Unit II The rise and fall of the British agriculture Student: Del Villar, Juan Carlos Instituto Superior Modelo del Pilar Profesorado de Inglés
In the 17th century British people made their living from farming. In the 18th century farming began to change… <ul><li>Reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Britain population grew and the demand for food rose. </li></ul><ul><li>New farming methods, ideas and techniques were tried out. </li></ul><ul><li>consequences: </li></ul><ul><li>This changes affected the lives of farmers forever. </li></ul>
Changes in farming in the 18th century <ul><li>The open field system: </li></ul><ul><li>Typically each village was surrounded by three or sometimes four fields and a piece of common land that everyone could use. </li></ul><ul><li>Each villager had thin strips of land in each field, which meant everyone had a piece of good land and a piece of bad land. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Each field was planted with a different crop every year. </li></ul><ul><li>One might have wheat, a second barley and the last field lay fallow (empty) to allow the soil to recover its goodness. </li></ul>
Housing <ul><li>Most villagers lived in small cottages close to the centre of the village. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of them had gardens in which they grew vegetables or kept geese or pigs. </li></ul>
Tools <ul><li>Farm workers used hand-operated tools or horse-drawn machinery. </li></ul>
Common land <ul><li>Everyone who farmed land in the village had “common rigths”. They could graze animals on the common land. The more land they farmed, the more animals they were allowed to put on the common land. </li></ul><ul><li>The common land provided for other needs: wood for fuel and for building. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the poorest people in the village known as squatters, lived in the common land. They had no rigth to live there but many squatters were tolerated because they were useful at busy times. </li></ul>
Enclosed land <ul><li>Most villages had some enclosed land. This was privately owned. It might be used to graze animals or to grow crops. </li></ul>
The fallow field <ul><li>Experience had shown from generation to generation that if they grew the same crop on the same land, year after year, then the soil would become exhausted. For that reason farmers allowed one of the village´s field to rest or lie “fallow” each year. </li></ul><ul><li>During winter, animals could graze on the fallow field so that manure would act as a fertiliser. </li></ul>
Crop rotation <ul><li>Farmers also varied the crop grown on the field each year. If the same crop was grown year after year the soil would become exhausted. </li></ul>
Advantages Disadvantages Poor villagers could use the common land for crops or to graze cattle. The common land helped to create a feeling of community in the village. Common land could be used for growing more crops, but it was wasted. If a neighbour was lazy, then weeds might appear in other people's crops. The system provided security - villagers always had someone to rely on for help and a sense of structure. Having strips of land and sharing tools meant that it was hard to try new techniques.
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