Sunday, July 11, 2010

Essay on Agriculture: The Base of civilization

Essay on Agriculture: The Base of civilization

Agriculture is a major part of our lifestyle today. Without it, we probably would not have many of the features available to us today. Agriculture is the basis of all civilization, the basis of writing, of cities and towns, of our governing systems, of our technology, of almost everything we have.

Humans started off with a nomadic lifestyle. Humans, or homo sapiens, used to follow around animals, wherever they went, to hunt them. If the animals moved, the humans followed. No one had ever thought of growing their own food, until one day someone probably accidently left some seeds of a fruit they were eating on the ground, which grew. Homo sapiens with their creative brains figured out that the seeds make the food grow.

Over hundreds of years of trial and error with the human’s new-found food source, they began to realize things like plants need water to grow, plants only grow in certain seasons, etc. Humans then realized they needed to grow crops near a river, where all the fertile soil is, thus creating agriculture.

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Once man figured out how to grow his own food, he could grow it in surplus amounts. Other humans saw this, and gave what they could offer to the farmer for food, thus creating trade. When everyone started trading, they moved in closer to the farmer. The farmer lived next to the river, for the rich soil, and everyone else around him. This created cities and towns. Of course, these cities and towns got very big, having mass amounts of people living near each other at the same time. It is a natural tendency for humans to get irritable with each other, when living so close. So, someone had to step in and make up a set of rules for everyone, thus creating a system of government.

Since the farmers supplied the food for everyone, they no longer spent all of their time hunting. Therefore humans have more time to experiment and toy around with things. One of these humans eventually became a blacksmith like figure, another became a tanner, another became a carpenter and so forth. Each one of these groups of people could then perfect their art. The longer the carpenter built, the better he got, the more he could make. Since everyone was trading so much, they needed a way to record everything. The government needed a solid way to keep the laws recorded also. So, writing was invented. With the invention of writing, government, cities and towns and trade, cities became larger, and started making surplus amounts of food, and other goods. With this happening, the people could then trade with other civilizations. When they did this, a theory called “Cultural Diffusion” happened. Cultural diffusion is basically when one group of people watch another and see things they like, and try to mimic those things. Therefore the best of both cultures is shared. With all of these events happening, humans were able to make more and more technological advances.

Through all of this, it led us to where we are today. That just goes to show how much we take our world for granted. So, without agriculture we do not have trade, cities and towns, government, or even writing. Think about that the next time you eat your veggies…


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