Inland colonization, peatland cultivation and the peat industry in northwestern Germany 1.

1. The settlement of cultivated and non-cultivated peatlands is investigated comparatively in terms of motivation, management, quantity and dynamics. How did the peatland settlements, which were initially satellites of civilization surrounded by wasteland, develop as a result of peatland cultivation, and how should they be evaluated in this process? What economic dynamics were brought about by the peatland settlements and their settlers? What were the living conditions of the settlers in the different periods?

2. By 1920, the peat industry had become a leading industry throughout northwestern Germany, exerting considerable influence on the cultivation of the peatlands, and tying capital to the region. Research is being conducted into the spatial distribution of peat industry enterprises in different periods of time, how many workers were involved, what products were marketed and in what way, what economic power the businesses developed, and what influence the peat cutting associations were able to exert on economic and political decisions.

3. The political, economic and social control mechanisms that led to the cultivation of the peatlands, their settlement and peat usage have still not been adequately described. In particular, the work of state agencies in Prussia (including the Central Peat Commission) and cooperation with the relevant research institutions, business associations and interest groups are being examined.


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