- The increase in agricultural production and technological advancements during the
Agricultural Revolution contributed to unprecedented population growth and new
agricultural practices, triggering such phenomena as rural-to-urban migration,
development of a coherent and loosely regulated agricultural market, and emergence
of capitalist farmers.
- It proved to be a major turning point, allowing population to far exceed earlier peaks
and sustain the country’s rise to industrial preeminence.
- The increase in the food supply contributed to the rapid growth of population.
- The rise in productivity accelerated the decline of the agricultural share of the labor
force, adding to the urban workforce on which industrialization depended. The
Agricultural Revolution has therefore been cited as a cause of the Industrial
Revolution. As enclosure deprived many of access to land or left farmers with plots
too small and of poor quality, increasing numbers of workers had no choice but
migrate to the city. However, mass rural flight did not take place until the Industrial
Revolution was already underway.
- The next stage of development was trading between markets, requiring merchants,
credit and forward sales, and knowledge of markets and pricing as well as of supply
and demand in different markets. Eventually the market evolved into a national one
driven by London and other growing cities.
- Commerce was aided by the expansion of roads and inland waterways. Road transport
capacity grew from threefold to fourfold.
- With the development of regional markets and eventually a national market aided by
improved transportation infrastructures, farmers were no longer dependent on their
local markets and were less subject to having to sell at low prices into an oversupplied
local market and not being able to sell their surpluses to distant localities that were
experiencing shortages. They also became less subject to price fixing regulations.
Farming became a business rather than solely a means of subsistence. Under free
market capitalism, farmers had to remain competitive. To be successful, they had to
become effective managers who incorporated the latest farming innovations in order
to be low-cost producers.