How did the agricultural revolution lead to the industrial revolution?

The agricultural revolution occurred between the 18th and 19th century, setting foundations for the industrial revolution which was to follow. By creating big changes in more traditional agricultural practices, the boost in efficiency saw a notable rise in food production while reducing the amount of labor needed, subsequently seeing a population growth. The two revolutions displayed some distinct similarities and the significance of the industrial revolution can be partially accredited to the agricultural revolution for various reasons:

Advanced technology capabilities

The experience gained from improving agricultural practices created a basis for technological advancements across other industries. Commonly used farming practices began to modernize to horse drawn plows and seed drills which sped up labor-intensive processes and reduced the strain on farmers. Seeing vast improvements across the industry, this is said to contribute towards the technologies created and implemented across other industries during the revolution.

Surplus of employment opportunities

The agricultural revolution meant that the improved farming tools required less manual labor from workers, allowing results to be achieved with less manpower. The increased availability of laborers then meant that people were seeking employment in other areas, aiding the emerging industrial revolution as workers were starting out in industries such as mining and textiles.

Increased food production

The introduction of new agriculture methods means that output could be increased, allowing farmers to take on larger areas of land which in turn produced more crops. As well as this, technological advancements meant techniques such as genetically modified seed varieties and crop rotation saw a larger volume of crop yield, creating surplus food and thus a reliable food supply which could manage the growing population.

A healthier population

With more food supply, the population steadily grew and people were able to live healthier lives thanks to the improved supply of food. Being especially prevalent in rural areas and poorer communities, the food supply decreased mortality rates and more people were seeking work. As the industrial revolution began, more workers were relocating to urban areas in search of new opportunities.

Additional Agricultural Revolution facts:

  • The agricultural revolution in Britain was a period of change from the traditional to modern farming systems that occurred between the mid-1600s and the late 1800s. It involved the adoption of new technologies, methods, and crops that increased productivity and efficiency. Source:
  • One of the main factors that facilitated the agricultural revolution was the enclosure system, which involved the consolidation of land ownership and the fencing of common lands. This allowed farmers to experiment with new crops, rotations, and techniques without interference from other users. Source:
  • The agricultural revolution also introduced new crops and livestock breeds that improved the quality and quantity of food production. For example, turnips and clover were used as fodder crops that enriched the soil and fed the animals. Shorthorn cattle were developed for both dairy and beef production. Source:
  • The agricultural revolution had a significant impact on the population, economy, and society of Britain. It led to a decline in the agricultural share of the labor force, as more people moved to urban areas to work in industry. It also increased the food supply and lowered the prices, which improved the living standards and health of the people. It also stimulated the demand for manufactured goods and services, such as textiles, iron, coal, and transport. Source:
  • The agricultural revolution is considered to be one of the causes of the industrial revolution, which was a period of rapid economic and social change that began in the late 1700s and lasted until the mid-1800s. The industrial revolution was characterized by the development of new machines, factories, and sources of power that transformed the production and consumption of goods and services. Source:

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