THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION 18TH CENTURY FARMING 15TH CENTURY FARMING What Changed????
What are the positives and negatives to this system? PRIOR TO THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION • OPEN FIELD SYSTEM • Cooperative plowing • Conserved the quality of land • Balanced distribution of good land • Farmers were part of a “team” • Gleaning
Open Field System • ENCLOSURE • Each landowner received a single piece of property • No common lands How was Enclosure better than the Open Field System?
ENCLOSURELarge Land Owners • Had the political strength to pass The Enclosure Law • Owned large unified farms under this system • Farming was more efficient • Didn’t need consent of the village to experiment with new crop methods
ENCLOSURESmall Landowners • FORCED OFF THEIR LAND • Could not afford the: • Required fencing • A team of oxen • Could no longer glean or gather wood • Sold plots to large landowners: • Forced to Rent or • Work for someone else • Increasing the # of men looking for work
NEW TECHNOLOGY • Minus the restrictions of the Open Field System – new technology and new farming techniques were implemented.
The Seed Drill – JethroTull • Planted seed in neat rows • Improved germination • Reduced amount of seed used in planting
Additional Machines • Horse-drawn cultivator – Jethro Tull • Cast-iron plow (1797) – American Charles Newbold • Reaper – Englishman Joseph Boyce (1799) and American Cyrus McCormic (1834) • Self-cleaning steel plow – John Deere(1837) • Thresher – separated grain from stalk • Harvester – cut and bind grain • Combine - cut, thresh, and sack grain • Tractor – pulled equipment through the field • Corn planter • Potato digger • Electric milker • Cotton picker
Scientific Agriculture Crop Rotation • Viscount Charles “Turnip” Townsend • Alternating grain crops: wheat and barley, with soil enriching crops: turnips and clovers. • No longer had to leave land fallow Scientific Breeding • 1725-1795 • Selective breeding of animals • Produced more and better animals • Produced more milk and meat
The Effects of the Agricultural Revolution • Agricultural production increased • Cost of foodstuffs dropped • Increased production of food resulted in part, in a rapid growth of population • Large farms, using machines and scientific methods, began to dominate agriculture • Number of small farms began to decline • The number of farmers, in proportion to total population, decreased sharply • Many farmers moved to the cities • The population of cities increased rapidly • Farmers found their work less difficult because machines performed the back breaking labor • Farming changed from a self-sufficient way of life to big business