Agricultural Revolution - How Did the Open Field System Work?

Topics: Agriculture, Enclosure, Black Death Pages: 2 (423 words) Published: September 27, 2008
How did the open field system work?
The greatest accomplishment of medieval agriculture was the open-field system of village farming developed by European peasants. That system divided the land to be cultivated by the peasants of a given village into several large fields which were cut into long, narrow strips. The fields were open and strips were not enclosed. Peasants farmed each large field as a community.

2. What changes brought the open field system to an end?
The problem with this open-field system was exhaustion of the soil. When the community planted wheat year after year in a field, the nitrogen in the soil was depleted. Therefore, three-year rotations was introduced in order to retain the fertility of the soil.

3. Where and why did the agricultural revolution start? Include political, social and economic reasons. With the coming of the French Revolution, European peasants were able to improve their position by means of radical mass action. The agricultural revolution gradually spread throughout Europe beginning in the Low Countries, mainly the Dutch. The problem of soil exhaustion was solved using sophisticated patterns of crop rotation without using fallowing to increase land cultivation by 50 %. Economy was prospering because of trade and businesses. New ideas out of medieval age.

4. What was enclosure and was it a swindle of the poor by the rich? Enclosure is the term used to describe the need to enclose and consolidate scattered holdings into compact fenced-in fields in order to farm more effectively. It was not exactly a swindle of the poor by the rich because large investments were required and it imposed risks for the nobles as well.

5. What accounted for the increasing population of the 18th century? Increasing population in the 18th century was stimulated by commerce and overseas trade.

6. How was the grip of the deadly Bubonic Plague broken?
Women were able to have more children because they married at a younger age...
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