To what extent did the agricultural revolution, beginning in the 1600's, come from within Britain?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Agricultural Revolution that began in the 1600's and continued throughout the 19th century got its start in Great Britain.  Nearly all of the technological advances which greatly changed the farming industry and increased the world food supply were developed in Great Britain.  These innovations included the enclosure of farmland into larger more useful packages as the communal village farms of the Medieval period were phased out and the individual landowner farms were established.  Another innovation was the introduction of root vegetables to farming and the resulting four field system, developed by the British noble, Lord Townsend, which kept land usable for cultivation all year long.  A third innovation was the  invention of the seed drill by Briton, Jethro Tull, which allowed the seed to be planted deeply in the soil greatly increasing germination and harvest rates.  Finally changes in animal husbandry and breeding techniques begun by Robert Bakewell, also of Great Britain, improved the health and production of domestic animals.  These techniques which were developed in Great Britain, were later exported throughout the world. 

revolution | Student

The Agricultural Revolution, the period between the the 17th and the end of the 19th century, started first in Britian, which had marked a massive increase in agricultural output and productivity, which kickstarted the Industrial Revolution and more to follow. It also preceeded enormous population growth and more crops could be grown in a single plot of land.

The revolution in Britian brought about many new agricultural advancements and ideas. First, its first innovation was the seed drill, invented by Jehtro Jill in 1701, a mechanical seed distributer which distributes the seeds left over equally across a land area, so there would be a consistency in seed germination and to harvest in good quality soil, which lead to high produce rate and greater yield for the crops.

Next, the idea of a four-field crop rotation was started, using turnips and clover to replace the third field fallow. This improve the fertility of the soil in the plot of land and led to an increase in livestock production, meaning more cows and other animals. This idea was introduced to Britian in 1790 and was later implemented, crushing the old idea of three-field crop rotation.

Thirdly, the iron plough invented by Joseph Foljambe proved to be a big commercial success material as it is lighter to pull and easier to use, unlike other old models.

Lastly, the ideas of selective breeding and animal husbandry were implemented, which was used to improve the quality of lifestock and make it more profitable to sell at a good price.


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