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Women and the Agricultural Revolution Elise Boulding in her article, Women and the Agricultural Revolution, argues that women played a key role in initiating the Agricultural Revolution. She defines therevolution as happening within two stages: horticulture and agriculture proper. Womenhad a prominent role within the earlier form, horticulture. Horticulture is defined asfarming for subsistence only. Womens roles on the farm were not as dominant as societygrew to farming for surplus instead. Boulding begins the article by discussing the shiftsociety made from wandering nomads to settled villagers. She explains that it was womenwho recognized that plants could be easily domesticated. It was because of thedomestication of plants that people decided to eventually settle down. In doing so, theearly settlers exchanged the fairly simplistic nomadic life to that of a hard-working farmer. Throughout the essay, Boulding emphasizes the role women played in initiating thisrevolutionary shift. She describes the main duties women had and the status they heldwithin a horticulture society. However, this changed as the purpose of farming shifted toagriculture proper. According to Boulding, womens influence on the Agricultural Revolution beganvery early on. Women had recognized the significance of einkorn, a nutritious plant thatwas easy to cultivate. It was because of women recognizing that plants could bedomesticated that nomads were introduced to farming. They slowly decided to settle inareas where einkorn and other food sources grew. In the early stages of the settled life, women exercised an important share on thefarm. They did much of the planting and gathering, and Boulding states that womenprobably even constructed the mud-houses in the early villages. In this horticulturesociety, children also helped women. They carryed out many chores on the farm, such astaking care of animals and gathering grain. These roles would change a...

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