THE SECOND, AGRARIAN-TECHNICAL, REVOLUTION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOCIETYТS PRODUCTIVE FORCES.
1. The origin of agrarian-technical revolution.
The first mechanical means of labour, that found wide application in the agricultural production of ancient society, were shadoof, windlass, bough-ripper, and wooden plow. Shadoofs and windlasses being water-lifting facilities were used in irrigated agriculture. Bough-ripper, and wooden plow were used both in irrigated and in non-irrigated agriculture. Shadoofs were widely used, in particular, in Egypt for lifting water to high sections of fields, gardens, and vegetable gardens. УWith the help of such a construction, it was possible to lift 3400 litres of water two meters up during one hour, 2700 litres - three meters up, 1550 litres Ц six meters up. If it was necessary to lift water even higher, several shadoofs in series were installedФ (4-46). Thus, shadoofs were rather highly productive technical means. They enabled to irrigate fields, gardens, vegetable gardens, and vineyards during all the summer, supplying cultivated plants with enough water even in the hottest weather.
Along with shadoofs and windlasses, that were driven, as a rule, by hand, the irrigation system driven by natural forces was widely used in irrigated agriculture. This system included levees, dams, canals, reservoirs, and sluices. With the help of dams (levees), sluices and canals, the ancient farmers filled artificial reservoirs, sometimes of huge size, with water in the times of high water-level in the rivers after heavy rains or snow melting in spring. During hot summer, this water was used for field irrigation. At that, water was delivered to the fields situated below the water level in reservoir by gravity with the help of canals and furrows. People only controlled the water delivery. For water supply to the fields located slightly higher then the water level in reservoir, mechanisms were used: hand and sometimes draught ones, i.e. mechanical tools driven by draught force of animals: bulls, donkeys, buffalos, etc.: shadoofs, windlasses, water-drawing wheels.
If, for irrigation such facilities as dams, canals, reservoirs and sluices, as well as shadoofs and other water-lifting mechanisms, both hand and draught, were used, then for tillage, in the period of origin of the agrarian-technical revolution, so-called Уbough-ripperФ and, derived from it, wooden plow were applied. The former represented the rhizome of small tree, uprooted together with broken or pointed roots and a part of trunk. It was fastened, with the help of harness, to bulls or other domestic animals and was dragged along the field. Lower sharp edges of the instrument furrowed the ground making it light. With the help of upper roots, the farmer held it by hand in necessary position. Sometimes, instead of rhizome, a trunk with sharply chipped branches was used, that also allowed to make ground light. The wooden plow was somewhat more perfect, more efficient tool. In the period of origin of the agrarian-technical revolution, it was still crude, all-wood instrument. Using this plow, ancient people tried to proceed to widespread cultivation of fertile lands. But the wooden plow did not turn the ground over, it just made small grooves in it. This tool was not fitted for cultivation of virgin lands. So it was applied only for tillage of soft ground, having been cultivated before.
One of branches of agriculture was the transportation of the harvest from the fields. For transportation of agricultural and other loads, as well as for commercial needs, there appeared and became widespread vehicles of various form, structure and purpose: sledge and wheeled (with two and four wheels), driven by various animals. Sledge vehicles were used in winter, while wheeled ones (as a rule) Ц in summer. The wheels of those times were made all-wood and fastened tightly on the moving axe. УThe foodstuff was to be delivered to cities. For this, as well as for other transportation purposes, village people more and more often used skids inherited from their Mesolithic ancestors.
Then they made a decisive step, having invented wheeled vehicle, representing, in essence, sledges on wheels that were fastened to plough harness for bulls. In Shumer, people moved in wheeled vehicles already about 3500 BC, in Northern Syria, maybe, still earlier. By 3000 BC they were widespread in Mesopotamia, Elam and Syria, having reached the banks of Ind by 2500 BCФ (7-19).
So we can see, that, on a certain stage of the development of society and its productive forces, the mass production, application and expansion of mechanical means of labour began, that was the beginning of the second revolution in the development of productive forces. The phase of origin of the agrarian-technical revolution is characterized by, first, mechanization (more precisely, its beginning) of agricultural production, performed on the basis of both hand (for example, shadoof) and draught (for example, wooden plow) mechanisms. Second, with the origin of agrarian-technical revolution, there appeared new (the third), higher technical mode of production, that included:
- Simple technical means:
a) Integral instruments of labour;
b) Compound instruments of labour;
c) Non-tool technical means.
- Hand mechanisms.
- Drought mechanisms.
