Needed because of the increase in the population and the growth of towns.

Problems with the Open Field system:

Fallow land

No point in making improvements

Lazy neighbours

Diseases spread

Selective breeding impossible

New developments

  • Enclosure Acts had to be passed and commissioners divided the land.
  • Commonage gone (poor to the towns)
  • Viscount Townshend developed Norfolk system (wheat, turnips, barley, clover and grass)
  • Cattle could be fed in winter.
  • Robert Bakewell (selective breeding)
  • Arthur Young’s ‘The Annals of Agriculture’

New machines

  1. Jethro Tull’s Seed Drill
  2. Cyrus McCormick’s Reaper
  3. Andrew Meikle’s Threshing Machine


Labourers had to move to the towns

Towns could be fed.