The Agricultural Revolution

The Agricultural Revolution was an era of technological improvement as well as increased productivity of crop that took place in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Agricultural Revolution Timeline

Historians have always labeled the first Revolution in Agricultural(which occurred in 10,000 B.C.) as the time of transition from the hunting as well as gathering society to one that’s depending on stationary farming. Now, during the 18th century, there was another Agricultural Revolution when European agriculture moved from the past techniques.

New patterns of livestock utilization and crop rotation paved the way for good crop yields, a bigger diversity of vegetables and wheat and the capability to support more livestock. Now, these changes really impacted society as the society became healthier and better nourished. The Enclosure Acts, which was passed in Great Britain, permitted wealthy lords to buy public fields and also push out some small-scale farmers, thereby causing a migration of men searching for wage labor in cities and towns. These workers would give the labor for new industries during the period of Industrial Revolution.

Now, the Agricultural Revolution started in Great Britain around the 18th century. A lot of major events that will be discussed include:

The horse-drawn seed press perfection, which will make farming more productive and less labor intensive.
The growth of new crops in large-scale, such as maize and potato, by 1750.
The Enclosure Laws passage, which limits the availability of common land to small farmers in 1760.

Key Contributing Factors to the Revolution in Agricultural
In a lot of ways, British advanced more quickly in agriculture than any other European country. The increased production in agricultural of the 18th century could be traced to four (4) interrelated factors:

A favorable climate
The increased farmland availability
Improved crop yield
More livestock

Let’s look at these aspects in more detail. The increased availability of farmland because of changes in landholding patterns which was spurred on by new ways of cultivation. In the past, the open-field system became prominent. This system became problematic because it permitted part of the land to just remain unplanted at every time to avoid depleting the soil. Because growing crops will remove nutrients from the soil, the field has to be replenished to keep yielding food.

One solution to this issue was to keep moving crops to a different land. This wasn’t feasible in Great Britain since the country lacked a large available percentage of land. Rather, farmers began to use barren soil by planting diverse crops, like turnips or clover.

These plants have roots which are rich in nitrogen, which is necessary for replenishing the soil. Now, the cultivation of turnips was essential because they can be left in the ground in the winter. This finally led to a rise in livestock because such plants were used for grazing as well. The boost in livestock basically changed the diet of Europe.

Europeans were not only consuming more meat. However, the livestock was creating much-required fertilizer for crops. The fertilizer addition allowed an enhanced production rate for each acre. By the early 18th century, the ‘little ice age’ colder climate had ended. Now, the resulting mild summer seasons created suitable conditions for crop cultivation.



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