Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/14

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4
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

The fair promise thus held out was not maintained, as the country suffered heavily from the bad season of 1897.

Year. Area.
Hectares.
Production.
Hectolitres.
Total imports.
Metric quintals.
Imports from
the United
States.
Metric quintals.
Import price
per quintal.
fr. c.
1875......... 6,946,981 100,634,000 3,493,711 6,029 25.
1876......... 6,859,458 95,439,000 5,281,459 121,612 27.
1877......... 6,976,785 100,145,000 3,397,462 202,636 30.5
1878......... 6,843,085 95,270,000 13,873,473 5,631,097 30.
1879......... 6,941,675 79,355,000 22,170,966 13,205,436 30.
1880......... 6,879,875 99,471,000 19,999,437 12,439,501 30.5
1881......... 6,959,114 96,810,000 12,852,054 6,330,307 30.
1882......... 6,907,792 122,153,000 12,946,981 5,396,475 28.75
1883......... 6,803,821 103,753,000 10,117,673 3,627,304 24.92
1884......... 7,052,221 114,230,000 10,549,219 2,969,077 22.24
1885......... 6,956,765 109,861,000 6,457,821 1,490,211 19.15
1886......... 6,956,167 107,287,000 7,097,486 2,508,769 21.61
1887......... 6,967,466 112,456,000 8,967,143 4,149,152 26.5
1888......... 6,978,134 98,740,000 11,357,123 1,759,034 22.4
1889......... 7,038,968 108,320,000 11,417,592 2,061,740 22.3
1890......... 7,061,739 116,916,000 10,551,014 1,810,087 20.9
1891......... 5,754,844 77,658,000 19,601,834 8,155,505 23.35
1892......... 6,986,628 109,538,000 18,842,470 10,062,892 22.
1893......... 7,073,050 97,792,000 10,031,629 2,876,386 15.50
1894......... 6,991,449 122,469,000 12,496,188 3,233,230 14.
1895......... 7,001,669 119,968,000 4,507,304 282,734 13.5
1896......... 6,867,572 119,742,000 1,584,751 779 16.4

The agriculture of France presents an interesting study because of a steady and continuous effort on the part of the Government to make it sufficiently profitable to assure adequate home supply. As the only means of giving profit to one industry is through a restriction on foreign competition, it is the Government that has intervened to ward off this competition; and as the cost of foreign wheat has tended steadily downward, the interference of the Government has become more frequent and extreme. In this policy it has been supported and encouraged by two very large elements of the agricultural interest—the grain and the wine growers. At first glance the interests of these elements might seem to be opposed to one another, as the one exports and the other is facing an importation. The vineyards of France long possessed a position which fashion and prejudice almost made a monopoly. French wines constituted one of the leading items in the export trade. In 1873 more than 398,000,000 litres of wine were sent to foreign countries, representing a value of 281,300,000 francs. This was the highest return ever made, before or since that year. The visitation of the phylloxera, which impaired the wine industry of entire provinces, and the introduction of Spanish and Italian wines under commercial arrangements believed to be more favorable to the foreign than to the domestic producer, brought the wine growers to the aid of the farmer in demanding higher protection against the encroachments of foreign grain, meat, and wine