• The Agricultural Revolution refers to dramatic changes in farming in Britain in the 1700s and later in the USA.
• Before the 1700s, farmlands was mostly wide open fields, cultivated n narrow strips by peasants growing food for themselves, using traditional methods.
• The Agricultural Revolution created large farms, growing food for profit in enclosed fields, using specialist techniques.
• The most dramatic effect was enclosure, in which peasants were evicted from open fields as they were parceled up into small fields for rearing livestock
• Crop-growing was improved by techniques such as the four-field rotation system
• The four-field system devised by ‘Turnip’ Townshend and Thomas Coke meant Growing turnips, clover, barley and wheat in successive years so land was used all the time.
• Livestock farmers found how to breed cattle, horses and sheep larger and fatter, like Bakewell’s Leicester sheep.
• New machines were invented. Jethro Tull’s drill, for example, made holes and planted seeds in them.
• In 1793, Eli Whitney invented a gin machine to separate cotton fibre from the seeds – so making large- scale cotton production profitable.
• In 1834, American Cyrus McCormick made the first mechanical harvester.
Industrial Revolution :
• The Industrial Revolution refers to the dramatic growth in factories that began in the 1700s
• Before the Industrial Revolution, most ordinary people were farmers who lived in small villages. Afterwards, most were factory hands and foremen living in huge cities
• The Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 1700s and in France, the USA and Germany in the early 1800s.
• The Farming Revolution created a pool of cheap labour, while the growth of European colonies created vast markets for things like clothing.
• The turning point was the change from hand-turned machines like the spinning jenny, to machines driven by big waters wheels like Richard Arkwright’s water powered spinning frame’ of 1766
• In 1771, Arkwright installed water frames at Crompton Mill, Derby and created the world’s first big factory.
• In the 1780s, James Watt developed a steam engine to drive machines and steam engines quickly replaced water as the main source of power in factories
• In 1713, Abraham Darby found how to use coke, rather than wood charcoal, to make huge amounts of iron
• In 1784, Henry Cort found how to remove impurities from cast iron to make wrought iron and iron became the key material of the Industrial Revolution
(Source: 1001 days that shaped the world by Quintessence)
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