Revolution Essay, Research Paper
The Agricultural And Industrial Revolution
The agricultural and industrial revolutions greatly changed daily life in
Europe. The agricultural revolution created a widespread social misery of its own when
small fields were converted into large farms. The industrial revolution brought people to
work in the factories to manufacture goods in increased numbers. With these two
factors, the lives of Europeans in the eighteenth century were changed forever.
The agricultural revolution enabled farmers to produce high yields on
their lands. These farmers or landlords needed larger fields to plant their crops so the
smaller plots of land that were subdivided were connected. Horse-hoeing, adapted by
Jethro Tull, came about when farmers realized that it was more efficient than scattering
seeds over the ground surface. Lord Townshend’s idea of crop rotation became the
standard for many English estates. His crop rotation involved planting an entire field of
turnips, barley, clover, and wheat in a four year cycle. This increased fertility in the soil.
With these advancements, more crops could be grown by fewer farmers. The small
farmers, or yeomen, could no longer afford to farm. The common lands, now a part of
these large plots of land, could not be accessed by the small farmers. The yeomen could
not afford tools or install fences, so they were forced to either become workers on these
large farms or work in the city and give up farming all together.
These changes in agriculture brought about change in industry. As the
small farmers moved to the cities for work, this brought about the industrial revolution
and urbanization. The European society saw a rise not only of the cities, but of a new
class of people who came to be known as capitalists. This class was based upon
ownership and control over the means of production. More and more people began to
work in factories and people became accustomed to buying more. New ideas and
innovations in production appeared, from what the product was, to how and where it was
being produced. Society saw a shift in production of primary goods to the production of
manufactured goods. Workers began to rely upon machinery and tools to become
specialized in a certain tasks of production. This specialization led to routine, which in
turn led to an increase in productivity. This is how the industrial revolution led to major
changes in society.
With the agricultural revolution bringing about change in society, this brought
about the industrial revolution and the changes that came with it. The mass migration of
people from the farm fields to the factories created great change that revolutionized
European society in the eighteenth century.