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World Demographic Development and Food Supply

World Demographic Development and Food Supply - 1 T The...

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1.) The Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions The two changes in the use of the earth's resources that had the greatest effect on the world population were the neolithic and the industrial revolutions. The neolithic revolution (a.k.a. agricultural revolution) was a change in the way of life of our ancestors. It took place about 8000 years ago among various tribes in Asia and the Middle East. It included a transition from foraging and hunting to the domestication of animals (most probably starting with the dog) and to farming. Tribes settled in fertile areas and formed agricultural communities many of which grew into villages and cities. This relatively stable way of life and the more reliable food supply (and surplus) led to the development of new professions, to labor specialization and ultimately to the stratification of these societies. Improved conditions of life led to somewhat longer life spans. Nevertheless population growth remained low due to high infant mortality rates. The impact of the neolithic revolution was not as much on immediate population growth (even though it did have a long term impact on population growth) as on the material and spiritual development of the human race. It is widely regarded as the beginning of civilization. Industrial revolution was another process of change. It was the process of substituting muscle power with machine power. It took place in the 18th century in Europe and is still happening in many parts of the world. In many characteristics it has been similar to the neolithic revolution: it increased production, it led to the use of resources that had been mostly unused until then and it improved the overall quality of life. It also led to changes in the structure of society. What was different, was its impact on population growth. It was quick and easily noticeable. Advanced sanitation, hygiene and medicine led to longer life spans and declining death rates, with the birth rates remaining high. This resulted in a high rate of population growth that still continues in many countries. The information revolution is the process of change that began in the second half of the 20th century in the developed countries of the world. It is the process of substituting "brain power" with "machine power". It leads to increased production and has the potential to create a more even distribution of the world's population on the surface of the earth. It also has the potential to decrease the differences between the less developed and the highly developed nations of the world. Then again it also has the potential to increase those differences. It causes changes in the structure of society. Many of its impacts are still to be experienced.
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