The wide application of drought and hand mechanisms in agriculture did not mean, that the second revolution in the development of productive forces was in progress. Even more so, one cannot say about completion of the agrarian-technical revolution. Here we can say only about its beginning, first stage. We must inevitably come to such conclusion in view of three following considerations. First, the agriculture on the basis of shadoof and primitive wooden plow did not turn to the main branch of social economy because of insufficient productivity and efficiency of these instruments, but remained an auxiliary branch, though, of course, its significance increased. Second, if in some lands, in view of extremely favourable conditions, the agriculture turned to the main branch of economy, nevertheless, these nations constituted the minority among nations, whose agriculture based on wooden plow, mattock and shadoof was a secondary branch. If in some region, of one thousand tribes, occupied partly by agriculture, one hundred tribes used shadoofs or wooden plow (or both of them) in agriculture, and if, in turn, of these one hundred tribes, in ten of them the agriculture became the main branch, while in the others Ц remained an auxiliary one, then it is prematurely to speak of the accomplishment of agrarian-technical revolution. But one can, certainly, speak of its beginning. And, third, the essence of the agrarian-technical revolution is not limited to radical change of the structure of social economy. The agrarian-technical revolution, like any other revolution in the development of productive forces of society, was the totality of radical changes in all the spheres, in all branches of productive forces: capture of the dominant position in new mode of technics by new mechanical tools, in this case Ц draught mechanisms, (and this is not the case yet); the use of new materials, in this case Ц metals and clay; application of new methods of impact onto objects of labour during making various products out of them; new kinds of energy, etc., and, finally, change of branch structure of economy, transformation of just one of the branches, that was earlier an auxiliary branch, into the main one, and, vice versa, transformation of once main branch into a secondary one. In short, any revolution in the development of productive forces, among them Ц the agrarian-technical revolution, is a totality of technological, technical and structural-branch revolutions (overturns).
2. Rise of the agrarian-technical revolution.
In the course of the beginning agrarian-technical revolution, the necessity of new materials emerged, first of all for needs of agricultural technics. Old materials, applied before, such as wood, stone, bone and horn did not meet all the requirements of the development of agricultural production. Metals became one of these new materials.
At first, the ancient people began to use copper, and, in some places, gold, silver and other metals. Copper was used for making various implements. Copper implements had a number of advantages over implements made of other materials. Broken or unnecessary tool could be melted, and, using a clay or another mould of any shape, one can get a new tool. Copper tools can be made by forging. Copper tool is easy to process by mechanical methods: grinding, sawing, etc. The blade of copper tools, such as mattock, knife, sickle, etc. can be sharpened quickly. But, given all these and still other merits, copper tools has one essential disadvantage, namely they quickly get blunted because of softness of copper. That is why, though copper as a new material became widespread, it could not displace stone and bone tools.
People learned to melt copper and make tools out of it in IV millennium BC (in Bronze age). At first, copper tools were forged out of native copper, then copper began to be melted out of copper ore. Sometimes, pieces of tinstuff got to the smelting furnace together with copper ore. And people began to notice that in such cases properties of copper change, it becomes harder. In such a way, people invented and then began to use a new alloy Ц bronze.
Bronze tools became much more widespread than copper ones. They began to replace stone and bone tools, though cannot replace them entirely. Bronze was received by mixing molten copper and tin in some proportion. If there was little tin in alloy, the tools of it were soft, almost like copper ones; if, vice versa, there was too much tin, the tools became fragile, sometimes like glass. The ancient metallurgists learned to get bronze and make tools (and weapons) with various properties of it. Apart from the fact that bronze is harder and stronger than copper, it has lower melting temperature and is corrosion resistant.
But even bronze tools could not replace stone ones completely. First, bronze was expensive, as there were little copper and tin, and frequently they were to be brought from afar. Second, even bronze tools were not hard enough to force out stone tools that were much harder. УCopper, tin and bronze, smelted out of them, were the most important metals; bronze gave suitable tools and weapons, but it could not displace stone weapons; only iron could do that ЕФ (Marx, Engles. Selected works, vol. 2, p. 293).
Only discovery and mastering of iron allowed ancient people to refuse from stone and bone implements. But smelting of iron from iron ore and making implements out of it was very labour-intensive task. At that time, people could not melt down iron completely, as their smelting furnaces were very primitive. They got so-called ball-iron by means of forging of mixture of iron nubbins with slag, received in smelting furnace. At that, slag was gradually crumbled and removed, and the received iron was repeatedly heated together with charcoal and forged once more to make it harder. Gradually, ancient metallurgists learned to temper, carbonize and weld iron that improved properties of iron tools and promoted their wide use. If the first iron implements were inferior to bronze ones in hardness, then with mastering of tempering and carbonization iron tools excelled them. Another advantage of iron over bronze was wide spread occurrence of iron ore, that made iron cheaper than bronze. All that resulted in iron turning to the most important material that replaced bone, horn, stone, copper, bronze, and other materials.
