AP Euro Agriculture Timeline

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Great Famine

1315 - 1317

Heavy rains ruin crops, weakened the population, which made them more vulnerable to the impending Black Death

Enclosure Movement

Approx. 1700 - Approx. 1800

in England, wealthy people would buy land and fence it off to efficiently create food.
Small family farms disappeared

Agricultural Revolution

Approx. 1700 - Approx. 1800

-A period where techniques and attitudes changed to improve farming, not necessarily new machinery

-More farmland created and better weather

-Fodder System : crops like turnips would be planted to replenish nutrients in the soil and also feed cow; cow poop also gives nutrients to the soil

-Small Farms were consolidated

-Rural Hierarchy forms : Landowners (top), tenant farmers (middle), Laborers (bottom)

-The A.R. is most effective in England and the Dutch Republic

Cotton Gin


Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin. It helps take out the cotton seeds faster, meaning more cotton and cloth could be produced. Also led to an increase in slavery because they needed more labor

Agricultural Innovations

1800 - 1900
  • Chemical Fertilizers : boost crop yield

  • Reapers and threshers : speed up harvesting process

-Wire Fences : to protect crops, were easer to replace than brick/stone walls

  • Refrigeration : foods stay fresh longer, urban population can have produce

-Tin cans : to preserve food

Deforestation in Sicily

Approx. 1830 - Approx. 1880

Deforestation in Sicily caused by Greek shipbuilders leaves the soil useless.
Causes many to have to migrate, to places like the Americas
(I DON"T actually know exact dates for this event, so if you guys know could you tell me and I'll change it)

Irish Potato Famine

1845 - 1852

A disease called blight started destroying potatoes and since potatoes were a main source of food for the lower class, many families went hungry or emigrated. The wealthier English Protestant landowners exported any good potatoes for max profit instead of feeding their workers

Mirs system ends


Pyotr Stolypin ends the Mirs system in Russia, which makes the peasants happier

Turnip Winter

1916 - 1917

In Germany, during WWI, there was a period of famine and also rationing for the troops. Turnips became the whole diet of the Germans

Stalin creates Collectives


Stalin created collectives, which are large, government owned farms, after seizing land that belonged to the peasants. He does this so he can have control over everything in the Soviet Union, meaning the produce belongs to the state.
Wealthy farmers (called Kulaks) resist Stalin's plan and as a result, are liquidated, meaning their land/grain is seized and they are sent to war camps or killed.

Dust Bowl

1934 - 1940

During the 1930s, in the US, the Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms and drought.
There was a loosening of the topsoil, which left fields useless. As a result, many left there home in the mid-east and moved west to places, like California.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck is a story about a family that migrates to California from Oklahoma to work as migrant workers.

Rise in Agribusiness

1950 - Present

Commercial farming (similar to the enclosure movement)
- Agriculture is changing because of research and GMOs
- For genetically modified foods, there is better appearance and cheaper prices, but nutrition is not normally a primary concern

Cesar Chavez founds the National Farm Workers Assosiation


Cesar Chavez advocated for the rights of Hispanic farm workers and led a strike for Mexican grape farmers.
In 1962, he co-founded National Farm Workers Association (field workers union) with Dolores Huerta