British Agricultural Revolution & Enclosure Movement (AP Euro)

I know what you're thinking hey Ritchie what are you doing with that hoe people used to ask me that in high school all the time really just such just kidding because I girls went touch with a ten-foot pole in high school but this is fitting because today we're going to talk about hoes and plenty of other things I'm going to talk about the Agricultural Revolution all right Thank You Keegan all right so let's go ahead and get started with the British Agricultural Revolution the British agricultural revolution is a product of scientific innovation and keep in mind that where this revolution starts is in Britain and also in the Low Countries that's the Netherlands Belgium that area and this is where farming takes one of the biggest steps that it's taken really maybe since the start of farming or something like that and we're going to be all set okay so keep in mind got a little acronym for you all set science entrepreneurship and technology these are our three buzz words for the agricultural revolution science entrepreneurship and technology so first of all let's talk about agricultural innovations the farmer as scientist and this is the old way of doing crop rotation three field crop rotation where in one field you would have wheat in one field you would have oats and one field you would let live fallow and you would rotate these fields from year to year so going from one the wheat field would be the oats field and then you would let one field rest every three years so you rotate every three years the problem here though is that in any given year one third of your fields are being unused and this is kind of bordering on unacceptable the whole point of having fields is to use them grow stuff on them and that sort of thing and so what you see in the scientific revolution is a four field crop rotation so out with the old in with the new in one we're growing wheat and another field were growing outs and in the other two fields we'll grow stuff that while wheat exhaust the soil clover and turnips they replenish the soil so we'll grow things that make the soil healthy and then we'll rotate those so that every fourth year something will be a wheat field or the oats field or the clover or turnip field and this way all of our fields are being grown upon or however we would say that they're all being used and more fields equals more food this way we can feed more people than we were able to do previously and as far as breeding animals there is got to be a better way than this okay just throw them all in one place and just letting whatever happen happen ah that's not very scientific let's think about it for scientific approach and that is selective breeding this is applying these scientific principles that what would happen if I breed this animal with desirable characteristics with this animal with desirable characteristics and enter science all this kind of stuff that I don't understand ask your biology teacher or something like that but whew science all right die it's cool it's awesome it lets us be poor an example of this would be this Belgian blue cow which what happens here is there some kind of genetic defect which the selective breeding makes even more so kind of like some sort of Habsburg cow or something and this this cow gets bigger because of this genetic defect and we can eat more because of this now no Belgium in the low country so the Belgian blue cow big cow what does the Belgian blue cows say that's right just like any other cow it says move so much better now we've got more food we've got better stuff all thanks to science and innovation okay so let's talk about this innovation the farmer is entrepreneur the farmer not just as some guy growing crops but the farmer has a businessman okay so here is traditional agriculture we can see all of these people there now note what they're doing there if you look at it I mean you think about you see some people they're working every once in a while but really most of these people are taking a break you just see all these peasants working this common field that really doesn't belong to anyone in particular that's traditional agriculture as it was practiced in the Middle Ages and the new agriculture is typifying by enclosures okay so instead of having this common pasture that we see here where everybody's animals go and here's everybody's fields we author our stuff here now with the enclosure system you see that people are marking their individual fields and enclosing them with with fences unlike this other common system so we start to see market economics private property and all of that now as far as the downside this did hurt poor farmers they lost their traditional grazing rights they could no longer place their cattle on the common land now the upside again more food all right agricultural production as a whole is becoming more efficient and more market oriented so while some of these folks are upset about losing their traditional rights on this is still resulting in more food which is really kind of the whole point of agriculture and there were people that were negatively affected and a lot of them would go to these poor houses the English passed for laws to try to accommodate some of these people who were displaced these small farmers who are displaced and so this is a workhouse that provided shelter and you would spend your day working if you live at the poor house but once again while it's unfortunate that some people were poor and that sort of thing these bigger farms create again more food so while we're on the topic of innovation let's talk about the farmer as inventor the farmer who is improving agriculture by making new agricultural tools and improving existing technologies it's been a while since there's been innovation in fact Jesus's parable of the sower where the sky's just walking around just throwing around seed and it gets uh some of the seed gets stuck in the