It should be noted here that in many countries iron replaced stone, bronze and other materials not in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, but after its completion. In other lands, iron turned to the main material during the agrarian-technical revolution. This happened because these nations took the path of the agrarian-technical revolution, when in neighbouring countries, that took that path earlier, iron was already used for making various technical means. Iron was adopted from more developed nations. At that, some nations of Central and South Africa began to use iron on their own as their first metal, by-passing so-called Copper and Bronze Ages. This can be explained by the fact, that in their region there were not or very little copper and tin ores.
Another very important material of that period of development of society, i.e. the period of agrarian-technical revolution, was clay. If, in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution and after its completion, metals were used to make mainly tool technics, then clay was used to make non-tool technical means; various vessels as well as dwellings, hearths, etc.
Thus, during and after the agrarian-technical revolution, the following main materials were used: wood, clay and metals.
Wide application of new materials led to appearance of new methods of their processing during making various products. First appeared forging, that began to be used for making products from native metal, then from ore metal. Together with forging, the method of mould casting appeared. Molten metal was poured to moulds made of clay, sand or stone. Along with these methods of casting, the following, quite original, method appeared and was spread to some extent. The full-scaled analogue of required product was made of wax, then it was coated with clay from every quarter leaving a hole for pouring metal. Then the clay mould with wax inside was dried and heated in fire. At that, clay got burned and the mould became strong, while wax melted and flew out. After that, the clay mould was filled with molten metal, and when the latter got cold, the clay mould was broken and almost finished tool was ready.
Together with forging, smelting and casting, in the course of making metal products, tempering, carbonization, welding, tinning, soldering were also applied. All these new methods were used along with perfection and widening of use of old mechanical processing methods: drilling, grinding, polishing and sawing.
During making ceramic products, the method of baking was widespread, by means of which crockery and bricks for building houses, fortress walls, etc. were made.
Such methods as spinning and weaving (along with sewing) began to be used for making clothes. Braiding continued to be used, mainly for making nets.
Thus, together with new materials, in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, the wide use of new methods of impact onto objects of labour during making various products out of them began. If, before the agrarian-technical revolution, the main methods of processing were mechanical ones: beating off, chipping, retouch, crushing, scraping, cutting, sawing, drilling, grinding, polishing, etc., then in the course of agrarian-technical revolution, together with wide application of old mechanical methods, there appeared new, mainly physical methods of processing such as melting, casting, forging, tempering, case-hardening, welding, tinning, soldering, baking. Thus, during the agrarian-technical revolution, along with wide application of mechanical methods of processing, the wide use of physical methods of impact onto objects of labour began.
Before the agrarian-technical revolution, only two kinds of energy were applied on a large scale: human (muscular) energy for driving technical means, both simple and mechanical, and energy of fire, obtained as a result of burning wood. During the agrarian-technical revolution, people mastered and began to use on a large scale two more kinds of energy: muscular energy of animals and wind energy. Wind energy was used on sailing vessels that appeared and became widespread at that time. The energy of animals began to be widely used in agriculture and for land transportation. During the agrarian-technical revolution, people domesticated the dog that was used for many purposes, including the procurement of means of subsistence in hunting and transportation of man and his cargo in winter in light dog-sledges. However, the use of energy of animals before the agrarian-technical revolution was insignificant, it cannot be compared to the use of muscular energy of animals that took place in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, so that only after the revolution the muscular energy of animals could be regarded as one of the main kinds of energy used by people in the course of development of productive forces of society.
Already before the agrarian-technical revolution, people caught not only fish but, by means of various mechanical traps, also animals and birds. Caught animals and birds were mostly killed at once and used for food. But sometimes people left them alive for some time, at times for a long time, to preserve meat from damage. All that time, the animals were kept on a hedged area or indoors and fed with various kinds of food. Apparently, such temporary keeping of wild animals and feeding them up took place on a large scale after the origin of agriculture, but it could begin before its origin as well. So, gradually people began to keep, then Ц domesticate, and, finally, breed animals. At first people used domesticated animals and some birds to obtain foodstuff and other consumer goods: meat, fat, eggs, wool, down, skin, later Ц milk, butter and other diary products. In the course of development of agriculture that appeared much earlier than cattle-breeding, the necessity rose to use some animals as draught force. Some animals are much stronger and more enduring then men. Some of these animals were not only domesticated but also used as a source of moving force. We donТt know exactly, when and how it happened, but we do know, that, on some historical stage of the development of society and its productive forces, many nations began to use draught force of animals in agriculture and some other branches of economy on a large scale.
As we have already mentioned, during the agrarian-technical revolution, people, along with the energy of animals, began to widely use wind energy. The first sailing ships appeared in Egypt in the middle of IV millennium BC, and by the end of that millennium Egyptian ships freely navigated in Mediterranean and, may be, Arabian Sea (7-19). A short time later, sailing fleet appeared in many countries that took path of the agrarian-technical revolution. Although, it is quite probable, that sailing fleet in most, if not in all, countries appeared and became widespread only after the agrarian-technical revolution.
