Agricultural Revolution

When people think about the history of Britain their minds may focus on the impact of the Industrial Revolution. However, there was another significant development which led to an increase in farming production.

During the 17th and 19th centuries output from farms grew to the point where food supplies outperformed the size of the British population. This is known as the Agricultural Revolution and helped to make the country a key exporter of farm products.

There is some debate amongst historians over exactly when the revolution occurred. Furthermore, the key reasons for it are up for dispute. The main consensus is that crop rotation played an important role. Farmers realised that turnips could be grown during the colder months and gathered minerals due to their deep roots. The use of clover as a fertiliser meant that more crops could be grown to feed farm animals. The manure of livestock was then turned into even more fertiliser, maximising the productivity of the farm.

It is likely that without the Agricultural Revolution Britain would not have evolved into the nation it is today. The increase in population meant that more labour was created. As a result society advanced greatly.

Early History

In the early days of human civilization hunting was the main source of meat. However, this eventually became an unproductive method. People were forced to come up with something new. They domesticated and bred animals. Historians believe this was a repeated process that occurred in a range of different places and times.

It is fair to say that dogs are beloved by humans. Sites including Sky News have plenty of stories about the relationships between people and canines. It should therefore not be a surprise that dogs are considered the first ever domesticated animals. They continue to play important roles on farms to this day. For example, sheep dogs control the movements of livestock.

There was progressive domestication of species such as sheep, pigs and goats. Cows became useful thanks to the fact that they produced more milk than their calf needed. These animals could be utilised for work purposes such as ploughing fields. As a result farming became more productive and greater yields were harvested.

Historians believe that chickens were farmed as early as 5040 BC in China. Interestingly this was far from where the wilder ancestors of chickens originated. Meanwhile, llamas and alpacas became integral parts of farms within South America. These creatures were prized for their wool.

Horses are thought to have been domesticated by Asian farmers as early as 3,000 BC. Riding them was extremely beneficial to humans. It provided a way to both travel and corral livestock. Many of the farming practices of thousands of years ago are still performed today.