THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION (1750-1900)

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Before 1750:

Farming= Inefficient

  • Waste time walking between fields
  • Have to leave one field fallow 
  • Need lots of fences
  • Lots of strip farming
  • Farmers wanted to improve crop yields by growing fodder crops (e.g. turnips, cloves)-> restore soil's fertility-> no need to leave field fallow

ENCLOSURE->BIGGER FIELDS->SELECTIVE BREEDING


Enclosure= prevents spread of disease from one herd to another

  • Animals kept in seperate fields, controlled breeding could be achieved
  • Larger animals helped produce more meat and wool
  • Before 1750-> most people= subsistence farmers, produced only what THEY needed to survive
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New Machinery:

  • Farming done by hand before 1750 with horses pulling ploughs and carts
  • Heavy duty tools= mass produced 
  • Machines invented for activities (e.g. threshing corn)
  • 1850's-> steam-powered traction engines- powered ploughs, chaff-cutters and other machines
  • One or two men could operate steam tractor which could do the work of 10 men
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Four Course Rotation

  • Four Course Rotation-> involved four different fields for growing four different crops over a period of four years
  • WHEAT, BREAD, CLOVER, BARLEY/OATS (FOR BEER), TURNIPS, SWEDE
  • Each of these crops- rotated around the fields every year and swapped-> CROP ROTATION
  • Therefore, no fields left fallow (clover, swede and turnip replaced nutrients that wheat, barley an oats had utilised)
  • BIGGER HARVESTS EACH YEAR
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SUMMARY

  • Agricultural Rev. reduced inefficiencies associated with old farming methods as better machinery- developed to increase productivity
  • Greater crop yields->allowed food demands of growing population
  • Farmers improved their livelihoods, provided employment, innovation and inventions introduced to farming
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