18th Century Economy And Society

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18th Century Economy And Society

  1. 1. 18 th Century Economy and Society <ul><li>The Agricultural Revolution (17 th -18 th C) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior to Rev.: Medieval field system was predominant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open field system: common lands were open and strips of land for agriculture were not dividend by fences or hedges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1/3 to ½ of lands lie in fallow on any given year so soil could recover </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. The Agricultural Revolution (17 th -18 th C) <ul><li>England, the Netherlands and France leaders in Ag. Industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased production of food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New methods of cultivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selective breeding of livestock </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Agricultural Revolution: Low Countries <ul><li>Science and technology was applied to agriculture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By mid 17 th century, the Dutch enclosed fields, rotated crops, employed heavy use of manure for fertilizer and planted a wide variety of crops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drainage –Dutch reclaimed wetlands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cornelius Vermuyden: famous Dutch engineer </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. England <ul><li>Charles “Turnip” Townsend pioneered crop rotation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usage of nitrogen crops such as turnips and clover to replenish soil so that fallowing was not necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jethro Tull (1674-1741) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Of empiricism of the S.R. was applied to agriculture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seed Drill – allowed for sowing of crops in a straight row </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Robert Bakewell (1725-95) pioneered selective breeding of livestock </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resulted in increased availability of meat, wool, leather, soap, and candle tallow </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. England: Enclosure Movement <ul><li>Landowners sought to increase profits from wool production by enclosing fields for raising sheep (16 th Century) </li></ul><ul><li>18 th Century Enclosure: end to open field system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Resulted in commercialization of agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parliament passed over 3,000 enclosure acts in the late 18 th century and early 19 th century that benefited large landowners </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. England: Enclosure Movement <ul><li>Corn Laws in 1815 benefited landowners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High tariffs on foreign grain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drove up price of English grain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hurt the poor—could not afford price increases for food </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. England: Enclosure Movement <ul><li>Impact on the peasantry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced off lands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many moved to towns or cities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men other opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women had no way to raise animals on common lands for extra-money </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. England: Enclosure Movement <ul><li>Impact on women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional communities: women had been an indispensable part of a household’s economic survival </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enclosure of common lands meant that women (and men) were forced off the land </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic opportunities for women thus decreased significantly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young women increasingly went to find domestic work or extreme measures: prostitution </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Impact of Agricultural Revolution <ul><li>Population explosion (18 th century) Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Altered society in the countryside (enclosure) </li></ul><ul><li>Cottage industry emerged as means of supplementing family incomes </li></ul><ul><li>Increased supply of food resulted in lower food prices that enabled people to spend more money on consumer goods </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cottage Industry (“Putting Out” System)

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