (Vickers, 1994).
This change brought distress to the families of these fishermen; the result was the sons of these families no longer worked as the fisherman. Instead of fishing they worked for the military service purpose away from home. If some of them worked as the fishermen, they worked in the neighbor as the laborer as well worked on their own ships for the catch. The author described these cause and effects with the knowledge of the documents and records which dealt the history of the 17th century. Later on the idea of owning land as the ancestors in the past did, held fast throughout this period (Vickers, 1994).
The author in the last chapter of the book tried to give evidence of the ways in which the social arrangements and the industrialization influenced the capitalist development. Daniel Vickers in his book described briefly the capitalist arrangement and the organizations of farming and fishing along with the systematic sequences of the industrialization in the region.
While his representation of the rising trends of the merchant class which was another emerging occupation and the knowledge provided related to the American economy are sound. The details provided in the first half of the book which contains the pre-industrial period is not clear to the readers as the details mentioned in the first half are written in the vague overview of all the previous researches and the historian interpretations (Vickers, 1994).
The book Farmer and Fishermen is the compiled version of all the sources related to the subject such as documents, historian interpretations and previous researches. The literature of the fishing and farming is presented in the most possible way to determine and make the readers understand the industrialization period of farming and fishing.
Writing on a most brief topic with less existing data is a complicated task for the author, though there are some changes required for instance the method of presenting the data was chosen in the form of tables where it is not cleared from the text that where exactly these fishermen originated from. Throughout this book the author Daniel Vickers has tried to present the data in the form of relations. This book has been successful in examining the 19th century industrial revolution in New England (Vickers, 1994).
Thus after reading the book Farmers and Fishermen by Daniel Vickers, the reader of the book can bring out the wide range of knowledge of the fishing and farming organizations along with the emerging period of the organization, the development and industrialization and the downfall of the organizations. In this book, one can read about the lives and the complications of the people in the fishing and farming industries. This book provides the better understanding of the events which concluded the goals of the author with the support of great historians such as Virginia De John and Christine Heyrman.
Vickers, D. (1994). Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1630-1850. Williamsburg: UNC Press.
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