Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Western World in 300 Events: Event 3 - The Agricultural Revolution

Conventionally the Agricultural Revolution is taken as ground zero in the birth of civilization. By regimenting and increasing food production yields the revolution freed up time for other human endeavours. This included the wholesale development of various artisan pursuits that in turn galvanized a technological revolution that continues today. In one could argue that the revolution was in a sense the fore bringer of our modern world. However the shift toward planned farming (which in the west involved the domestication of wheat, barley, rye and oats and various livestock) was not without its disadvantages. Some feminists see it as the beginning of patriarchy for one. Others argue that it was destructive towards the environment, resource draining and over reliant on a societal hierarchy that at times promoted slavery. It cemented the idea of territory making war an inevitable outcome. While some of these features endured many were more consistent with the early stages of an evolving dynamic. The Agricultural Revolution cemented the success of our species, freed us from the shackles of subsistence living and opened up the potential that is so evident across the landscape of human achievement.

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