1.) The Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions
The two changes in the use of the earth's resources that had the greatest effect
on the world population were the neolithic and the industrial revolutions.
The neolithic revolution (a.k.a. agricultural revolution) was a change in the
way of life of our ancestors. It took place about 8000 years ago among various
tribes in Asia and the Middle East. It included a transition from foraging and
hunting to the domestication of animals (most probably starting with the dog)
and to farming. Tribes settled in fertile areas and formed agricultural
communities many of which grew into villages and cities. This relatively stable
way of life and the more reliable food supply (and surplus) led to the
development of new professions, to labor specialization and ultimately to the
stratification of these societies. Improved conditions of life led to somewhat
longer life spans. Nevertheless population growth remained low due to high
infant mortality rates. The impact of the neolithic revolution was not as much
on immediate population growth (even though it did have a long term impact on
population growth) as on the material and spiritual development of the human
race. It is widely regarded as the beginning of civilization. Industrial
revolution was another process of change. It was the process of substituting
muscle power with machine power. It took place in the 18th century in Europe
and is still happening in many parts of the world. In many characteristics it
has been similar to the neolithic revolution: it increased production, it led to
the use of resources that had been mostly unused until then and it improved the
overall quality of life. It also led to changes in the structure of society.
What was different, was its impact on population growth. It was quick and easily
noticeable. Advanced sanitation, hygiene and medicine led to longer life spans
and declining death rates, with the birth rates... [continues]
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