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Contributing Factors to Agricultural Innovation

This research critically evaluates the proposition that innovation in agriculture was a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the urbanization of our society. The beginnings of urbanization are found in the economic and social transition from feudalism to capitalism (Ekelund and Hebert, 1991, pp. 21, 32). Urbanization in American society gained strength in the wake of the introduction of the Industrial Revolution in this country (Fitzgerald, 1991, pp. 114126).

Many factors contributed to the dissolution of the feudal system. With respect to this current research, the significant points about these factors is that they were interrelated, their combined impact brought an end to feudalism, and the end of feudalism ushered in urbanization. These contributing factors created two conditions which led to the end of feudalism. The first of these conditions was the rise of towns. Towns provided an alternative way of making a living for individuals who had heretofore been restricted to the farms. While only a relatively few serfs left the farms in the early stages of town development, the higher income levels available in towns created pressures for changes on the farms. Thus, to prevent losses on the farms, feudal lords were required to make concessions to those serfs remaining. These concessions were most often manifested in greater personal freedom, and in the transformation of feudal dues to money rents for the individuals providing the labor for the work performed.

The second major condition leading to the dissolution of feudalism was the recognition of the inefficiency of the manorial system of production. The increase in trade, which is often cited as a primary reason for the dissolution of feudalism, expanded the market for goods produced on the manors. Prior to the development of longdistance trade, manorial production was used for manorial consumption, or for consumption in nearby villages. When the...

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Contributing Factors to Agricultural Innovation. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:35, May 19, 2019, from