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significant consequences of the Agricultural Revolution.
EFFECT ON WOMEN LIVES:
The British Agricultural Revolution was the cause of drastic changes in the lives of British women. Before the Agricultural Revolution, women worked alongside their husbands in the fields and were an active part of farming. The increased efficiency of the new machinery, along with the fact that this new machinery was often heavier and difficult for a woman to wield, made this unnecessary and impractical, and women were relegated to other roles in society. To supplement the family's income, many went into cottage industries. Others became domestic servants or were forced into professions such as prostitution. The new, limited roles of women, dubbed by one historian as "this defamation of women workers", (Valenze) fueled prejudices of women only being fit to work in the home, and also effectively separated them from the new, mechanized areas of work, leading to a divide in the pay between men and women.
INCREASE IN POPULATION:
The Agricultural Revolution in Britain proved to be a major turning point in history. The population in 1750 reached the level of 5.7 million. This had happened before: in around 1300 and again in 1650. Each time, the appropriate agricultural infrastructure to support a population this high was not present, and the population fell. However, by 1750, when the population reached this level again, an onset in agricultural technology and new methodology allowed the population growth to be sustained.
MORE DEMAND FOR GOODS:
The increase in population led to more demand from the people for goods such as clothing. A new class of landless labourers, products of enclosure, provided the basis for cottage industry, a stepping stone to the Industrial Revolution. To supply continually growing demand, shrewd businessmen began to pioneer new technology to meet demand from the people. This led to the first industrial factories. People who once were farmers moved to large cities to get jobs in the factories. It should be noted that the British Agricultural Revolution not only made the population increase possible, but also increased the yield per agricultural worker, meaning that a larger percentage of the population could work in these new, post-Agricultural Revolution jobs.