Economic Production: c. 600 CE c. 1450

AP Concept: 3.3 Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Key Concepts
  • Agricultural and industrial capacity increased, leading to major changes in trade and human settlement
  • The invention of more advanced metal tools, particularly in farming, led to agrarian breakthroughs
  • This occurred primarily in China and western Europe
  • Manufacturing breakthroughs led to increased trade
  • Song China benefited from massive iron production (which produced agricultural tools, among other things), the invention of a variety of incendiary devices (such as gunpowder and the cannon), and the production of porcelain
  • Trade with China boomed as outsiders hoped to purchase these commodities
  • Agriculture
    • By 1000 CE, agriculture in Afro-Eurasia and the Americas began to shift profoundly after hundreds of years of stasis, though farmers still relied on large-scale irrigation
    • Farmers in Afro-Eurasia began to rotate their crops, which prevented the depletion of nutrients in soil they could farm the same land for longer periods of time
    • Farmers developed new types of cereals, such as barleys, ryes, and oats, while farmers in the Americas refined maize people could now grow grains in areas that previously couldn't support crops
    • New forms of grasses, such as clover and alfalfa, were grown and fed to animals, which grew fatter and healthier as a result
    • Regions that previously could not support large-scale agriculture could now farm populations grew
    • Agricultural products like rice were then shipped long distances over growing trade routes, such as the Silk Road
    • Song China experienced a commercial revolution with expansive cultivation of rice
    • A new, fast-growing rice from Champa allowed the Song dynasty to double its rice production by the 12th century, Song China supported 120 million people
    • Prior to the Black Plague (1000 1300), western and eastern Europe saw a massive increase in population thanks to agrarian breakthroughs
    • Western Europe witnessed massive deforestation and the use of advanced farming tools and heavy livestock to farm tough land agricultural production increased
    • Around 200,000 farmers migrated from western Europe to eastern Europe during this period, where they took advantage of better soil

    Related Links:
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    AP World History Notes
    Changes in Cities and Labor Systems: c. 600 CE - c. 1450