Agriculture in the Industrial Revolution

a gentleman breeder of improved sheepWhat are the relationships between agricultural changes and the industrial revolution in England?

Improvements in agriculture helped start the industrial revolution and were crucial to its success
notice also what life was like for farm laborers, to provide a comparison with the lives of factory workers

Older (Medieval) system of agriculture in England: Villages farmed communally—people living in a village worked together to farm a large area of land

enclosure diagram
Leading up to the industrial revolution, the key change was Enclosure, a change in how the use of agricultural land was organized

enclosed fields
In the late 18th century (at the start of the industrial revolution):
painting of farm workers shearing sheep
Rural Poor:

Improved agricultural technology (needed for the industrial revolution to continue to grow): early timeline
a turnip slicer because horses can't manage whole turnips
turnip slicing

Rapid industrialization meant more demand for food and therefore required further innovation in agriculture--improved science and technology for agriculture were as much a result of the industrial revolution as a cause.  Capitalism was coming to agriculture

this page written and copyright  Pamela E. Mack
last updated 9/4/2019