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Agriculture 1750-1815.

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  • Essay length: 1181 words
  • Submitted: 04/02/2004
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AS and A Level Production - Location & Change

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Agriculture 1750-1815

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word "revolution" as "any fundamental change or reversal of conditions". In the context of British Agriculture between 1750 and 1815 there was a change but it was slow and really a continuation of improvements which go back much further. To call these changes "revolutionary" is probably misguided. However, there was a gradual dissemination of new ideas and methods. The factors which brought about the greatest changes in the existing system were the adoption of new farming techniques, machines and methods and the enclosure of open fields.

New farming techniques consisted of improvements in crop rotation, soil fertilisation, and selective breeding allied with the development of new machinery. Four names are commonly associated with these innovations; Jethro Tull (1674-1741) is best remembered for the invention of the seed drill which planted in rows rather than broadcasting, thus allowing hoeing between the rows. (Tull's book "Horse-Hoeing Husbandry was published in 1733.) Charles Townshend (1674-1738) introduced marl - a mixture of clay and lime - to his sandy Norfolk estates. He advocated the use of turnips as fodder as an addition to traditional rotational crops. Robert Bakewell (1725-1795) pioneered selective breeding and

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