Thus, during the agrarian-technical revolution, people used on a large scale the energy of fire (burning wood), muscular energy of man, muscular energy of animals, and, probably, wind energy. Of all these kinds of energy, before the agrarian-technical revolution, the muscular energy of man was of greatest importance, as, during the procurement of means of subsistence and production of technical means, this kind of energy was used for the most part. For driving technical means, manТs muscular energy was, with rare exceptions, the only kind of energy. During the agrarian-technical revolution, muscular energy of animals got not less significance, it was widely used in the main branch of economy Ц agriculture, that became such after the agrarian-technical revolution.
When considering the hunting-technical revolution, we have seen that, in the course of it, rapid, intensive specialization of labour tools took place, and we traced this phenomenon on the example of spear. The same process could be seen during the agrarian-technical revolution. Specialization of technical means as such took place permanently in the course of development of society's productive forces. But there is some regularity in its development. If, in the periods between the revolutions in the development of productive forces, specialization of technical means goes on slowly, then, during the revolutions, specialization accelerates sharply. Especially intensive specialization of labour implements can be observed in branches that, in the course of a revolution in the development of productive forces, turn to the leading branches of economy.
In the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, the specialization of technical means is manifested most obviously for the implements used for land cultivation, but, of course, is not limited only to them. Many agricultural tools were derived from the primitive digging stick, sharpened on one end that, during several million years, was successfully used by ancient gatherers to dig various tubers and roots out of the ground. The first farmers dug up the land with the help of the same stick, may be, of some bigger size. Then, some of them began to sharpen the digging stick not from every quarter, but from only two of them, so that its pointed end got not conical but flat shape. Such implements gradually turned to spade, first, all-wood, then Ц compound, consisting of wooden handle and bone, later Ц metal, spade. Sometimes, digging stick with more than one pointed end was used. Such a digging stick gave birth to pitchfork, first, all-wood, then Ц compound, with metal horns. Some gatherers or first farmers used digging stick made of tree bough with a chip off that was sharpened. They made a powerful wave with this implement, like it is done with axe during chopping, plunged it into the ground in necessary place, and then, with sharp jerk, pulled out ground lump together with tubers. This digging stick was the predecessor of mattock that was one of the main agricultural tools up to the agrarian-technical revolution and, along with many other simple agricultural implements, did not disappear after its completion. Together with spade, pitchfork and mattock, another highly specialized simple labour tools appeared: rake, sickle, scythe, flail, etc. Specialization of agricultural tools continued simultaneously with the introduction of mechanical labour tools, by means of which farmers performed the hardest and, at the same time, most simple kinds of work. Similar specialization took place in the other branches of ancient economy, though on a smaller scale.
3. Maturity of the agrarian-technical revolution.
Technical overturn in agriculture.
The wooden plow, despite its advantage over mattock, was still a low-efficient mechanical tool. Its demerit was, that it, first, did not cut ground to layers and did not turn them over, but just made ground light, making grooves in it. Second, wooden plowshare quickly got worn out as a result of friction against the ground and, together with plow itself, became unserviceable. After the mastering of metal smelting, the wooden plow with metal plowshare became widespread, that led to the increase of service life of wooden plow, rise of labour productivity and quality of plouwing. Sometimes, wooden plows with stone, horn or bone plowshares were applied. When a metal ploughshare became worn, it could be replaced without changing the plough itself. All that was conductive to wide spreading of wooden plow.
Along with wooden plow, the plough with metal poughshare was invented and began to be used. It was more perfect and efficient mechanical tool. Later, plough was also equipped with mould-board that enabled to turn the cut layers of ground over. At the same time, perhaps, the harrow that was used for loosening, crushing and smoothing the ground, as well as for covering seeds with ground, was invented. First, harrows were made all-wood, then people began to make harrows with metal teeth that were fixed into the wooden frame. Later, harrows began to be made all-metal as well.
The wheeled vehicle was also improved. Earlier, the wheels of vehicle were made all-wood and fastened tightly on the rotating axe. Then people began to stick wheels with hub onto fixed axe, as a result wheels rotated independently and so there were no sliding during turns. Besides, instead of all-wood wheels, the wooden wheels with metal rim and wooden (later Ц metal) spokes began to be used. All those improvements led to the reduction of weight, increase of strength and durability of wheeled vehicle that was widely used in agriculture.
After the improvement of wooden plow and invention of plough, the wide application of draught force of animals and metal tools in agriculture began. The productivity of agricultural labour and efficiency of agricultural production began to increase more and more, and, together with this, the production of agricultural mechanisms grew, they became more perfect.
