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Influence of Feudalism on Modern Agriculture: Analytical Essay

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It has been 25 full years since South Africa has become a democratic country but that is still very questionable seeing that the majority of the population still suffers from the acts of the apartheid still to this day. People are still experiencing the social injustices and inequalities and even in the greater part of the Southern Africa. This paper will go about explaining how the land enclosures and the rise of modern agriculture through European conquest resulted in this with the help of socially constructed class, race, gender and natural resources.

Firstly, we investigate the procedures and effect of modernization and advancement standards upon poor communities in Southern Africa. Modern agriculture are the evolving approaches to agricultural innovations and farming practices to increase efficiency and reduce the amount of natural resources used (Nabudere,1989). It follows the original classical significance of modernization similar to a procedure of change of the rural economy into present day industrial urban‐based capitalist society. This changed society at a later stage through colonization trades ‘modern advancement’ to these Southern African social societies yet with altogether different outcomes as far as their effect on the lives of a large number of individuals who are marginalized and exploited through these methods. Rather than changing their agriculture into present day industrial improvement, these social orders are exposed to a ‘reverse modernization’ in which the earlier European industrial relations and structure are superimposed on to the customary structures of the Third World utilizing neo‐traditional belief systems and structures as part of the process of penetration. This ‘enforced development’ is opposed in numerous parts of the world and rejected through different methods including post‐traditionalism

Secondly, we investigate why hundreds of people were dispossessed of the land and led to them being packed in one place. There are numerous elements that have prompted such extraordinary degrees of land concentration, however the most obtrusive and the most contentious has been enclosure — the subdivision and fencing of normal land into individual plots which were allotted to those individuals esteemed to have held rights to the land enclosed. For more than 500 years, pamphleteers, legislators and historians have contended about enclosures, those in support which included the beneficiaries demanding that it was vital for economic advancement or ‘improvement’, and those against which included the dispossessed claiming that it denied the poor of their livelihood and prompted to rural depopulation.

Taking into consideration Muttler and Blumwald (2010) they argue that modern agriculture during the last half of the twentieth century, it was exceptionally fruitful in gathering a developing interest for food by the total populace. Yields of essential harvests, for example, rice and wheat expanded significantly, the cost of food declined, the rate of increase in crop yields commonly kept pace with populace development, and the number of individuals who reliably go hungry was somewhat decreased. This boost in food generation has been expected basically to logical advances and new technologies, including the improvement of new crop assortments, the utilization of pesticides and fertilizers, and the development of huge water system frameworks. Modern agricultural systems related objectives: to get the most noteworthy yields conceivable and to get the most elevated financial benefit conceivable. In quest for these objectives, six essential practices have come to frame the foundation of creation: intensive tillage, monoculture, use of inorganic fertilizer, water system, chemical pest control, and genetic manipulation of crop plants. Each training is utilized for its individual commitment to profitability, yet when they are altogether joined in a cultivating framework each relies upon the others and strengthens the requirement for utilizing the others.

According to Tilman, Cassman, Matson, Naylor and Polasky (2002) these practices are as follows; intensive tillage is when the soil is cultivated profoundly, totally, and consistently in most modern agricultural systems, and a huge range of tractors and farm implements have been created to encourage this practice. The soil is extricated, water depletes better, roots grow faster, and seeds can be planted more easily. Cultivation is additionally used to control weeds and work dead plant matter into the soil. When one harvest is grown alone in a field, it is known as a monoculture. Monoculture makes it simpler to cultivate, sow seed, control weeds, and collect, just as grow the size of the farm activity and improve parts of productivity and cost. Simultaneously, monocultures will in general advance the utilization of the other five essential practices of modern agriculture. Extremely sensational yield increases happen with the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers. Moderately simple to fabricate or mine, to ship, and to apply, compost use has expanded from five to multiple times what it was toward the end of World War II (1939-45). Applied in either fluid or granular structure, fertilizer can supply crops with promptly accessible and uniform measures of a few basic plant supplements. By providing water to crops during times of dry climate or in places of the existence where natural precipitation isn’t adequate for developing most harvests, irrigation has extraordinarily boosted the food supply. Drawing water from underground wells, building reservoirs and circulation waterways, and occupying streams have improved yields and expanded the territory of accessible farmland. Extraordinary sprinklers, pumps, and drip systems have incredibly improved the productivity of water application too. In the enormous monoculture fields of quite a bit of modern agriculture, pests incorporate such living beings as insects that eat plants, weeds that meddle with crop growth, and diseases that slow plant and animal growth or even cause death. At the point when utilized appropriately, synthetic chemicals have given a compelling, moderately simple approach to give such control. Chemical sprays can rapidly react to pest outbreaks.

