Agricultural Revolution

'But at each of these periods the population ceased to grow, essentially because agriculture could not respond to the pressure of feeding extra people. Contrary to expectation, however, population grew to unprecedented levels after 1750, reaching 16.6 million in 1850, and agricultural output expanded with it.'

'A second reason why we can claim an agricultural revolution in the century after 1750 is that as each agricultural worker produced more food, so the proportion of the workforce in agriculture fell. This falling proportion of workers in agriculture enabled the proportion working in industry and services to rise: in other words improved agricultural production made the industrial revolution possible, and many would regard the industrial revolution as the beginning of the modern world. By 1850 only 22 per cent of the British workforce was in agriculture; the smallest proportion for any country in the world.'



© Piper Maru, all rights reserved