AP Global History 1
January 15, 2015
Throughout history, multiple changes have occurred in the evolution of food production and reliance of food supply. Some of the major changes occurred during the Neolithic Revolution and the Agrarian (Agricultural) Revolution. These upgrades in food production had political, social and economic effects on societies and regions. The Neolithic Revolution fundamentally changed the way people lived by shifting from food-gathering to agriculture to permanent settlements, the establishment of social classes, and the eventual rise of civilizations. The Agricultural Revolution was a period of agricultural development between the 18th century and the end of the 19th century, which saw a massive and rapid increase in agricultural productivity and vast improvements in farm technology. The Neolithic Revolution was one of the first revolutions in food production of humankind. According to “Civilization: Past and Present”, by T. Walter Wallbank, Paleolithic humans could not control their food supply and they relied on foraging, hunting, fishing and trapping, basically dependent on the natural food supply their environment to prevent starvation. The Neolithic Revolution caused a change in human history because humans, who were traditionally hunter-gathers because farmers and herdsman, advancing from food-extraction to food-producing economy, cultivating edible plants, and breeding animals. Mankind no longer needed to depended on the natural resources on the wild but they could now grow crops from the earth. In the comic “Mysteries of Catalhoyukl,”by the Science Museum of Minnesota, Neolithic humans used new technology the plow and the wheel to plant and harvest crops were they resided in a community instead of migrating to hunt and gather. They domesticated plants by using seed selection and selective breeding--controlling the reproduction of animals to select desirable characteristics. Humans began enjoying healthy regular meals, developing villages, erecting permanent structures, formation of complex societies and reshaping environment. The main disadvantages in the food-gathering society of the Paleolithic Age were that they were unable to maintain surpluses and have a growth in the population. The agriculture and pastoralism of the Neolithic Time, even in fairly primitive forms, provided accumulation of surpluses and a growth in population. This population growth paved the way for the ability to stored food and the maintenance of non-food producers. The formation of the societies in the Neolithic Age was the foundation of the River Valley civilizations. As seen in “the Visual Dictionary of Ancient Civilizations” pictographic depictions by Dorling Kindersley one such River Valley civilization affected by the Neolithic Way was Ancient Mesopotamia. The development of a stable food supply called for different jobs/job specialization which could include stirring milk, fleece making etc. Since they were continuously working on these jobs the Sumerians developed the wheel. All of these activities were recorded on the daily rations clay tablets depicted by pictographs. Since Ancient Mesopotamia geographical location near the Tigris and Euphrates which plagued the civilization with unpredictable flooding and this resulted in the development of technologies for altering natural environment such as irrigation canals, flood control. The complexity of the effects of the food-producing economy enhanced over time. People began to settle down and with this a government was developed to maintain law and order. The people in Egypt had a Pharaoh, who ruled and was considered as a god, and in Ancient Chinese civilizations there was the Emperor who was appointed by the Mandate of Heaven. Without the Neolithic Revolution the human race would not have advanced further than living in caves and continuing their hunting and gathering days. Another revolution that impacted Western...
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