⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ British Agricultural Revolution

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British Agricultural Revolution



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A closer look at the Agricultural Revolution in England

The Third Agricultural Revolution occurred in the end of 20th century. People begin to use the mass production of crops, genetic engineering, biotechnology and chemical fertilizers. The first simple irrigation system was built by the Mesopotamian in BC. In BC, the large scale irrigation system was seen in southern Russia. The irrigation had the length of the canal at 10 feet.

The windmill was developed by the Arab scientists in AD The main function of windmill was to pump water for irrigation. Fertilizer is the common thing to enrich the soil. Do you know that Arabic people introduced it in BC? In , tractor was invented. The main function is used to pull plow in the farm. Check out facts about agriculture here. One of the most important events in the history is explained in Facts about Boudicca Revolt. New crops and systems in the 18th century.

Reading list and discussion topics to Week 5. Week 4, The growth of landed estates and capitalist farms. Week 5, Enclosure in the lowlands. Week 5 slides, Enclosure in the lowlands. Reading list and discussion topics to Week 7. The trials and tribulations of a local land agent. Extracts from Ancaster estate correspondence, Week 6, Enclosure in the uplands. Course slides, Enclosure in the uplands. Week 7, The role of agricultural improvers and land agents. Reading list to Week 9. Week 8, The social impact of enclosure. Class slides on The social impact of enclosure. During the Middle Ages, the open field system initially used a two-field crop rotation system where one field was left fallow or turned into pasture for a time to try to recover some of its plant nutrients.

Later, a three-year three-field crop rotation routine was employed, with a different crop in each of two fields, e. Each field was rotated into a different crop nearly every year. Over the following two centuries, the regular planting of legumes such as peas and beans in the fields that were previously fallow slowly restored the fertility of some croplands. Other crops that were occasionally grown were flax and members of the mustard family.

The practice of convertible husbandry, or the alternation of a field between pasture and grain, introduced pasture into the rotation. Because nitrogen builds up slowly over time in pasture, plowing pasture and planting grains resulted in high yields for a few years. A big disadvantage of convertible husbandry, however, was the hard work that had to be put into breaking up pastures and difficulty in establishing them.

It was the farmers in Flanders in parts of France and current-day Belgium that discovered a still more effective four-field crop rotation system, using turnips and clover a legume as forage crops to replace the three-year crop rotation fallow year. The four-field rotation system allowed farmers to restore soil fertility and restore some of the plant nutrients removed with the crops. Turnips first show up in the probate records in England as early as but were not widely used until about Ideally, wheat, barley, turnips, and clover would be planted in that order in each field in successive years. The turnips helped keep the weeds down and were an excellent forage crop—ruminant animals could eat their tops and roots through a large part of the summer and winters.

There was no need to let the soil lie fallow as clover would add nitrates nitrogen-containing salts back to the soil. The clover made excellent pasture and hay fields as well as green manure when it was plowed under after one or two years. The addition of clover and turnips allowed more animals to be kept through the winter, which in turn produced more milk, cheese, meat, and manure, which maintained soil fertility. In the midth century, two British agriculturalists, Robert Bakewell and Thomas Coke, introduced selective breeding as a scientific practice mating together two animals with particularly desirable characteristics and using inbreeding the mating of close relatives to stabilize certain qualities in order to reduce genetic diversity.

Using native stock, he was able to quickly select for large, yet fine-boned sheep with long, lustrous wool. Bakewell was also the first to breed cattle to be used primarily for beef. Previously, cattle were first and foremost kept for pulling plows as oxen or for dairy uses, with beef from surplus males as an additional bonus. Certain practices that contributed to a more productive use of land intensified, for example converting some pasture land into arable land and recovering fen land and some pastures. Other developments came from Flanders and and the Netherlands, where due to the large and dense population, farmers were forced to take maximum advantage of every bit of usable land. The region became a pioneer in canal building, soil restoration and maintenance, soil drainage, and land reclamation technology.

Dutch experts like Cornelius Vermuyden brought some of this technology to Britain. Finally, water-meadows were utilized in the late 16th to the 20th centuries and allowed earlier pasturing of livestock after they were wintered on hay. This increased livestock yields, giving more hides, meat, milk, and manure as well as better hay crops. An important factor of the Agricultural Revolution was the invention of new tools and advancement of old ones, including the plough, seed drill, and threshing machine, to improve the efficiency of agricultural operations.

