Agriculture: the turning point
There have been many important revolutions throughout history, but the most important revolution in our human history is the Agricultural Revolution. The Agricultural Revolution marked an important turning point in history because it was the beginning of more populated societies, hierarchies of class, provided the foundation for language and literature, and allowed for the invention of new technologies.
The Agriculture Revolution was a very important time because of the rapid growth of population due to the farming and herding revolution. During this time, the population in the world grew to enormous sizes because of the rapid growth of agriculture. “Growing populations in turn required an even greater need for the intensive exploitation of the environment” (Strayer 51).
The point that the population intensifies during this time marks a decisive turning point in history because populations help create larger societies and more civilizations which eventually leads to our modern world today. The Ice Age created a good environment for farming and agriculture which allowed more vegetation. More vegetation meant more settlements which initially meant more people to farm, more people to travel to new places to find new areas, and more people to settle down in one place.
Also because of the Ice Age, there were many animals that became domesticated which meant little opportunity for the people to wander as nomads with a herd of slow animals. This increase in food and way of life comes back to the same point: more food means more people which was the agricultural revolution and how very important and significant it truly was. The Agricultural Revolution was very different from the Paleolithic era which shows that it was a very important and rapid turning point in our world history.
Before the Agricultural Revolution, there were no hierarchies of class due to the general equality of men and women. During the Agricultural Revolution, the impact of farming allowed men to work in the fields more because of their ability to do hard labor leaving the women to stay indoors and bear children.
This caused an inequality in power between men and women which eventually caused a hierarchy of class between them as well. During this Revolution, women were degraded to the role of simply having children, cleaning house, and playing the role of wife.
Women at this time were not seen as equal or superior to men. Not only was there a formation of hierarchy of class between men and women but also between others. During the agricultural era, higher powers were formed while others with lower status were also fashioned.
“Despite their democratic qualities and the absence of centralized authority, village-based lineage societies sometimes developed modest social and economic inequalities.” These inequalities and hierarchies of class show that the Agricultural Revolution was a decisive turning point in history because of how different it was from the Paleolithic era.
Another example of evidence that would support the claim that the Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning point in human history is the foundation that was laid for language and literature. There wasn’t much language or a form of written language until the Agricultural Revolution which happened quite quickly during the era. “The globalization of agriculture was a prolonged process, lasting 10,000 years or more after its first emergence in the Fertile Crescent, but it did not take hold everywhere” (Strayer 60).
This claim ties back to the claim that was made earlier about how the Agricultural Revolution was a time for a growth in population. The growing population made it possible to travel which also allowed groups of people to come into contact with other groups of people. This sort of contact made language and writing a must have in order to live happily with one another and to communicate effectively with others.
The most prominent significance of the Agricultural Revolution that marked a turning point in history is the invention of new technology. The farming culture requires a lot of land that needs to be farmed which would be hard to do completely by hand. Over a very short time, inventions made an explosive contribution to the world. “Evidence for the invention of looms of several kinds dates back to 7,000 years ago, and textiles, some elaborately decorated, show up in Peru, Switzerland, China, and Egypt” (Strayer 62).
The loom at this time was a very important invention because of its ability to quickly aid the maker of clothing and for trade of clothing as well. Another example of technology that boomed during this Revolution was the invention of new ways milk animals, harvest wool and the ability to hitch their animals to plows for harvesting and irrigation. This invention of the plow and hitching various animals to their plows was very important towards the overall growth of farming.
Plows made it possible to farm larger areas of land which made it possible for larger populations to endure and continue to endure for thousands of years. “Even more important they learned to ride horses and camels and to hitch various animals to plows and carts” (Strayer 62). Today, although the technology of the plow has changed, the general idea of the plow is still used for farming.
There is a lot of evidence that supports the idea that the Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning point in history such as an increase in population, hierarchies of class between men and women, a foundation for language and literature, and for the innovation of technology.
The land after the first Ice Age became much better equipped for farming which enabled the population to grow by enormous standards compared to the Paleolithic era. This increase in population was a very important turning point because it marked the beginning of a time of humans and way of life.
Before the Agricultural Revolution, men and women were of equal status based on the hunter gatherer society with women bringing in just as much and often more food than the men. “One study of a modern gathering and hunting society in southern Africa found that plants, normally gathered by women provided a70 percent of the diet, while meat, hunted by men, accounted for just 30 percent” (Strayer 20).
During the Agricultural Revolution, men worked in the fields while women tended to their children and their households causing an inequality between men and women and eventually diminishing the women’s roles to almost nothing which is a very important turning point due to the fact that it stays that way for many years.
During the Paleolithic era, language and writing was very developed nor that important. But eventually, life began to spread to other parts of the world and language and literature were important for keeping peace, making records, and communicating.
Another very important turning point in human history was the innovation of technology. New technology was important to the Agricultural Revolution due to the idea that such technology such as the plow helped with farming as well as looms helped with making clothes. Knowing our world history is a very important thing and it is also important to understand the evidence that the Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning point in history and that there were rapid changed being made during that time.
Strayer, Robert. Ways of the World: A Brief Global History, Volume I: To 1500. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.