Women and the Agricultural Revolution Essay

Women and the Agricultural Revolution Essay

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Women and the Agricultural Revolution

Elise Boulding in her article, Women and the Agricultural Revolution, argues that
women played a key role in initiating the Agricultural Revolution. She defines the
revolution as happening within two stages: horticulture and agriculture proper. Women
had a prominent role within the earlier form, horticulture. Horticulture is defined as
farming for subsistence only.Women’s roles on the farm were not as dominant as society
grew to farming for surplus instead. Boulding begins the article by discussing the shift
society made from wandering nomads to settled villagers. She explains that it was women
who recognized that plants could be easily domesticated. It was because of the domestication of plants that people decided to eventually settle down. In doing so, the
early settlers exchanged the fairly simplistic nomadic life to that of a hard-working farmer. Throughout the essay, Boulding emphasizes the role women played in initiating this revolutionary shift. She describes the main duties women had and the status they held within a horticulture society. However, this changed as the purpose of farming shifted to agriculture proper.

According to Boulding, women’s influence on the Agricultural Revolution began
very early on. Women had recognized the significance of einkorn, a nutritious plant that
was easy to cultivate. It was because of women recognizing that plants could be
domesticated that nomads were introduced to farming....

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