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Neolithic revolution refers to an agricultural revolution that occurred between 8,000 and 5,000 BC, during which period the human way of life was transformed from historically practices that predominantly involved hunting and gathering to a form of agriculture that involved cultivation of crops and domestication of animals (Watkins).
Because Neolithic revolution finally led to a more established agricultural farming among inhabitants it eventually led to three major developments in the ways of life of the people, i.e. economically, socially and politically. These immediate outcomes of the Neolithic revolution are the main points of discussions that are going to be the major focus of this paper.
Causes of Neolithic Revolution
As early as 8,000 BC in events that were taking place in Melansia, the first efforts by man to practice agrarian based farming started taking place leading to the earliest recorded events where man was deliberately moving from nomadic way of living through hunting and gathering (Watkins). Over the next three thousand years or so this shift from nomadic way of life started taking place in many regions of the world spontaneously such as in Sub-saharan Africa and Asia among others.
The factors that are mostly attributed to this shift of way of life are many and varied and include change in climate, change in culture, population increase and natural evolution. One of the theories that attribute Neolithic revolution to climate change is referred as Oasis theory which claims that dry climate resulted in people settling around available sources of water (Watkins.
It is from here that they started taking the first initiative of farming and domesticating animals thereby departing from nomadic way of life which had started to become unreliable. Other theories suggest that population increase forced the early world inhabitants to ditch nomadic way of life to more stable agriculture methods which could be relied to provide enough food for the ever increasing community size (Wright).
Natural evolution of both humans and plants which enabled man to domesticate plants and animals is also attributed to the Neolithic revolution. It is unclear what exactly might have triggered the Neolithic revolution but it is most probable that a combination of all these factors eventually led to settled form of agriculture that man continues to practice to this date.
There are three immediate impacts that Neolithic revolution had on the way of life to the early inhabitants; one, people started adopting permanent settlement as a result of the domesticated way of life. Two, there was rise of social classes occasioned by the need of the people to stay connected now that they were finally able to settle in one place and practice agriculture.
This is what led to social change because of the new social structures that are inherent in any community that get to live together. Finally, the two factors of social classes and settlements facilitated the early form of civilization among these communities that eventually led to political systems (Wright). The early economic practice that took place within a society setting was form of barter trade which can directly be attributed to agrarian based way of life.
Because community settlement led to specialization in various aspects of agriculture, the community members needed to invent ways that would enable them obtain what they didn’t grow or raise by trading what they had and it is from here that the economic practices starting taking shape. Lastly, the new social way of life that the community had adopted meant that the community had to develop laws and regulation that would ensure peaceful coexistent of all community members. This gradually led to structures of governance that formed that foundation of the political changes that eventually took place.
Watkins, J. Neolithic Revolution, 2003. Web.
Wright, G. Origins of Food Production in Southwestern Asia: A Survey of Ideas. Current Anthropology, 12:1 (1971): pp 447-477.