AP European History : Agriculture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Agriculture

One of the chief effects of the British Agricultural Revolution in the eighteenth century was __________.

Possible Answers:

a lack of technological development in agricultural techniques

a diffusing of the types of crops being grown on British soil

an increase in famines during lean years for agricultural production

a massive growth in the population of Great Britain

increased wealth among the entire area of Great Britain

Correct answer:

a massive growth in the population of Great Britain

Explanation:

The British Agricultural Revolution took place over the entire eighteenth century and was largely spurred by the introduction of crop rotation to the British Isles and the increased use of turnips and clover in fallow fields. This increased the crop yield in Britain exponentially, which allowed the population to nearly double in a century. This effect was a key instigator for the start of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, as many more people could be sustained without having to work in agriculture.

Example Question #2 : Agriculture

Which of the following individuals is well-known for popularizing the use of turnips to keep soil fertile during the British Agricultural Revolution?

Possible Answers:

James Hargreaves

James Watt

Jethro Tull

Charles Townshend

William Gladstone

Correct answer:

Charles Townshend

Explanation:

Charles “Turnip” Townshend was a long-time British politician who upon retiring from public office popularized the use of turnips to keep soil fertile and prevent farmers from having to spend large periods of each year leaving their land fallow. This was an important step in the British Agricultural Revolution.

Example Question #3 : Agriculture

The British agriculturalist Jethro Tull pioneered the __________.

Possible Answers:

use of horseshoes and horse collars

horse-drawn seed drill

enclosure system

open field system

Norfolk four-course system

Correct answer:

horse-drawn seed drill

Explanation:

Jethro Tull was a British agriculturist who helped contribute a great deal to the advent of the British Agricultural Revolution in the eighteenth century. He was a deep thinker who wanted to apply the principles of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution to improving the practice of agriculture in Britain. To this end, he pioneered the horse-drawn seed drill and advocated for the use of horses instead of oxen. He also scientifically demonstrated the importance of frequent hoeing to keep the soil healthy.

Example Question #4 : Agriculture

The British Agricultural Revolution took many ideas from the agricultural innovations of the people of which country?

Possible Answers:

Belgium

India

France

Ukraine

South Africa

Correct answer:

Belgium

Explanation:

The Waasland region of Belgium was historically a region with very poor-quality soil that led to frequent famine and starvation. It also led to necessary innovation, however. It is from the Waasland that the British imported ideas about the Norfolk four-course system of crop rotation and where Charles Townshend got the idea to use turnips to keep soil fertile and prevent it from needing to lie fallow.

Example Question #5 : Agriculture

Which of the following is the name of the practice that was developed in England during the British Agricultural Revolution and allowed farmers to grow crops and keep livestock year-round while keeping the soil fertile?

Possible Answers:

Suffolk seasonal course system

Sussex seasonal crop rotation

The Norfolk four-course system

Derbyshire farming method

Yorkshire four-tiered agricultural system

Correct answer:

The Norfolk four-course system

Explanation:

The Norfolk four-course system was an important part of the British Agricultural Revolution of the eighteenth century. It was a crop rotation system designed to grow different crops in the same soil at different times of the year. It generally involved a rotation of wheat, turnips, barley, and clover. The advantages were numerous: it allowed farmers to make a much healthier profit, it allowed livestock to be kept and fed year-round, it kept the soil fertile, and it provided greater protection against blights.

Example Question #1 : Agriculture

The Enclosure Acts in the early nineteenth century had which of the following effects?

Possible Answers:

Led to a decline in subsistence farming

All of these answers

None of these answers

Caused many former farmers to move to the colonies

Increased the agricultural production of Britain

Correct answer:

All of these answers

Explanation:

Prior to the signing of the various enclosure acts, much of British farming was done on a very small scale. Most farming was merely subsistence farming, done to support the family with a small amount left over as surplus. The land was generally commonly owned, or rather, was organized in an open field system in which land was divided into small patches worked by peasants. Enclosure Acts made this land private and led to the rise of large-scale agricultural production. This had numerous consequences for British society. It led to a massive surge in agricultural production and a decline in the number of people needed to work the fields to feed the population. This in turn caused many farmers to move either to the colonies (providing the raw manpower for British colonialism) or to move to cities (providing the raw manpower for the Industrial Revolution).

Example Question #7 : Agriculture

Which of these individuals is most well-known for pioneering work in the selective breeding of livestock?

Possible Answers:

Robert Bakewell

Charles Townshend

Jethro Tull

James Hargreaves

Robert Fulton

Correct answer:

Robert Bakewell

Explanation:

Robert Bakewell is widely considered one of the most influential figures of the British Agricultural Revolution in the eighteenth century. He was one of the first people known to selectively breed livestock, which led to healthier, sturdier, and more useful sheep, horses, and cattle. The effect of this cannot be understated, for it led to far fewer animals being lost to disease and greatly improved the quality and quantity of meat provided by farm animals.

Example Question #2 : Agriculture

What term is used to describe soil that is left unsown for a period of time so as to restore its fertility and ability to produce crops?

Possible Answers:

Yielding

Shoddy

Fallow

Eager

Fodder

Correct answer:

Fallow

Explanation:

To let a field "lie fallow” means to leave it unsown and uncultivated for a period of time so as to restore the soil's fertility and ensure that the nutrients in the soil can be replenished. Human civilization has long understood that using the same land over and over again, without interruption, will cause the nutrients in that soil to be depleted and ensure starvation in the long term. To get around this, people often let fields lie “fallow” for a period of time. One of the innovations of the British Agricultural Revolution was the realization that by rotating four particular crops, those crops would use different nutrients and some would even replenish the nutrients in the ground, leading to much less wasted time and space, and less frequent famine and disease.

Example Question #8 : Agriculture

When did the British Agricultural Revolution take place?

Possible Answers:

The nineteenth century

The eighteenth century

The twentieth century

The eleventh century

The fifteenth century

Correct answer:

The eighteenth century

Explanation:

The British Agricultural Revolution took place from roughly from 1700 to 1800, the eighteenth century. The British Agricultural Revolution witnessed great technological advancements and political reform which caused the supply of food to increase dramatically. One of the most important social and economic consequences of the revolution was that because of the Enclosure Acts—which granted British lords the right to purchase common land—many small scale farmers were forced to migrate to urban centres. This provided the raw manpower to fuel the Industrial Revolution in the next century.

Example Question #3 : Agriculture

The Irish potato famine was particularly severe because __________.

Possible Answers:

certain people were affected very differently by the effects of the potato blight that invaded Ireland

the British government gave massive amounts of aid to Ireland

Irish farmers refused to plant other available crops when their potato crops failed

the Irish population had no ability to leave Ireland for other countries

the potato dominated Irish agriculture to the point of being most people's only real source of food

Correct answer:

the potato dominated Irish agriculture to the point of being most people's only real source of food

Explanation:

The potato, originally a South American plant, had been a staple part of European agriculture for centuries by the time of the Irish potato famine in 1845. Estimates put two-fifths of the Irish population as solely dependent on the potato for sustenance, with the other proportion being largely dependent as well. After a blight decimated the Irish potato crop, people starved in large numbers, with the problem exacerbated by slow help from the British government. One million people died during the famine, while another million fled Ireland for other countries, lowering the island's population by about 25%.

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