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This was accomplished through an agricultural revolution that occurred as part and parcel of the industrial revolution (Kline, lecture).It is not possible to clearly point out some automated crop-harvesting machine or other facilitating artifact that explains the difference between the state of agriculture in the Middle Ages and the British Industrial Revolution.
There was also another area of change that had nothing to do with a particular invention--just new knowledge regarding crop rotations.
Older forms of crop rotation involved fallow periods that occurred as often as once every three years (Deane, p 38).
This is not surprising, since any industrial revolution is characterized by a migration from rural areas into cities, where people can participate in factory work.
Although the population moved away from farming centers, they obviously still had to eat, so the productivity of farms must have increased during this period.
The population of the Middle Ages was mostly rural, with open fields cultivated in discontinuous strips by "peasants with rights of pasture, fuel and game on the overstocked common" (Deane, p 37).
The population of the British Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, was mostly urban.
This essay explores the idea that we must think of technology in much broader terms than just material culture.
It does so by comparing and contrasting the Middle Ages (roughly 500AD to 1500AD) with the British Industrial Revolution (roughly 1750AD to 1850AD).
During the British Industrial Revolution, many goods were produced in mechanized factories rather than by hand.
Obviously, a large amount of innovation in machine technology had to occur for this to happen, and the British Industrial Revolution is marked by several significant inventions.