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Agriculture During The Industrial Revolution Notes

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Supervision 1: Population Growth and Agriculture during the
Industrial Revolution British Economic History, Paper 5, Part I Essay 2 'Agriculture played a fundamental role in British industrialisation.' (a) Explain the main ways in which agriculture can theoretically influence
industrialisation. (b) Discuss which of these possible influences is supported by the empirical findings
for Britain.

The transformation of a pre­industrialized economy into the industrial age causes
cataclysmic changes in many sectors. As the agricultural sector is by far the biggest
part in any pre­industrialized country, industrialization can never be uncoupled from
developments in agriculture. One would expect the primary sector to play a
fundamental role, either contributing to or maybe hampering technological and
economic progress in an economy. So what are the main aspects in which the
alteration of agriculture can exert influence on industrialization? Does agriculture play
an active role in stimulating the development of a manufacturing sector, or does it
merely respond to changes in other sectors of the economy?
All of our examined aspects will be related to an increase in agricultural productivity
and its implications. This increase can be achieved by new farming methods,
technical innovations, institutional change (especially enclosure) and a market­
oriented framework. First of all, we can consider the release of labour. As the
agricultural sector becomes more productive, it can produce more output per worker.
Therefore, farmers can release labour into other areas; workers who would be
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