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Title: The drainage and exploitation of Lake Copais (1908-1938) : socio-economic implications of the exploitation of Lake Copais, Greece : a history of the Lake Copais question, 1908-1938, with special reference to the relations between State, Company and the peasant communities of the area
Author: Papadopoulos, A. K.
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis investigates the long history of the drainage of the Lake Copais in Boeotia, Greece in the 19th and 20th century and examines the social, political and mainly the economic implications of the exploitation of the revealed lands in the wider area of Boeotia. The study begins with a geographical portrayal of the area concerned prior to the drainage which, together with its geological description and the climatic conditions in the past, provide the reader with vital introductory information. At the same time, the area's demographic structure after the drainage, presented in the second part, attempts to show not only the dynamics and capacities of the local population but also the possible effects of the drainage itself on the population changes. The survey is concentrated on the time period after 1900 and especially in the inter-war years. However, a historical account of the economic situation of the regions surrounding Lake Copais in the years before and immediately after the drainage is essential to comprehend the social and economic reasons that rendered the necessity of the project.After a brief reference to early unsuccessful efforts to drain Lake Copais, the thesis examines the nature of the foreign Company which finally undertook the operation, considering its investment strategies over the years. The frequent political and institutional obstacles raised by the Greek State, the long-standing conflicts between the Company and the Boeotian villagers and the difficult reclamation works are all important parameters of the Copais question which reveal the complex political, social and technical problems that were encountered. The attention is then focused on the exploitation of the Copais lands and its repercussions on the local economy. A comparative analysis, over a long period of time, of the organisation of the Copais estate, the characteristics of the land tenure system and the structure of land holdings reveal the main reasons for the relatively low productivity in the Copais lands and the belied expectations that had initially been entrusted both at local and national level. Research will also show the positive results obtained in the Copais estate in the later part of the inter-war period following radical changes in investment and land tenure policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available