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The Agricultural Revolution Index

The Four Field System
The Seed Drill
Improvements to Livestock
The Importance of the Agricultural Revolution to the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution Index

Introduction to the First Industrial Revolution
The Textile Industry
The Search for New Power Sources
The Development of Canals in Britain
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Industrialisation in Europe
The Second Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution and Warfare
Social Development in the Industrial Revolution

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TWO CENTURIES OF REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE

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The Agricultural Revolution

There were three main developments during this Agricultural Revolution: the introduction of the four field system by Viscount Townshend ("Turnip" Townshend), the invention of the Seed Drill by Jethro Tull and the selective breeding of animals by Robert Bakewell.

 

Chronology of the Agricultural Revolution 1701 - 1786

1700

The weather improved producing the first good harvest for seven years. The amount of enclosed land accelerated.

1701

Jethro Tull developed the seed drill and the horse-drawn hoe.

1700

1721

Broccoli was introduced into England as a crop for the first time.

1720

1730

The weather brought very good harvests for the newt ten years. Charles Townsend introduced Four Year Crop Rotation from Holland.

1731

Tull published his book "Horse Hoeing Husbandry" (Revised in 1733).

1730

1755

Robert Bakewell produced Leicester sheep by selective breeding methods.

1750

1760

Agriculture was revolutionised by enclosures and new innovations.

1766

The chemist, Henry Cavendish, experimented with electric charges to turn nitrogen gas into nitrate salts. His experiments had great significance for the future production of artificial fertilizer.

1769

Bakewell produced Longhorn cattle by selective breeding.

1760

1770

Potatoes were grown for sale for the first time in England.

1772

Thomas Coke began his selective breeding experiments

1770

1780

By this time the better agricultural methods used in England had taken effect. Most of the rest of Europe was still medieval in its farming techniques.

1782

Tull's seed drill was improved by adding gears to the rotary mechanism.

1783

The first plough making factory in England was opened.

1784

Small developed an iron plough

1786

Scottish agricultural engineer, Andrew Meikle, developed a threshing machine. The grain was rubbed between a metal drum and a concave metal sheet.

1780

 

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