Modern agriculture and land enclosures were brought about due to feudalism (Moore, 2002). Feudalism is a political and military framework between a primitive privileged (a master or lord) and his vassals (Moore, 2002). In its most great sense, feudalism alludes to the Medieval European political framework made out of a lot of equal legitimate and military commitments among the warrior honourability, revolving around the three key ideas of masters, vassals, and fiefs; the group of feudalism can be found in how these three components fit together. The commitments and relations between master, vassal, and fief structure the premise of feudalism. A master allowed land (a fief) to his vassals. In return for the fief, the vassal would give military support of the master. The land-holding connections of feudalism spun on the fief. There were accordingly extraordinary ‘levels’ of lordship and vassalage.

In a commonplace medieval society, the responsibility for land was vested in the king. Overhauling him was a chain of importance of nobles, the most significant of which held land legitimately from the king, and the lesser from them, down to the seigneur who held a single manor. The political economy of the framework was local and agrarian, and at its base was the manorial framework. In the manorial framework, the laborers, workers, or serfs held the land they worked from the seigneur, who conceded them utilization of the land and his assurance in return for personal services and dues. All through the medieval years, an expansion in correspondence and the centralization of intensity in the hands of rulers in France, Spain, and England separated the structure and encouraged the development of the burgess class (Moore, 2002).

Moore (2002) gives an insight on how feudalism came to an end. One of the reasons for feudalism to end was that to succeed, feudalism required considerable manpower. Vassals and serfs worked the manor year in and year out, bound by law to a lifetime of labour. But when war broke out between England and France in 1337, both nations undertook an unprecedented military build-up. This marked the start of the Hundred Years’ War, a series of intermittent conflicts that lasted until 1543. In both countries, the army swelled its ranks with feudal laborers, undermining the manorial system while increasing the value of commoners by teaching them much-needed military skills.

Secondly, ten years after the Hundred Years’ War started, the bubonic plague broke out in Europe. Spreading northwards from Italy, the bacterial disease known as the Black Death guaranteed at any rate 33% of Western Europe’s absolute populace. With the young manor France and England off at war, rural yield was at that point declining. Presently there was another test confronting feudalism. Many manors endured devastating losses. Conditions were so serious, in fact, that influxes of workers fled to bigger urban communities, an act that would have once been punishable by law.

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Thirdly, Feudalism was a coercive framework that allowed couple of individual freedoms. Old laws kept workers attached to the land, making their work mandatory. However, after some time, ideas of individual rights slowly picked up balance, particularly in England. The twelfth century changes of Henry II, for example, extended the lawful privileges of an individual confronting preliminary. In 1215, King John was compelled to affirm the Magna Carta, a document committing the crown to maintain customary law. After eighty years, Edward I at last stretched out parliamentary enrolment to everyday citizens. These improvements bit by bit caused the idea of agricultural subjugation to seem inexcusable.

Furthermore, By the 1350s, war and sickness had diminished Europe’s populace to the point that labourer work had turned out to be very valuable. However, conditions for the serfs themselves remained to a great extent the same. They were still intensely taxed on wages kept misleadingly low. Not being to get by in these conditions, Europe’s working class revolted. Between the 1350s and the 1390s, uprisings occurred in England, Flanders, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. After an English revolt in 1381, Richard II vowed to end serfdom. In spite of the fact that he later neglected to keep his word, serfdom in any case died out in the following century.

Lastly, the end of the serfdom meant the end of feudalism. Europe’s estates could never again work without a work supply. As feudalism blurred, it was bit by bit replaced by the early capitalist structures of the Renaissance. Land proprietors presently went to privatized farming for benefit. Workers started requesting – and were given – better wages and extra liberties. In this way, the moderate development of urbanization started, and with it came the cosmopolitan perspective that was the sign of the Renaissance.

