Agriculture In Agriculture

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In the human history, agriculture has always played a crucial part in the development of people’s life standards. During the early-modern period, in particular, agriculture represented an essential factor of economic growth. In fact, non-agricultural goods began to be manufactured on a large scale, only when farmers became able to produce a surplus that could feed the growing urban population and that could be exchanged for the said new goods. Moreover, the increasing real wages, encouraged people to consume more dairy products and meat, and this led farmers towards the breeding of draft animals. It was then that these animals began to be used in the agricultural processes, and their manure began to be applied as a fertilizer, making English…show more content…
According to Overton (1996), however, England had already experienced such demographic growths (for example in the Roman era, and later in the 14th century), but in none of those cases the increase in population had been steady for a long period of time, because it kept being slowed down by the inability of food supply to meet the growing demand. The situation was different in the early-modern period because other factors were involved in the process. One of them was the fact that English farmers were gradually becoming able to extract more crop from the same areas of land, through the cultivation of particular plants such as clover and turnips, which were alternated with a regular…show more content…
Obviously, the fact that for example, a horse could carry on the work that had to be done by many men, made the demand for the labor of farmers decrease. This led the land to labor ratio go up, making each worker more productive. Moreover, the nitrate-rich animal manure, together with the rotation of different crops, made the soil more fertile. The increase in the land-labor ratio resulted in higher wages for the farmers, who could now afford more non-necessities such as meat and nutritive dairy products. The higher demand for these goods made the revenue of the animal owners experience a sustained growth, which supported them in investing even more in their animal breeding activity. As we can clearly see, this mechanism kept going on in a circle, pushing land and draft animals’ productivity towards higher

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