The Revolutions of Agriculture,
10,000 b.c.e.–3000 b.c.e.
CHAPTER LEARNING OBJECTIVES
• TO MAKE STUDENTS AWARE THAT AGRICULTURE EVOLVED INDEPENDENTLY IN SEVERAL REGIONS OF THE WORLD • To trace the development of agriculture and its local variations • To consider the social implications of the Agricultural Revolution
I. OPENING VIGNETTE A. In the past two centuries, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of farmers worldwide. 1. United States an extreme case: only around 5 percent of Americans, many of them over 65 years old, were still on farms in 2000 2. great increase in the productivity of modern agriculture B. The modern retreat from the farm is a reversal of humanity’s first turn to agriculture.
II. The Agricultural Revolution in World History A. Agriculture is the second great human process after settlement of the globe. 1. started about 12,000 years ago 2. often called the Neolithic (New Stone Age) or Agricultural Revolution 3. deliberate cultivation of plants and domestication of animals 4. transformed human life across the planet B. Agriculture is the basis for almost all human developments since. C. Agriculture brought about a new relationship between humans and other living things. 1. actively changing what they found in nature rather than just using it 2. shaping the landscape 3. selectively breeding animals D. “Domestication” of nature created new mutual dependence. 1. many domesticated plants and animals came to rely on humans 2. humans lost gathering and hunting skills E. There was an “intensification” of living: getting more food and resources from much less land. 1. more food led to more people 2. more people led to greater need for intensive exploitation
III. Comparing Agricultural