Industrial Revolution Improvements In Farm Productivity Were Expected To Cause

820 words - 3 pages

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Improvements in farm productivity were expected to cause a development in the living standards of Western Europe due to greater food intake, lower death rates, higher productivity, larger supply of goods, and higher earnings. However, although increased farm productivity was a strong initiating factor that improved England and most of Europe, it is not the only thing that caused the exceptional economic "boom" or expansion in England. It was the industrial revolution that was going on at the time (18th Century) in Britain, which led to greater improvements in the economy of western Europe than farm productivity improvement could have ever caused. It's too simple to ask how developments in farming would have influenced Western Europe. Agriculture is a big issue, but I can also show that the Industrial Revolution -aside from its direct influence on agriculture- had a remarkable impact on the economy and lifestyle of 18th-century Britain. The technology and broadened economic structure (i.e. one that depended on coal and steel and overseas trade) brought by the Industrial Revolution each had their own influence on the status and wealth of the Western European nations, especially Great Britain.This is not to say, however, that the lives of eighteenth century Europeans were not influenced by the advancements in agriculture. The income from farming led to an improvement in the living standards, which was reflected in the population growth charts of Europe. For example, starting from the mid-18th century there has been a population growth of approximately 8% in each decade until 1800. Looking at the indexes of annual numbers of deaths and births in Europe (Wiesner,107), we can see that the population growth was not fueled primarily by the increased birth rates, but more by the reduced death rates. The reduction in number of deaths is a result of agricultural revolution, which provided more food for the population and helped eliminating deaths due to famine. Enough food intake also strengthened the immunity of Europeans against diseases such as "smallpox and tuberculosis" (Wiesner,778).In the 18th Century, England was going through the process of industrial revolution, which influenced most activities, including agriculture. Through scientific and rational methods, agriculture became more specialized and huge wealth was created through greater levels of production. "The timing of the industrial revolution in Britain was influenced by plentiful harvests in the years 1715 and 1750." (Noble,784) Plentiful supply of food created low food prices and lowered the industrial wages. Farmers with good earnings...

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