If, in the period between the first and the second revolutions in the development of productive forces, the main labour tools were the bow with string and arrows and the fishing net, then the main technical means of the period of agrarian-technical revolution was the wooden plow that appeared some five thousand years ago. "A bit later (in 3000 BC), the wooden plow began to be used in Mesopotamia and in Egypt" (4-37).
The first ploughs were made all-wood, but they frequently became unserviceable owing to fast wear of rubbing parts (working instruments) and their subsequent damage. So, soon they were displaced by the ploughs with copper, bronze, and then iron ploughshare. Then people began to make wooden ploughs with metal ploughshare and mould-board. First, mould-boards were made straight and wooden. But such mould-boards got worn quickly as a result of friction against the ground layer that was overturned. Soon they were replaced by metal mould-boards. Besides, mould-boards of straight design turned ground layer badly. So, later they were substituted for mould-boards of spiral design that increased labour productivity and quality of ground cultivation. There were attempts to make all-metal plough, but they were unsuccessful.
Along with wooden plow, plough, harrow and wheeled vehicle, another draught mechanisms were invented and applied (though were not widely adopted) in agriculture. In Gallia, during the agrarian-technical revolution in this country, the horse reaper was invented and widely used. In Babylon, on the turn of III Ц II millenniums BC, a mechanism combining plough and sowing-machine was invented and applied. "One might suppose that, about that time, the plough with funnel, in which seeds were poured, was widely applied, although there is information that it was known already during the third dynasty of Ur" (20-T2-292). Such plough Ц sowing-machine was and is used today among the people of bhils in India (18-53). Seeds are dispersed from the funnel evenly through bamboo tubes into the ground, sometimes in two rows. The invention of such plough Ц sower some four thousand years ago testifies to the high level of engineering thought and technological development of that time. During the agrarian-technical revolution or soon after its completion, the horse threshing-machine was invented and applied, though not so widely.
Simultaneously with draught mechanisms, the hand mechanisms got further wide application in agriculture: they were used mostly as water-lifting technical means. And together with mechanical tools, draught and hand, in the course of technical revolution, the simple technical means also got further, ever accelerating, development. Some of them, being old technical means that already existed before the agrarian-technical revolution, were perfected, the other were invented and became widely used in the course of the revolution. However, one should bear in mind that of all agricultural technical means that existed during the agrarian-technical revolution, from the time of technical overturn in agriculture, the main role was played by draught mechanisms that were of greatest importance to the people of that period. The most part, absolute or relative, of all material values obtained by the people of that time, they got somehow or other with the help of mechanical tools. And of all draught mechanisms, the most revolutionary role in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution was played by agricultural mechanisms, especially wooden plow and plough. The draught mechanisms made complete overturn in the technology of agriculture (as well as in land transportation).
If, during the hunting-technical revolution, the mechanical means of labour (hand mechanisms) took the dominant position in hunting and fishing business, that turned to the main branch of social economy of ancient society, and, besides, in military sphere, then in the course of agrarian-technical revolution, the mechanical means of labour (draught mechanisms) took the main position in another branch of production sphere: agriculture, and, besides, in land transport. As to another branches, both production and non-production, such as industry (including construction), trade, life, mental work sphere, then though, in some of them, mechanical means got some circulation during the two first revolutions in the development of productive forces, they as before played a subordinate, secondary role there. And the dominant role in these spheres was played as before by simple technical means, that, by the way, created a prerequisite to future revolutions in the development of the productive forces of society, since revolutions in the development of productive forces follow one another so long as in all spheres of material production mechanical means of labour are not in dominant position, having displaced the simple technical means from there.
In the course of the second revolution in the development of production forces, agriculture became the second mechanized (on the basis of draught mechanisms) branch of the sphere of material production.
What do the new mechanical tools represent? What is the difference, say, between the plough driven by ox or horse from the mattock driven by man?
During consideration of the first revolution in the development of productive forces, we have already seen that the hand mechanisms differ from simple technical means, in addition, by the fact that in them the embodiment of executive function Ц function of labour tool handling that transferred to them from man, took place. During consideration of new mechanical tools that, unlike the hand mechanisms, are draught mechanisms as they are driven not by human hand but by draught force of animals, we discover a similar phenomenon here. During the work on the field, using mattock, the farmer performs all working functions (except the function of direct impact onto object of labour), including executive function. During the work on the field using plough, the same farmer hands over the executive function to a technical means Ц the plough.
However, along with the similarity between hand and draught mechanisms, we can also see an essential difference between them. If, owing to replacement of simple labour tools by simple mechanisms, man free himself from only one labour function Ц function of labour tool handling that moved from him to technical means, then, during the replacement of simple technical means by draught mechanisms, man free himself from a number of labour functions: function of labour tool handling (executive) that is embodied in working mechanism; function of driving the mechanical tool (moving function), that is transferred from man to animals; function of transmission of motion energy, that is embodied in new, third, link (basic element) of new technical means. Thus, if the simple technical means УgotФ from man only function of direct impact onto object of labour, and if hand mechanisms got two functions: function of direct impact onto object of labour and executive function, then draught mechanisms performed three working functions: function of direct impact onto objects of labour, function of task tool handling and function of transmission of motion energy.
