Reasons why farming in continental Europe was not as advanced as it was in Britain. Continental European countries learnt modern methods of farming from Britain.

Initially, farming in continental Europe was not as advanced as it was in Britain because:

  • The French were affected by frequent wars.
  • Italy was restricted to Spain, which was prospecting for minerals in South America.
  • Holland, Denmark and Germany were involved in large scale world trade, which was more profitable at that time.

Continental European farmers went for practical scientific and agricultural research in England.

How Continental Europe contribute to the development of farming.

  • Continental European countries imported new crops from the Americas.
  • Agricultural science and research were advanced, leading to a fivefold increase in yields. for instance, soil was fertilized with phosphates-rich Guano from the pacific islands and nitrates from Chile.
  • More advances were made in medical sciences.
  • Continental European farmers improved livestock breeding through scientific practices. Today, continental Europe is known for their high quality animals, e.g. the Friesian cow from Holland.

The continental European countries that sent their farmers to Britain for practical scientific and agricultural research.

  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Holland,
  • Spain,
  • Italy.

The crops that were imported by continental European countries from the Americas.

  • Wheat,
  • Barley,
  • Peas,
  • Oats,
  • Beans,
  • Maize,
  • Vines,
  • Potatoes,
  • Subtropical citrus fruits.

Two advances in medical science that add up to continental Europe’s contribution to the development of farming.

Louis Pasteur made great advances in the control of plant and animal diseases. He discovered that most diseases are caused by bacteria and therefore sterilization of food such as milk through boiling can help keep it fresh and bacteria-free for long periods.

Justus Von Liebig from Germany urged for greater reliance on agricultural chemistry.

The impact of the Agrarian Revolution in Continental Europe.

  • Adequate food supply to manufacturing towns and cities.
  • Introduction and use of farm machinery, which compelled people to seek employment in industries.
  • Rural-urban migration, which provided ample labour for factories and industries.
  • Adequate and surplus food production due to improved agricultural methods.
  • Improved living standards, with higher life expectancy due to efficiency and better health standards.
  • Doubling of the European population due to general peace, stability and medical care.
  • Emergence of a non-food producing population, which took up industrial and other jobs.

  • The eventual establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC), which always has surplus food and has virtually advanced in export trade due to highly mechanized and scientific farming.