The mechanization and rationalization of agriculture was a key factor of the Agricultural Revolution. New tools were invented and old ones perfected to improve the efficiency of various agricultural operations. The basic plough with coulter, ploughshare, and moldboard remained in use for a millennium. Major changes in design did not become common until the Age of Enlightenment, when there was rapid progress. The Dutch acquired the iron tipped, curved moldboard, adjustable depth plough from the Chinese in the early 17th century. It had the ability to be pulled by one or two oxen compared to the six or eight needed by the heavy-wheeled northern European plough.

The plough was extremely successful on wet, boggy soil, but soon was used on ordinary land. In , Joseph Foljambe in Rotherham, England, used new shapes as the basis for the Rotherham plough, which also covered the moldboard with iron. Unlike the heavy plough, the Rotherham or Rotherham swing plough consisted entirely of the coulter, moldboard, and handles. By the s Foljambe was making large numbers of these ploughs in a factory outside of Rotherham, using standard patterns with interchangeable parts.

The plough was easy for a blacksmith to make and by the end of the 18th century it was being made in rural foundries. By , it was the cheapest and best plough available. It spread to Scotland, America, and France. It may have been the first plough to be widely built in factories and the first to be commercially successful. In Robert Ransome, an iron founder in Ipswich, started casting ploughshares in a disused malting at St. James Small further advanced the design. Using mathematical methods, he experimented with various designs until he arrived at a shape cast from a single piece of iron, an improvement on the Scots plough of James Anderson of Hermiston. A single-piece cast iron plough was also developed and patented by Charles Newbold in the United States.

This was again improved on by Jethro Wood, a blacksmith of Scipio, New York, who made a three-part Scots Plough that allowed a broken piece to be replaced. The seed drill was introduced from China, where it was invented in the 2nd century BCE, to Italy in the midth century. First attributed to Camillo Torello, it was patented by the Venetian Senate in A seed drill was described in detail by Tadeo Cavalina of Bologna in In England, it was further refined by Jethro Tull in Before the introduction of the seed drill, the common practice was to plant seeds by broadcasting evenly throwing them across the ground by hand on the prepared soil and then lightly harrowing the soil to cover the seed.

Seeds left on top of the ground were eaten by birds, insects, and mice. There was no control over spacing and seeds were planted too close together and too far apart. Cutting down on wasted seed was important because the yield of seeds harvested to seeds planted at that time was around four or five. However, seed drills of this and successive types were both expensive and unreliable, as well as fragile. They would not come into widespread use in Europe until the midth century.

Early drills were small enough to be pulled by a single horse, and many of these remained in use into the s. In his publication, Tull described how the motivation for developing the seed-drill arose from conflict with his servants. He struggled to enforce his new methods upon them, in part because they resisted the threat to their position as laborers and skill with the plough. He also invented machinery for the purpose of carrying out his system of drill husbandry, about His first invention was a drill-plough to sow wheat and turnip seed in drills, three rows at a time. A threshing machine or thresher is a piece of farm equipment that threshes grain: removes the seeds from the stalks and husks by beating the plant to make the seeds fall out.

Before such machines were developed, threshing was done by hand with flails and was very laborious and time-consuming, taking about one-quarter of agricultural labor by the 18th century. Mechanization of this process removed a substantial amount of drudgery from farm labor. The first threshing machine was invented circa by the Scottish engineer Andrew Meikle and the subsequent adoption of such machines was one of the earlier examples of the mechanization of agriculture. Enclosure, or the process that ended traditional rights on common land formerly held in the open field system and restricted the use of land to the owner, is one of the causes of the Agricultural Revolution and a key factor behind the labor migration from rural areas to gradually industrializing cities.

Common land is owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person with others holding certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect firewood, or to cut turf for fuel. A person who has a right in or over common land jointly with others is called a commoner. Originally in medieval England, the common was an integral part of the manor and thus part of the estate held by the lord of the manor under a feudal grant from the Crown or a superior peer, who in turn held his land from the Crown, which owned all land.

This manorial system, founded on feudalism, granted rights of land use to different classes. These would be appurtenant rights, meaning the ownership of rights belonged to tenancies of particular plots of land held within a manor. A commoner would be the person who for the time being occupied a particular plot of land. Some rights of common were said to be in gross , or unconnected with tenure of land. This was more usual in regions where commons were extensive, such as in the high ground of Northern England or on the Fens, but also included many village greens across England and Wales.

Most of the medieval common land of England was lost due to enclosure.

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