Important changes took place in agricultural policies in Europe in the 19th and 20th century. The dramatic nature of the changes are illustrated by two years, a century apart: 1860 and 1960. In the 1860s European nations agree on a series of trade agreements which spread free trade across the continent. In the 1960s European nations conclude an international agreement which spreads heavy government intervention and protection against imports across the continent. This paper reviews the nature and the causes of these dramatic changes in agricultural and trade policies, from the beginning of the 19th century to the second half of the 20th century, when agricultural policies are integrated in (what is to become) the European Union.