If simple technical means are one-level technical means, and if hand mechanisms are two-element technical means consisting of working mechanism and task tool, then draught mechanisms represent three-element technical means consisting of transfer mechanism (in this case Ц harness), working mechanism and task tool. In transfer mechanism, the function of transmission of motion energy is embodied; working mechanism performs the executive function, and task tool Ц the function of direct impact on object of labour.
Thus, in draught mechanisms, together with two УoldФ elements: working mechanism and task tool, a new (third) element appeared Ц transfer mechanism, without which only hand technical means, simple and mechanical, can function, but draught mechanisms cannot. Obviously, in hand technical means, the function of transmission of motion energy is performed by human hand, and, as far as animals do not possess such an organ, then the necessity appeared to invent a transfer mechanism.
In draught technics, the function of transfer mechanism is performed by harness consisting of a number of wooden, leather and metal parts: collar, breast-band, pole or shaft, shaft-bow, etc. It should be noted that the harness, invented in ancient society for bulls, was of little use for horses. And new harness for horses was invented and became widespread only in Middle Ages. In ancient society, the harness for bulls was applied during the work with horses, as a result, only one third of their force was utilized, that limited the use of horses in agriculture and cartage. In ancient society, the function of draught force was performed mainly by bulls, buffalos, as well as (more seldom) donkeys and mules.
4. Completion of the agrarian-technical revolution.
Since, on the eve of the agrarian-technical revolution, considerable and ever growing role in the society was played by agriculture that, at that time, was based on simple instruments of labour, the draught technics was adopted mostly in that sphere. Agriculture, as we have already seen, was in greater need (as compared with another branches of social economy of ancient society) in new, highly productive mechanical means of labour and new, more powerful source of moving force than muscular energy of man.
Owing to wide application of draught mechanisms in agriculture, the latter gradually became the leading branch of social economy of ancient people. The majority of population shifted from hunting, fishing and gathering business to agriculture and cattle-breeding. The major part of ancient people turned to farmers, and hunting nations (tribes) Ц to agricultural (partly - cattle-breeding) nations.
If, before the invention, mass production and application of wooden plow, plough and harrow (and, in irrigated agriculture, in addition, shadoofs and other water-lifting mechanisms), hand agriculture based on such simple implements as digging stick, mattock, spade, etc. brought little foodstuff, less than hunting, fishing and gathering, then after wide application of mechanical means in agriculture during the agrarian-technical revolution, especially after technical overturn in it, in the course of which draught mechanisms took the leading position in agriculture, ancient people, owing to sharp increase of productivity of agricultural labour, were able to procure sufficient amount of food. With the help of tillage agriculture, ancient people could get more food, than they managed to procure by gathering; now they could use some part of agricultural products for feeding cattle in winter time and, as a result, they provided themselves with products that earlier could only be obtained by hunting: meat, fat, skins, wool, etc. Moreover, owing to tillage agriculture and cattle-breeding, they began to get products that earlier they hadnТt got at all: milk, butter and other diary products. Tillage agriculture brought ancient people more products than gathering, and cattle-breeding, owing to tillage agriculture, that gave feedings-stuff for domestic animals in winter, yielded more animal products than hunting and fishing did.
And now, the situation changed in the most radical way. Agriculture, its elements being: grain field husbandry, market gardening (vegetable-growing), horticulture, and viticulture, became the main occupation of the people of that period of development of society and its productive forces. One hunting tribe after another, leaving their traditional occupation, gradually turned, in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution, especially after the technical overturn in agriculture, to mainly agricultural tribes.
That, however, does not mean that all the tribes simultaneously began to turn to agriculture as the basis of the economy. Many tribes being isolated from one another geographically could not exchange new technics, technology and forms of management. So, in the course of self-development, owing to difference in the paces of economic development of different nations depending mainly upon natural and climatic factors, some tribes turned to agriculture much later than advanced tribes, and many of them haven't turned to agriculture at all, neither to tillage nor even to mattock one.
