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Turning Points: Neolithic Revolution, French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution

By | July 2006
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Turning Points: Neolithic Revolution, French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution

Political, social, and economic conditions have often led to revolutions that have changed the course of history for nations and peoples. These revolutions had such a significant impact that they can fittingly be labeled "turning points". Two of these turning points, the Neolithic and French Revolutions, have drastically altered the world today.

During the Paleolithic Period, which lasted from the start of human life until about 10,000 BCE, people were nomadic. They lived in small clans, usually consisting of 20-30 people, and spent much of their lives hunting and gathering. These early humans developed primitive tools, such as spears and axes, made from bone, wood, and stone. These peoples lived this way up until around 10,000 BCE, when they started cultivating crops and domesticating animals. The start of using these new methods is known as the Neolithic Revolution.

Throughout the Neolithic Revolution, people began to cultivate crops and domesticate animals, which was a major change from hunting and gathering. This caused permanent settlements to be established. New discoveries, inventions, and methods of farming developed during this revolution. Farmers developed new metal tools, such as the plow. They also developed a calendar to keep track of when to plant and harvest crops. As a result of permanent settlements being formed, a specialization of labor was created. This divided the jobs between different members of the society, which gave rise to a government to regulate the work and a social class system. This new use of agriculture enabled humans to develop permanent settlements, social classes, and new technology. Some of these groups settled in the arable valleys of the Indus, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers, which resulted in the rise of complex civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China.

Another major turning point in world history was the...

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