The Agricultural Revolution • Traditional Agricultural Production • In the early 1700’s peasants living in village communities farmed much of the land in western Europe. • Peasant farmers used an open-field system that included these characteristics: • Animals grazed on the common or open lands • Villagers divided the remaining land into long, narrow strips. Fences and hedges did not divide this open land.
Peasants traditionally used a two or three field system of crop rotation. This system was intended to restore exhausted soil. In practice, it meant that one third to one-half of the land was allowed to lie fallow on any given year.
Innovations in the Low Countries • Reasons for Low Country leadership in farming. • The Low Countries were the most densely populated region in Europe. Dutch farmers were thus forced to seek maximum yields from their lands. • The Low Countries contained a growing urban population that created demand for farm products.
New innovations in the Low Countries • Enclosed fields • Continuous crop rotation • Use of manure as fertilizer • Planting a variety of crops • Use of drainage to reclaim marshes
English Agriculture • Agricultural innovators • Charles “Turnip” Townsend advocated continuous crop rotation using turnips, wheat, barley, and clover. • Jethro Tull invented a seed drill that allowed for sowing crops in a straight row. • Robert Bakewell pioneered selective breeding of livestock. video
The enclosure movement • English land owners consolidated previously scattered pasture lands into compact fields enclosed by fences and hedges • The new enclosed farmland enabled landowners to rapidly implement agricultural innovations. This encouraged the development of market-oriented agricultural production. • The enclosure movement forced many poor rural people to move to cities and work in factories.
Test Tip: • The enclosure movement has generated a number of multiple choice questions on the AP Euro exam. It is important to remember that during most of the 18th century, the enclosure of common land primarily took place in the Low Countries and England. Peasants in France and Germany successfully resisted the enclosure of their open fields.
The Population Explosion • Factors limiting population growth • Periodic crop failures caused widespread famine. • Epidemic diseases such as bubonic plague decimated Europe’s population • Frequent wars destroyed crops and spread contagious diseases. For example the Thirty Years War reduced the population of Germany by 1/3
Factors promoting population growth • The agricultural revolution produced a more abundant food supply • The POTATO became a key food staple during the 18th century. 1 acre of potatoes could feed a family for a year. • Advances in transportation reduced the impact of local crop failures
18th century wars were fought by professional armies with specific geographic and economic objectives. As a result, 18th century wars were less destructive than the 17th century religious wars. • It is important to note that medical advances did not play an important role in 18th century population growth.
Population statistics • Europe’s population increased from 120 million in 1700 to 190 million in 1800 • The population of England rose from 6 million in1750 to more than 10 million in 1800. • The population of France increased from 18 million in 1715 to 26 million in 1789
Life in the 18th century • Marriage and the family • Most young married European couples lived in nuclear families. Large multigenerational households were not the norm. • Most couples postponed marriage until they were in their mid-to late twenties. • Couples delayed marriage in order to acquire land or learn a trade. • A combination of parental authority and strict laws exercised tight control over marriage
Patterns of marriage and the family after 1750 • The growth of the cottage industry increased income and helped young people become financially independent. • As income rose, arranged marriages declined • Increased mobility reduced parental and village controls • Young peasant women increasingly left home to work as domestic servants.
Child rearing • Because of the high mortality rate among infants, parents were reluctant to become emotionally attached to their children. • Jean-Jacques Rousseau encouraged parents to provide a warm and nurturing environment for their children • Upper-middle class parents began to place a greater emphasis on child rearing.
Increased life expectancy • During the 18th century, the life spans of Europeans increased from 25 to 35 years. • New foods such as the POTATO combined with better farming techniques improved the diet of the poor. • Improvements in sanitation and the beginning of the science of immunology reduced death rates. Edward Jenner performed the first smallpox vaccination in 1796. The conquest of smallpox was the greatest medical triumph of the 18th century.
The rise and fall of witchcraft • Witchcraft persecutions • During the 16th and 17th centuries, between 100,000 and 200,000 people were officially tried for witchcraft. • Between 40,000 and 60,000 people were executed for it. • Elderly, widowed women were the most likely to be accused of witchcraft.
Reasons for the growth of European witch hunts. Oh that hunt? • Religious reformers stressed the great powers of the Devil. The Devil’s diabolical activities reinforced the widespread belief in witchcraft. • Women were believed to be weak and thus susceptible to the Devil’s temptations. • Religious wars and economic uncertainty caused great social and economic stress. Older, widowed women usually lacked power and thus became convenient scapegoats.
Reasons for the decline of witchcraft • Religious wars finally came to an end, thus restoring social stability • Protestants emphasized the concept of supreme God, thus making the Devil seem less threatening • The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment emphasized reason and uniform laws of nature. Support for superstition and witchcraft declined as educated Europeans turned to rational explanations of natural events.
Test Tip: • APEuro test writers have devoted a number of multiple choice and free response questions to witchcraft. It is important to remember that witchcraft trials and executions most often affected elderly widows. Make sure that you study the reasons for both the growth and decline of witchcraft.
Major Artistic Styles • Rococo • Rococo style reached its peak during the reign of Louis XV 1715-1774 • Artist depicted lighthearted and frivolous scenes of “nobles at play” • Paintings featured light-colored pastels • Architecture featured highly decorated interior ceilings
Neoclassical Art • Supplanted Rococo during the 1780s • Key figures were depicted as classical heroes • Works portrayed the classical virtues of self-sacrifice and devotion to the state • Compositions emphasized the Greek ideals of restraint, simplicity and symmetry.