In order to turn to tillage agriculture as the main branch, a number of preconditions is necessary: availability of more or less developed hand agriculture; taming and domestication of animals that could be used as the source of draught force; mastering metals. Furthermore, a certain climatic conditions, presence of land fitted to agriculture, availability of ores for production of metals were also necessary. Hand agriculture should be preceded by developed gathering of cereals, vegetables, etc. In some places, there were no animals that could be domesticated and used as draught force. Then, for the development of agrarian-technical revolution, a certain stage of development of handicraft, some level of skills and qualification of craftsmen were necessary. The origin of agriculture and the progress of agrarian-technical revolution were promoted by periodical shortages of food-stuff that, apart of lean years, appeared also for the reason that hunting tribes grew numerically (both number of people in a tribe and number of tribes themselves) and began to procure more vegetable and meat food than it could be reproduces by nature in given place. The balance between the number of people and the amount of food-stuff created by nature was now and then violated. And that forced people, first, to settle apart and, second, to turn to producing economy that led to the origin of agriculture, and then Ц cattle-breeding, to invent and widely apply new, highly-productive technical means, including mechanical ones that gave birth to the agrarian-technical revolution.
Since mechanisms turned to the main technical means of the farmers, while the majority of ancient people became farmers, then the mechanical tools continued to play the leading role in the life of agricultural tribes, the very role that they began to play already in the course of the first revolution in the development of productive forces. The significance of mechanical tools had grown even more. Before the agrarian-technical revolution they dominated only in hunting and fishing business, as well as in military sphere, now they began to prevail in agriculture and transport as well.
In the course of agrarian-technical revolution, mechanisms became widespread not only in agriculture and transportation where they possessed the main position, but also in many other branches and sections of social production, though playing a secondary role there. In the food industry, connected with agriculture, a horse grain mill was invented and became widespread. The potter's wheel with treadle (fly-wheel) was widely applied for making ceramic products. Before the origin of agriculture, people got by with vessels made of tree branches. The development of agriculture and cattle-breeding demanded more crockery, including water-tight and fire-proof, fitted to cook meals on fire. As a result, clay crockery and then, during the agrarian-technical revolution, pottery production appeared.
First, clay crockery was made by coating frame, braded of tree-branches, with clay and baking it in fire, as a result, it got a number of necessary properties: became hard and relatively durable, held its shape. However, it was low-efficient work, and the crockery turned up crude and awkward. The appearance of potter's wheel during the agrarian-technical revolution led to multiple rise of productivity of potter's labour, quality of crockery increased sharply. The most various houseware began to be made, and, instead of crude crocks, potters made fine, delicate vessels of various dimensions and shapes.
First, potter's wheel was rotated by human hand. This tool had a disadvantage: it should be driven by another man or by potter himself, as a result, one of his hands was busy all the time. The invention and wide use of potter's wheel with treadle and fly-wheel increased the labour productivity considerably.
Many other mechanisms: air-blowing (in metallurgy), dewatering and ore-breaking (in mining), for making olive oil (in food industry), pulley-lifting (in construction), lathe, etc. were invented and found application in various branches of industry.
Along with mechanical tools, in the course of agrarian-technical revolution, the simple technical means, both tool (integral and compound) and non-tool, also got further, accelerating development. Some of them, being old technical means that already existed before the agrarian-technical revolution (for example, grinded axes), were perfected. The others were invented and became widely used in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution. Examples of the latter are: spinning-wheel and loom, scissors, tongs, pincers, scythe, pitchfork, rake, nails, tubes, vice and many others.
All these new technical means, especially mechanisms, promoted the progress of agrarian-technical revolution, because they increased the labour productivity in various spheres of human activity and saved human labour thus enabling people to put more labour into agriculture and cattle-breeding.
It should be noted that the transition from hunting to agriculture as the basis of economy was a slow process; it took a long period of time. Even when people had already turned to agriculture, on the final phase of agrarian-technical revolution, hunting did not disappear at all Ц it shifted to the role of an auxiliary branch. Many farmers continued to go hunting in the time free from agriculture, for example, in winter. Even highly developed cattle-breeding had not replaced hunting altogether. The latter continued to play an important, though auxiliary, role in the life of many agricultural nations for a long time. Fishing also played a significant role. Gathering also remained, but on rather small scale. Agriculture gradually took place of the leading branch, having shifted hunting and fishing from this place, so that hunting tribes turned first to hunting-agricultural, then Ц to agricultural-hunting, and, finally, to agricultural tribes. The transition from hunting to agriculture (tillage) appears to be even longer process, if one speaks of such transition on a world-historic scale. Duration of the agrarian-technical revolution in single tribes was, may be, several centuries, but on a world-historic scale it lasted, perhaps, for several millenniums.
5. Main characteristic features of the agrarian-technical revolution.
What is the essence of the second revolution in the development of productive forces? What are its most characteristic features, which distinguish it from the first revolution in the development of productive forces?
We saw above that, during the agrarian-technical revolution, there takes place the invention, mass application and wide spread of new mechanical means of labour, that differ from hand mechanisms mainly by the fact, that they are driven not by human power, but by muscular force of animals. These new mechanical tools, unlike hand mechanisms, are draught ones.
