Rooted in the dark of the earth
Howell, Michael Francis
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thPre-modern, agrarian communities typified Bavaria until the late-19 century. Technological innovations, the railroad being perhaps the most important, offered new possibilities for a people who had for generations identified themselves in part through their local communities and also by their labor and status as independent peasant-farmers. These exciting changes, however, increasingly undermined traditional identities with self and community through agricultural labor. In other words, by changing how or what they farmed to increasingly meet the needs of urban markets, Bavarian peasant-farmers also changed the way that they viewed the land and ultimately, how they viewed themselves and one another. Nineteenth-century Bavarian peasant-farmers and their changing relationship with urban markets therefore serve as a case study for the earth-shattering dangers that possibly follow when modern societies (and individuals) lose their sense of community by sacrificing their relationship with the land.