The Spread of the New Farming Ideas of the Agricultural Revolution

The Spread of the New Farming Ideas of the Agricultural Revolution

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The Spread of the New Farming Ideas of the Agricultural Revolution


Many farmers of this time were experimenting, with different
techniques of farming, and many wrote books of specific topics that
they had trialled. One of these men was called Jethro Tull. He had
invented the horse hoe and wrote a book called “Horse Hoeing
Husbandry”. His invention was not very successful until after his
death, as it tended to break very easily. Many Farmers of this time
however, were not educated, and could not read or write, so therefore
did not know about his ideas and methods.

Another for of spreading ideas was through model farms. These were
working farms that tested new ideas, and other farmers and members of
the public could come and see how they worked. This meant that people
could go and take back ideas to try on there own farms. They were
quite successful at spreading these ideas, however transport was not
very good at in the 1700, and so many people could not afford to go
and visit these farms.

Agricultural shows were also popular use of spreading ideas at this
time, as they showed all new ideas to do with animals, machinery and
crops. Thomas Coke was one man that helped promoted these new ideas
through agricultural shows. Farmers would come to the shows and learn
of the new techniques and ideas, and try them on there own farms.

Other than books, magazines were also set up to help spread ideas at
this time. One man to do this was called Arthur Young. He wrote many
books on farming and started his own magazine called Annals of
Agriculture. Due to the growing interest in farming, the government
set up a board of Agriculture and Young was appointed as secretary.
George III also tried to help spread the ideas of the farming
improvers by writing articles in Young’s magazine under the name Ralph
Robinson.

Many people went on tours of the county too, to talk to the poor
people, that could not read the magazines or books, and who couldn’t

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go to see the model farms. Between 1793 and 1820 Young went and spoke
in person to people, and he was very good at persuading people.

1. b. Explain why it was necessary to produce more food by the end of
the 18th century? (6)

With the industrial revolution, more people were moving to the bigger
towns`` in search of work. In between 1750-1900 there was a huge
change in the population distribution, e.g. in 1750 75% of people
lived and worked in rural society but by 1900, that was 25% and vice
versa. This meant there were fewer farmers and more people who needed
to buy food.

In the boom years when labourers had more money, parents had had more
babies. Because the average person’s diet was improving, more of these
babies had survived, and so those babies were now young men and women,
just at the time when work was hard to find. In 1760 it was 6.3
million in England, but by 1801 it was 9.3 million.

Because of the movement to the towns, there were less people growing,
but more people demanding. Farmers increased prices and grew more
food.

The farming methods of this time were also very wasteful. Most people,
at this time, were still using the Open Field System. This was a very
wasteful system because of the amount of land that wasted. The
rotation of the fields meant that by having one field lay fallow every
year, a third of the farmers land was wasted and did nothing, meaning
that the produce was smaller by one third.

Because there weren’t any barriers, the animals could graze over the
different fields, and onto which ever piece of land they wanted,
causing many crops to be damaged or eaten.

Also in the years before hand, there had been a run of bad harvests,
so the amount of food around was smaller than expected, making the
amount of food proportioned smaller.

1. c. The effects of introducing Enclosure were good. Do you agree?
Explain your answer. (10)

I think that the effects of enclosure were good in the long run, but
the effects short term were not good for the poor especially.

Because of the layout of the Open Field System, it was very hard to
try out new ideas. This meant that there was not much room for
development, but with enclosure, farmers could try new methods like
the Threashing Machine, invented by Andrew Mickle in 1786.

Land owners and large tenant farmers did well out of enclosure, for
example they could try selective breading which would give them fatter
and healthier animals. Selective breeding was developed by Robert
Bakewell (1725-1793), and the Colling brothers. They were from County
Durham and adopted Robert Bakewell’s ideas and developed another breed
called Shortham cattle.

As a result of these changes, food production increased and this made
the larger farmers very rich. However it was also good for the growing
population as they would get fed and the new industrial towns would
grow.
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