Agricultural Revolution

Report
Britain 1750-1914
We
ek beginning 17th March
We are looking at the Agricultural Revolution
·describe what things were like before the changes took place
·describe the changes which happened
·describe the effects of these changes
·weigh up how significant these changes were: did the changes affect
people a little or a lot?
You'll need to be able to explain all the terms on your key vocabulary sheet, and use
them in an essay answer.
As we watch the introductory clip, see how much you can add to this notes sheet. Don't forget
the key words!
The Agricultural Revolution.avi
Can you identify some outcomes of all these changes?
Think about how the following changes would have affected different groups of people:
·mechanisation of farming
·enclosure
·focus on farming in the public eye
Effects of the Agricultural Revolution
These are some of the main effects of the changes we've discussed. They can be found on the blog, too! First things
first: read through your copy, and sort the effects into POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
·Rich farmers and landowners sold more produce at higher prices (hooray for them)
·Poorer farmers= not so great. Many could not afford the high costs of enclosure, or the new
machinery everyone was banging on about. This meant that some of them lost their farms,
and had to become agricultural labourers instead, without any land of their own.
·Landowners made money when rents increased after enclosure. An example of this is the
Duke of Rutland’s estate in the Vale of Belvoir: here, rents tripled.
·Anyone living and working on common land, such as cottagers and squatters, lost their
homes and means of supporting themselves as such common land was enclosed
·In some places, the poor were actually driven from the countryside, which led to them
having to seek work in the growing towns and cities, in factories.
·Enclosure meant that said rich landowners and farmers were also able to consolidate their
land into more efficient farming units (double hooray)
So, all in all, the revolution was great if you were a rich landowner, and not so great if you
happened to be poor. Hmmm. That seems fair.
Now we've sorted them into the positives and negatives.
Which changes do you think were most important?
The Good
Rich farmers and landowners sold more produce at higher prices (hooray for them)
Enclosure meant that said rich landowners and farmers were also able to consolidate
their land into more effecient farming units (double hooray)
Landowners made money when rents increased after enclosure. An example of this is
the Duke of Rutland’s esttae in the Vale of Belvoir: here, rents tripled.
Overall, in the period 1750-1800, agricultural output did increase by 2.5-3 times.
The Bad
Poorer farmers= not so great. Many could not afford the high costs of enclosure, or the
new machinery everyone was banging on about. This meant that some of them lost their
farms, and had to become agricultural labourers instead, without any land of their own.
Anyone living and working on common land, such as cottagers and squatters, lost their
homes and means of supporting themselves as such common land was enclosed
In some places, the poor were actually driven from the countryside, which led to them
having to seek work in the growing towns and cities, in factories.
So, all in all, the revolution was great if you were a rich landowner, and not so great if you
happened to be poor. Hmmm. That seems fair.
Weighing up the significance of the changes...
Huge amounts of change
Very little change
In which area would you say there was the most
change?
Choose an economic revolution you have studied. How did it change the lives of people in
Britain?
What do you think this essay question is asking you to do? Look at the words I've highlighted in
this sentence.
Narrative
Analysis
Concentrate on before and after.
The essay is asking you to
describe how this even changed
lives, so you need to say what
things were like before.
Think: was each change positive or
negative? For whom? How important a
change was it?
Tell the story of the changes. Start
with how things used to be. Then
talk about the changes which took
place. Finally, talk about the
outcomes. Add in analysis points
all the way through to get those
higher marks.
For example: enclosure was a big
change. It made farming more efficient,
so higher yields and profits were
possible. This was good for those
farmers wealthy enough to afford
enclosure. It helped agricultural
production to increase up to 3 times in
the period 1750-1800. However, it also
led to a huge number of farm workers
leaving the countryside for the
industrial towns when they couldn't
afford enclosure. This led to a shift from
the population mostly working on the
land towards one in which most people
worked in the towns. Therefore,
enclosure represents a long term,
significant change in the lives of people
in Britain.
Decide: is each point a narrative point or an analysis point? What order would you put these in to make
a successful essay? Can you spot the introduction and conclusion?
At the start of the 18th century most farmers in Britain used the open field system. This was when farmers
shared land around a village. The farmers would farm the same crop on each shared field. Crops were grown
in rotation, and every 3 years one of the fields was left fallow to let the soil recover.
The open field system did not produce high yields and was not very efficient. When the population of Britain
began to increase rapidly from 1700 onwards, the old methods needed updating to cope with increased
demand. People began exploring new methods of farming which would produce higher yields and better
quality crops or meat.
Livestock would be reared on shared land as well. They could gaze on common land, where wood would also
be gathered for fires. As had been the custom since Medieval times, animals would be slaughtered in the
autumn and the meat stored over the winter.
In the early 18th century Britain's agricultural systems underwent a period of change which some Historians
have described as a 'revolution.' This essay shall describe the changes which took place and will consider
how these changes affected the lives of people living in Britain.
In the 1730s a new crop rotation system was introduced in which, instead of leaving one field fallow, crops
such as turnips or clover were planted. Animals could graze on these crops, which meant they could be kept
alive over the winter.
A writer, Arthur Young, produced a book called A Course in Experimental Agriculture which outlined new farming
methods. It became very popular, and helped to make farming become quite fashionable, as did aristocrats like
Thomas Coke and Lord Townshend trying out new methods on their estates, and King George III giving his
public support. Young was given a government post so he could advise farmers.
Bakewell's techniques helped farmers to improve their profits and outputs. However, poorer farmers often
could not afford to hire animals for stud, and struggled to compete with the new, 'engineered' stock. This was a
factor in many farmers choosing to move to towns rather than stay in the countryside.
Young's influence was important because he helped farmers adopt more efficient practices which yielded better pro
and higher profits. However, there were still farmers unable to take advantage of new practices because of the exp
which meant changes were not consistent across the country.
In the 1760s, Robert Bakewell began to try out selective breeding with cattle and sheep. He only bred
animals with the best characteristics, in order to produce animals which had certain qualities. He produced
Dishley cattle and New Leicester sheep using this method. These animals were larger and had better quality
meat and fleeces, so were more profitable. Bakewell hired out his animals to other farmers to improve their
stock.
Enclosure was a complicated and costly procedure. Not all farmers could afford it. For those who could,
enclosing land did make farming more efficient and lead to higher yields and profits. However, those could not
afford it were often forced to work for other farmers rather than control their own business. Renting land was
expensive. As a result of enclosure, many farmworkers left the countryside for the new industrial towns.
In 1701, Jethro Tull invented the Seed Drill, which planted corn in neat rows.
In 1730, the Rotherham plough was invented, which only needed one man and fewer horses to operate. Other
inventions which made farming easier were the iron ploughshare, the reaping machine and the threshing
gin.
Lots of farmers were keen to try out new inventions, but they were only really worth using if the same crop
were grown each year. This led to farmers fencing off land rather than using the old, open field system. The
fencing off of land was called enclosure.
In the 18th century, there were many changes in agriculture, including new methods, new technology, and a
higher public profile. This led to an increase in output by 2.5-3 times. These changes affected the lives of
people at the time in a significant way. The richer landowners saw increased profits, but poorer ones often
lost land and chose to move to industrial towns instead, which led to a change in population distribution.
Attachments
The Agricultural Revolution.avi

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