The draught mechanisms were not just more powerful, more productive, more effective and more complex mechanical tools, than hand mechanisms, let alone simple technical means. Draught mechanisms differ from hand ones qualitatively as well. If simple tools consist of one main element (link) Ц task tool, and if hand mechanisms consist of two main elements Ц working mechanism and task tool, then draught mechanisms consist of three links: transfer mechanism (harness), working mechanism and task tool. The function of transmission of moving energy that, during the agrarian-technical revolution, is shifted from man to new technical means, is embodied in this new element. In the course of the agrarian-technical revolution people freed themselves from performing moving function that was transferred to animals. In draught mechanisms, three main working functions were embodied: function of direct impact onto object of labour, executive function and function of transmission of moving energy.
The origin and wide spread occurrence of draught technics denotes the rise of new (third), higher mode of technics embracing simple technical means, hand mechanisms and draught mechanisms, at that, the latter became the main form of technical means: in agriculture during the technical overturn in it, and in all new mode of technics in the course of structural-branch overturn.
The new mechanical tools Ц draught mechanisms Ц together with hand mechanisms not only displaced (though not completely) simple technical means from agriculture and transport (accomplishing the mechanization of them), taking the main position in them, but also got some prevalence in many other branches and links of social production playing a secondary, auxiliary role in them.
In the course of agrarian-technical revolution, the technological overturn also took place Ц substitution of old technological mode of production for new (third), more advanced technological mode of production. Radical transformations in all directions of technology of production, first of all Ц production of technical means, took place. New materials: metals (copper, bronze, iron and some other) and clay appeared and got wide application and prevalence, at that metals gradually, by the end of agrarian-technical revolution, displaced some old materials, such as stone, bone and horn, from the position of main materials.
New methods of impact onto objects of labour during making labour products out of them began to be widely used, among them: melting, mould casting, forging, welding, tempering, carbonisation, tinning, soldering, baking. New, mainly physical, methods of impact were widely applied together with retention, widening of use and perfection of old, mainly mechanical, methods of processing, such as grinding, polishing, cutting, drilling, sawing, etc.
Together with the use of muscular energy of man and energy of fire, the main kinds of energy in the period before the agrarian-technical revolution, in the course of the revolution, two more kinds of energy began to be widely applied: muscular energy of animals and wind energy used in sea sailing fleet.
Along with this, the accelerated specialization of technical means took place, especially in agriculture, a new form of division of labour appeared and became widespread Ц branch (social) division of labour.
The technological and technical overturns were followed by the structural-branch overturn Ц radical change of branch structure of social economy. If, before the agrarian-technical revolution, the main role in the economy of ancient society was played by hunting (including fishing), then after the revolution the position of leading branch passed on to agriculture. This radical change in structure of economy was the completion of the second revolution in the development of productive forces of society.
So, the main characteristic features of the second revolution in the development of the societyТs productive forces are:
The second revolution in the development of productive forces was of no less significance than the first one, as well as the following ones. If, before the agrarian-technical revolution, people used mainly the things that were created by nature without participation of man and, thus, they were in great dependence on nature, then in the course of the agrarian-technical revolution people began to produce food-stuff and in that way became much less dependent upon menacing caprices of nature that often brought tragic consequences for them. At the same time, for the first time in their history, people began to use on a large scale the forces of nature, its energy as a source of moving energy, for driving technical means.
- The appearance, mass production and wide application of new mechanical tools Ц draught mechanisms. The appearance of new, higher mode of technics, embracing simple technical means, hand mechanisms and draught mechanisms.
- Complication of technics, appearance of three-element technical means consisting of transfer mechanism, working mechanism and task tool.
- Shifting, along with executive function, of function of moving energy transmission, that is embodied in new element of technical means Ц transfer mechanism, from man to technical means.
- Wide application of mechanical tools - draught and hand mechanisms Ц in agricultural production, its mechanisation. Displacement (not full) of simple technical means from agriculture and transport by mechanical tools. The latter captured the main position in agriculture Ц technical overturn took place.
- Appearance and wide spread occurrence of new basic materials: metal (copper, bronze, iron, as well as tin, silver, gold, etc.) and clay.
- Appearance and wide application (together with mechanical methods of processing) of new, mainly physical, methods of impact onto the object of labour: melting, mould casting, forging, welding, carbonisation, tempering, tinning, soldering and baking.
- Mastering and wide use of new kinds of energy: muscular energy of animals and wind energy.
- Accelerated specialization of technical means.
- Origin and wide spread occurrence of branch (social) division of labour.
- Transformation of agriculture to the leading branch of the economy of ancient society, and hunting and fishing Ц to an auxiliary branch. The shift of majority of able-bodied people to agriculture. Ancient nations (tribes) turned from mainly hunting groups to mainly agricultural nations.
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