The role of Agriculture in promotion of Civilization

The role of Agriculture in promotion of Civilization

Agriculture played a significant role in the developmental journey of civilization.  The history of agriculture predates more than 10,000 years ago in the South West Asia and is a story of human kind’s growth and husbandry of methods of producing food, feed, fiber, energy and other goods by planting crops and rearing animals. The knowhow and skill of adoption of soil techniques and growth of plants promoted the growth of the human society promoting a cohesion of clans and other tribes.  As a result of agriculture, cities and trade relations developed between different types of people  which promoted the advancement of the human society. This shows that agriculture has played an important aspect in the economies. This paper seeks to investigate the role played by agriculture towards civilization in different aspects of the world.

Roman Agriculture

Agriculture in Rome was an integral aspect of their culture with major weight on agronomy to produce crops majorly to export in different nations to increase trade.  Romans embarked on manorial economic systems that majorly entailed Serfdom that flourished in the middle ages. Rome’s interaction with Carthage, Greece and Hellenistic East promoted the agricultural techniques within the second to the third centuries with a heightened efficiency and proficiency throughout the late democracy and early realm. Agriculture played an integral role towards civilization in that it promoted interprovincial business of the empire, which increased the regional interdependence. Likewise, there was increased specialization in the production of grain, oil and wine with specialization highly dependent on the soil type. Northern Italy (PO valley) specified on cereal production while Etruria was richly endowed in quality soil for wheat and Campania specialized in wine production because of the availability of volcanic soil.  Not only did the romans gain knowledge on suitability of different soils for suitable crops, but they also took interest on the most suitable manure for the various types of soil.  Similarly, Romans also used animals extensively, which was not only a means of livelihood, but it promoted trade and commerce. For instance, mules and oxen greatly made work easier on the farms while cows on the other hand provided milk for consumption and trade. The Roman law placed a high priority on agriculture because it was the key means of livelihood during the era of early Rome. promoting democracy as a step to civilization. Farmers in Rome had a legal obligation to protect his farm from any unpermitted entry and the twelve table lists destroying any particular farmer’s  as a crime indictable by death. This shows that legal obligation played a central role In development of agriculture which is an important aspect of civilization (Lewis 190).

Chinese

Chinese agriculture traces its roots in the pre-historic Yang Shao culture and Longshan culture. Similarly, Chinese ancient and constitutional archives of the combatant states, Qin dynasty and Han dynasty give evidence of the use of quality multifarious agricultural practices that include countrywide granary scheme and extensive use of sericulture.  During this era, the Chinese had invented the hydraulic-powered trip hammer that was mainly used to pound, decorticate and polish grain. The Chinese also revolutionized the square-pallet by the first era that would be powered by a waterwheel in order to fill the irrigation canals by lifting water from a lower to higher elevation. Similarly, this system was used to provide water for urban and impressive pipe systems. There were key factors that favored agriculture including political stability and a growth in the labor force. This labor force enabled the Chinese population to maximize the wasteland into irrigation works to expound agriculture.  This made the land increasingly effective that amounted to the growth of rice twice a year.  Additionally, cows were used for tilling and insemination. By the time of the Tang dynasty (618-907), China had successfully become an agronomic society. Agricultural developments in the farming equipment comprised the moldboard plow and watermill. Similarly, the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) there was integration of cotton planting and weaving technology. There is evidence that agriculture played an integral role towards technological and social revolution that promoted trade (Needham 15).

Indian Agriculture

 Evidence of sustainable agriculture in India was found in the Indus valley with the availability of wheat and some peas in the sixth period. Similarly, there were other crops grown in the valley that included wheat, peas, sesame seed, barley, dates and mangoes. The Indus plain was strategically located in that it was endowed with quality alluvial deposits that came from the Indus River after floods.  This enabled people build dams and drainage systems to better the agricultural production.  By the year 2000 B.C.E, India had taken agriculture to a greater height with cultivation of tea, bananas and apples. This is evidence of innovation and revolution in practices that not only promoted trade but it enabled the Indians gain a sense of independence and unity (Watson 20).

Agriculture in the middle ages

In the early 19th century, modern agricultural system became an integral part of the commercial life and structure of the Arab culture. The great cities of the near East, North Africa and Moorish Spain  had a comparative advantage of quality agricultural schemes that included extensive irrigation founded on tools and insight  of hydraulic and hydrostatic principles.  In the concurrent centuries, the Muslims in Persia began an agricultural revolution that aimed at transmitting cultural elements into Turkic and Western India.  This revolution was founded on four aspects: innovation and development of a complex irrigation system through integration of machine technology that would enable water-pumping, use of a scientific approach through research to improve the available farming techniques, agricultural incentives that would promote land ownership and help enhance the level of utility to farmers through quality agricultural practices. The fourth objective entailed the introduction of new crops at a global level that promoted Multinational Corporation (Watson 30).  

In addition to this, farming was an important aspect in the Atlantic slave trade and triangular trade.  Likewise, the 18th and 19th centuries promoted development of green houses in Europe and North America. Research was performed in the late 1800s that promoted quality research to understand plant genes towards betterment and development of hybrid agriculture.  Likewise, storage silos and grain elevators were a key innovation in the 19th century.  Statistics reveal that production in the agricultural sector doubled four times between 1820 and 1975 and the process of agriculture became more automated (Watson 32).

Conclusively, this paper has given evidence on the particular roles played by agriculture on the journey of civilization. This includes invention of agricultural apparatus and farming methods, increase in generic research and technology, formation of different markets for commerce,increase in the scale of production of agricultural products and trade. Additionally there was a balance in crop and animal production. This progress in agriculture revolution promoted in technological revolution that has amounted to automation in this field which has made the production easier. China and India have earned significant revenues not only from agricultural produce but also in agricultural technology at a global level. Agriculture has therefore played a significant irreplaceable role towards development of civilization and independence at a global level.

 Works Cited

Lewis , Reinhold . “Roman civilization volume 1.” 0231071310 (1990).

Needham , Joseph . “Science and Civilization in China.” Biology and Biological technology 6 (1984).

Watson , Andrew J. “The Arab agricultural revolution and its diffusion.” the journal of economic history 34.1 (1974): 8-35.

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