Weather and War – Economic and social vulnerability in Switzerland at the end of the First World War

Burkhard, Daniel (30 June 2015). Weather and War – Economic and social vulnerability in Switzerland at the end of the First World War (Unpublished). In: Greening History - The 8th European Society for Environmental History Biennial Conference. Versailles / FR. 30.06.-03.07.2015.

Neutral Switzerland – not embedded in the fighting forces – yet was involved in the Great War mainly in economical terms. Since Switzerland is a landlocked country especially agriculture became an important topic of war economy in regard to food security. Until 1916 national food supply was limited but could be maintained through barter trade. In 1916 a crisis on both supply and production level occurred and led to a decline in food availability and to immense price risings causing social turmoil. This paper aims to outline the factors of vulnerability in respect of food in Switzerland during the First World War and further it will show different coping strategies that were undertaken during that time. The paper takes the work of Mario Aeby and Christian Pfister (University of Bern) into consideration that pointed out to weather anomalies during the years 1916 and 1917 aggravating the already tense food situation. Arguing for an overlap of supply and production crisis the paper focuses on agricultural and economic history including environmental impacts. Further the paper addresses the question of what makes a food system resilient to such unforeseen impacts.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Burkhard, Daniel

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
900 History

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniel Burkhard

Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2015 13:57

Last Modified:

14 Sep 2015 13:57

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/71448

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