thorn some of it falls along the path uh you know some of it gets on the rocky soil it looks like most of the seed and this parable doesn't get where it's supposed to go why because this guy's just throwing it all around like you know seed seed see there's nothing scientific about just throwing stuff around so the Scientific Revolution and the mindset here is maybe we can apply some of these scientific principles to farming so instead of just throwing stuff around everywhere then maybe you can come up with some kind of machine and that's exactly what jethro tull Seadrill does is that it makes little conditions in the soil and you put it all in the box and it puts the scene where it's supposed to go keeps it out thorns keeps it out of the rocks and keeps it out of the path and so all of the seed is used well okay so that is Jethro Tull's seed drill and then in the United States there are several agricultural innovations Thomas Jefferson um who is a big proponent of Agriculture came up with this moldboard plow I'm no farmer I can't take out work so I'll tell you though that it was a better plow than it existed before that and then there is George Washington who is known as first president United States but what you may not know is that he built this awesome 16 sided barn if you go to Mount Vernon you can see a replica and it is awesome okay like it's the coolest thing ever literally product of the agricultural revolution that is going even into the British colonies later known as America all right so that's that how many sides of left barn 16 all right and then you look at two other technologies that haven't improved any you think about the Bible what it says about threshing wheat where you know the wheat is being separated from the chaff you hear references to God's threshing floor well even 15 16 hundred years later people still knew what it meant to Thresh wheat manually to just throw all the wheat on the threshing floor and just hit it with a bunch of mic nunchucks or whatever it is they're using just hitting it all right and there is nothing scientific about just hitting it all right so how can we do this differently how can we apply technology instead of just hitting it and we do that with a portable threshing machine now George Washington built the 16 sided barn for the purposes of threshing we D had horses running around all in if you go to Mount Vernon you can see it it's awesome hopefully I've made that point but this portable threshing machine you just put it in a machine it Thresh's the wheat for you separates the wheat from the chaff on so more scientific revolution inventive awesomeness and once again like everything else better tools means what you guessed it more food and then you can see here a bunch of data and this data shows that the crop yields are increasing okay so if we look before this if you go back to 1600 you know if you've got this the seed being planted it might yield about 10 bushels per acre well by the time it's all said and done you woke up to 1800 at the end of the 18th century you can see that this is more than doubled and so agricultural production is going up as a result this so while some people are kind of ticked off about the enclosures and that sort of thing it is producing more food and once again you can see what's going on here with this British agricultural revolution and whereas from 1300 to 1600 agricultural production was relatively stagnant you can see that agricultural production is steadily increasing during this time now nothing like it will increase during the 20th century but still much more than it is increased before that and so you can see that the amount of food has more than doubled bo this results that was an explosion okay that's what happened the population it exploded that kind of scare you a little bit but lots of people being born because there's more food and people are like hey we've got more food let's make more babies and so you have a population explosion in Europe as a result of this agricultural revolution so through advances in science entrepreneurship and technology with the farmer as a scientist a businessman and an inventor we can see that this agricultural revolution is producing more food for Europe making it possible for Europeans to advance themselves in a way that they had before if you like what you saw here feel free to subscribe to my channel plenty more instructional videos coming out every week until next time I know it's big Richie where do you do with that pitchfork well people used to ask you that all the time when I was in high school my bet that didn't work


  1. Sofia Rasner

    A good acronym you can use for the three elements of the agricultural revolution is:
    S- stop (selective)
    E- eating (enclosure)
    I- ice cream (inventive)

  2. ab202012

    Mr. Richey, pls correct your grain yield tables: Mg/ha = metric tons/ha. You have 10, 20,…. 70, 80, Mg/ha on the Y-axis, if I read correctly. That is insane. I worked for NASA-CELSS, and 80 Mg/ha is possible only for wheat in 1 sq. meter growth chambers on an experimental basis. Maize yields in the best Midwestern soils and Idaho hi-yield fields equal 200 bu/acre or roughly 11 Mg/ha per year, 11-14% moisture. World wheat records are approx. 15 Mg/ha.

  3. Steve Mann

    Sorry but you've completely glossed over the Enclosure Acts, which were not just brought in because of a great science to produce more food as the previous 3 field system was being improved upon…oh no, it was a land grab by the ruling classes who made their own laws to enclose land which families had been living on for centuries. 90& of common people lost their land & livelihood & were then forced to work as cheap labour for the land owners.

  4. Linda Contreras

    it's currently 1 in the morning and i'm watching your videos not to study but for fun and personal enjoyment. thank you for making me like history more.


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