HIS 1101 XTIC 12/T3
24 February 2012
History of Plows Early plows • Thomas Jefferson • Charles Newbold and David Peacock • Jeff Wood • Jethro Tull (1674 – 1741)
Machines to Cut Grains • Sickles and Reapers • American sickles • Mechanical reapers
Introduction Agricultural revolution refers to an era of agricultural growth from mid 17th century to 19th century. This period experienced enthusiastic and swift augmentation in agricultural production and enormous modification in farm technology. In 1750 when this period began, several individuals lived and operated in villages majorly generating food in their farms. As the nation underwent the industrial revolt, though it was beneficial to hike the amount of food generated (Cohen 19). The main aim of increasing their food production was because the population was rising fast. The ultimate aim of scripting this context is to examine the changes that occurred during the agricultural revolution period.
The Revolution In the untimely part of the 18th century, several farmers had narrow pieces of land that they would cultivate and generate their food (Snell 62). This system had several limitations among them being wastage of land the banks of earth that divided the narrow pieces of lands. Moreover, the drainage system for these lands was poor, and since the farmers had little knowledge on land fertility, they had to leave some land fellow every four years to improve their fertility. This means that here was no agricultural revolution because this practice persisted for an unusually long period. Besides, the general modifications in farming were extremely slow. The problem with that was that food production remained constant while the population increased. Therefore, some people began to experience food shortages, which meant that something had to be done. However, in early 19th century, farmers begun to encompass new farming methods such as Norforlk Crop rotation system, which helped them, eliminate the problems of land fallow. The land was split in four portions with different crops planted in them (Bellis 29). The crop that would be produced in each section would be rotated so that distinct nutrients would be consumed from the land. For example, in one year, crop such as turnips would be cultivated and in the second year, barley cultivated on the same land piece turnips crops, which in turn, replaces the barleys in their initial land. In the third year, a grass crop replaces the barley and in the fourth year wheat grown in the field. This process helped the farmers grow some crops for profits such as wheat and barley. As the demand of food rose, individuals began to make modifications to the types of farming machines they used in their farms among them being the threshing and drilling machines (Bellwood 27). These types of inventions accompanied with field enclosure method, facilitated agriculture to grow swiftly and generate adequate food for the increasing population. Other inventions such as the plow, creation of large-scale agricultural generation potential and leading agrarian communities led to the agricultural revolution that generated an alteration of human society. The revolution had such a massive significance on society that several individual refer to as the “dawn of civilization.” It was during the same era when the plow was discovered that the writing, wheel and numbers were also discovered (Snell 201). The agricultural revolution drew more attention on the changes that occurred because of the domestication upheaval that lengthened the evolution effects even further in community. The following figure shows the breakdown of radical changes that