Capitalism is one of the most persuasive variables that characterize economic classes today. It is a structure wherein the methods for production and distribution are exclusively owned and operated for benefit (Moore, 2003). Capitalists are routinely made of private entities that settle on and execute decisions with regards to supply, demand, value, conveyance, and investments without much intercession with respect to the general population or government bodies. Profit, the significant objective of any capitalist, is appropriated to investors who put resources into organizations. Salaries and wages, then again, are paid to laborers utilized by such organizations. Capitalism, being a compelling and adaptable arrangement of a blended economy, drove the primary methods for industrialization all through the vast majority of the world.

According to Boyer (2005) there are various sorts of capitalism: anarcho-capitalism, corporate capitalism, crony capitalism, finance capitalism, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, neo-capitalism, post-capitalism, state capitalism, state monopoly capitalism, and techno-capitalism. Anyway shifting, there is general understanding that capitalism empowers monetary development while further broadening disparities in salary and wealth. Capitalists believe that expanding GDP (per capita), the principle unit in estimating wealth, is set to realize improved ways of life, including better accessibility of food, housing, clothing, and medicinal services. They regard that a capitalist economy holds better viable possibilities for raising the salary of the common laborers through new professions or business adventures, when contrasted with different kinds of economies. In contrast to feudalism however, capitalism doesn’t maintain lords and serfs. Or maybe, it perceives companies and organizations to be the decision body over the regular workers. What makes it from feudalism is that the subordinate class has opportunity to request from its employer and that the business holds restricted authority, generally professional in nature, over the subordinate.

All these things that had occurred resulted in black people being the marginalized group and white people the benefiters. It is still evident in this present day when black people who were dispossessed of their land back then are still congested in the areas that they were dumped in and even forced to move into. Taking Tsitsikamma into consideration, only a small portion of people left on their own when they were told to, but the majority was forcefully removed Singh and van Houtum (2002). When they were taken back to the land things were never the same again. The Tsitsikamma Mfengu, for the most part the women have the ability to develop harvests and animals on little scale level. The individuals from the community that returned and chose vacant land on these homesteads were kept from cultivating harvests and animals on a similar premise as they did before they were displaced. Furthermore, Jannecke (2006) features the situation of the farmworkers on the rented land with moderately uncertain work and rights are ignored. The rent of the re-established land was intended to be a between time course of action on the consummation of an improvement and land management plan. At present the ‘white’ farmers proceed with no interruptions with their enormous scale business dairy programs, the Mfengu people group living on the vacant settlement are generally subject to salaries from social grants and settlements and get compensation from the joint endeavour as pay-outs in cash or food and socio-economic chances and pay-outs from the windfarm.

Regardless of whether the Tsitsikamma Mfengu with every one of its contentions of their land claim could they get a similar land access as before they were displaced, the soil was now degraded. They would not have the option to cultivate food and come back to the degree of independence as in past. The nature of the soil may likewise be a basic factor affecting a change from farmland grounds to wind farms around there. As of now the Tsitsikamma sustainable power source wind farm is one of six in the coastal region, except for the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm, the other wind farms are on ‘white’ possessed farmlands. Thinking back on the progressions of the soil and the scene as outcome of how extraordinary human actors have identified with land use, coming from the colonist types of farming, extractive relations to the land and ownership examples may reveal to us something increasingly about the need to re-evaluate social and economic relations to the land and make progressively restorative methods for identifying with the land and ecological qualities.

While the Tsitsikamma Mfengu are exposed to neoliberal approaches that could keep up a descending winding of destitution, inequality and injustice it would be appreciated if the people of Tsitsikamma could be compensated. They could be compensated in the form of having to get the rent money form the dairy and wind farms and even get dividends from those. Teach people on how to use small-scale farming to produce food since they now no longer had four hectors yards. Make means for the people to get electricity from the wind farm. Last but not least, have community structures.

It is evident that social injustices and inequalities are still a very huge problem in the Southern Africa. The people who did not own the land now own more than double of the land than the rightful owners. It is a though a feudal and capitalist approach was applied into this making the white people the king and people of colour the peasants. Then the white got to decide what happens to the people of colour and even after giving them their land back more than half of it was still on their side generating more money for them. The rightful thing would be for the people who were dispossessed of their land to be compensated in whatever way that is available and they see fit for themselves.

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Influence of Feudalism on Modern Agriculture: Analytical Essay. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from
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