Agriculture

Domesticationdescribes the early history. Other aspects of the social structure of agriculturalists are discussed in Community, article on Community development; Manorial economy; rural society; and Village. Other aspects of the economy of agriculture are discussed under Communism, economic organization of; Credit; Famine; Food; Land; Land tenure; and Plantations. It can be done in terms of crop distributions, or relative productivity, or the effect on the rural landscape. The method used here will be a classification of agricultural practice in terms of the basic method or technology by which the farmer tackles the job of wresting crops from the earth. Agricultural technology, as it functions in various natural settings, not only influences crop patterns, productivity, and the landscape, but also affects population density, possibilities for trade and urbanization, and social structure. If we look around the world and attempt to plot on a map the varying techniques with which different societies face the fundamental tasks of cultivation, we are bound to be struck by the existence, over wide areas containing many millions of people, of relatively unsophisticated techniques that seem to be survivals from an age which the more sophisticated societies have left far behind. There are today but few regions where these unsophisticated techniques are entirely unaffected by new ideas that have spread with modern trade and commerce from those countries with early experience of agrarian revolution as defined below. The degree of penetration by these new ideas varies widely, however, from place to place.

Agriculture

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