Compare & Contrast The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

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Late Nineteenth Century: The price of English grain is falling due to competition from overseas farmers. Better transportation and refrigeration mean that foreign farmers can ship grain to England and undercut local farmers. Large estates in the grain-growing regions of England, such as Hardy's Wessex, face falling profits and in some cases are broken up into smaller holdings. Unemployment is high among farm workers. Dairy and fruit farmers prosper, however, as they do not face foreign competition.

Today: England imports most of its food, including grain. England's crop income is only about one-third of that from livestock and dairy products, but southern England is still an important farming region. Farms are much smaller than they were in Hardy's time, averaging less than two hundred fifty acres, and are much more mechanized. Major crops are wheat, potatoes, barley, sugar beets, and oats.

Late Nineteenth Century: The Third Reform...

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