THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION


Progress of science and technics and especially larger demand for food had a big impact on introduction of mechanization in agriculture. Mechanization in agriculture was first introduced in Great Britain. The United States of America followed soon in first place because of the lack of labour force and large agricultural estates.

The most important novelties in agriculture were:

- traction engine
- plough/plow made from steel which ploughed deeper
- mechanical seed drill
- harvest machine
- threshing machine
- mechanical reaper

Smaller agricultural estates which did not use the fertilizer and mechanization could not survive any longer. The invention of fertilizer by Julius Liebig in 1840 increased the income of estates which began to use the fertilizers. Therefor was necessary to properly store the nutrients. Latter led to wide use of cooling devices, milk sterilizers, cans, ... Because the larger demands in agriculture McCormick introduced mass production of agricultural machinery. In Continental Europe the use of agricultural machinery began after 1850 at first in France, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In German lands the mechanization of agriculture began after the abolishment of feudalism, while in Russia mechanization of agriculture had not began until the end of 19th century.

Despite slow mechanization of agriculture in Continental Europe agriculture was modernized by abandonment of the three-year rotation, enclosure of livestock in pastures and barns, fertilization, introduction of new field crops (potato, maize, and other industrial and fodder crops). Better cultivation increased the income also in Continental Europe and had a very big impact on growth of population.