Sample History Paper on Neolithic Revolution
- Modern human beings have been on the planet for approximately 200,000 years since the Palaeolithic age through the ice ages and the Neolithic age.
- The last Ice Age ended roughly 15,000 years ago but began approximately 110,000 years ago. The total world population was approximately 10 million at the time the last Ice Age came to an end.
- Human beings were living as hunters and gatherers before the invention of agriculture because there was a readily available food supply. Animals and plants grew in the wild and were in abundance. As such, human beings chose to hunt the animals wherever they were even if it meant walking miles and miles per day. Furthermore, the planet could support the human population since they were scarce.
- Humans domesticated animals to have a constant food supply. The hunters and gatherers experienced periods of unreliable food supply. For example, there were periods when the human population had over-foraged the wild berries hence the only source of food could be wild animals. However, during such a period, hunting for wild animals resulted in no results. Other times, the hunters had to cover long distances to find food. Hence, animals were domesticated to cover for the periods when food supply declined.
- Agriculture led to a tremendous increase in the human population in two ways. First, the practice of agriculture ensured a steady supply of food through the supply of meat and milk from domesticated animals. The growing of crops also ensured a predictable harvest. The human population began to increase as the food supply became reliable. Secondly, agriculture led most groups of hunters and gatherers to settling down and care for the domesticated animals as well as the crops grown. As a result, the amount of land required to support a given population reduced, in comparison to the earlier times when a 50-500 square-foot area could only support 50-100 hunters and gatherers. The population within the settlements increased resulting in an exponential rise in human population over time.
- Agriculture also affected specialization. The practice of growing crops and rearing animals enabled hunters and gatherers to adopt a sedentary lifestyle as opposed to the nomadic lifestyle of the early ancestors. Therefore, people began to think beyond just-food. For example, since domesticated animals had to be protected, people invented ways to build defensive structures, and training warriors. Moreover as agriculture spread, human beings developed better farming tools leading to specialization.
- Agriculture emerged in various parts of the world. Some of the places include the Levant in Eastern Mediterranean which is modern-day Syria, Israel, Palestine, and Iraq. Rice originated from China approximately 6000-13000 years ago, while potatoes came from the Andes.
- The Neolithic Revolution had numerous advantages. The main advantages were; the evolution of agriculture, the invention of barter trade, and the advancement of technology to develop different farming tools and weapons. Of the advantages mentioned, the invention of agriculture is the most significant because agricultural practices not only provided food but also have created employment opportunities for many people, both directly and indirectly. Agriculture has also led to occupational specialization, as well as the growth of foreign trade among different countries today. As such agriculture is essential for the existence of modern-day humans.
- The Revolution has also negatively affected the planet through environmental pollution. Neolithic Revolution led to the emergence of agriculture and technology. However, as technology advances to drive industrialization, the rate of air, water, and soil pollutions has also increased. For example, the use of greenhouses in agriculture emits a lot of chlorofluorocarbons in the air and different chemical components in the soil as part of effluents. Chlorofluorocarbons have largely impacted the composition of the atmosphere resulting in increased global warming. Therefore the main disadvantage of the Neolithic Revolution is unpredictable global climatic change.