The Agricultural Revolution 01
Farmers needed to produce more food to feed a rising population.

The Agricultural Revolution 01

Try this KS3 History quiz on the Agricultural Revolution. New farming techniques and ideas were introduced into Britain during the 18th century creating an 'Agricultural Revolution'. It was actually more of a gradual change than a sudden revolution. Before this period of time, most people lived in villages and worked on the land, producing food. Farming was done on narrow strips of land that were slightly raised due to regular ploughing. Each strip was separated from the next by a pathway. Drainage and irrigation was poor and techniques had changed little since medieval times. There are places in the UK where you can still see the ridge and furrow landscape created by this type of farming.

They didn't understand about fertilisers and so once every four years, the land needed to be left fallow in order to recover. All of this meant that food production worked on a small scale but, as the population started to rapidly increase due to the Industrial Revolution, farmers needed to find ways to improve their yields. This was done by using the Norfolk crop rotation system. No land was left fallow and growing clover helped replenish the soil nutrients to give better crop yields.

Before about 1750, farmers used what system?
1-field system
2-field system
3-field system
5-field system
Each field was divided into narrow strips
One of the 3 fields was always left...what?
Meaning it was left empty - very wasteful!
Why was one field left fallow?
For the Lord of the Manor to use
To allow the soil to recover its goodness
To give the children somewhere to play
Villagers didn't have time to farm all three fields
Animals grazed on the fallow field to manure the soil
Why did farmers need to produce more food?
Appetites increased in the late 18th century
Low yields meant a government fine
They were in competition with each other
To feed a rising population
The Aricultural Revolution came about as a result of the Industrial Revolution
What was one advantage of the old 3-field system?
Animals could wander across the crops
Paths were needed to separate the strips
The land could be shared out easily
Time was wasted walking between strips
The paths in between the strips wasted a lot of land
By the early 1800s what had happened to the fields?
The three fields had merged into one
They had been burnt
They had been enclosed
They had been sold to the highest bidder
Enclosure was unpopular because the enclosed land then belonged to a single farmer and was no longer common land. Common land could be freely used by anyone to graze animals and grow crops
Who did not suffer as a result of enclosure?
People who lived in the woods
People who lived on common land
Tenants with no legal rights
Common land and woods were swallowed up in the enclosures
Acts of Parliament of which year made enclosure compulsory?
They were called the General Enclosure Acts
Why did clay and lime come to be used on the land?
To improve the soil
To build animal pens
To clean farm tools
To make the fields look more colourful
They didn't have artificial fertilisers and soil improvers that are available to farmers nowadays
Which county gave its name to a 'Four-course crop rotation' system?
There was always something different being grown on the land, either a crop that could be sold for profit or one that could be used to feed farm animals
Author:  Jan Crompton

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