Grade: Senior
Subject: History

#3089. The Agricultural Revolution and Community Development

History, level: Senior
Posted Sun Apr 18 12:44:16 PDT 2004 by Bruce McCowan (
Your Community in a World History Context
Scarboro Heights Record, Toronto, Canada
Materials Required: Internet access
Activity Time: Eight 30 minute class sessions
Concepts Taught: To identify, examine, analyze and interpret a variety of un-ordered evidence

The following classroom lessons may be used to show that socio-economic change in Lowland Scotland had significant impact on the development of rural Scottish communities in pre-Confederation Canada. This lesson plan for history will help students appreciate that Canada's heritage is the sum of the histories of Canada's diverse native and immigrant peoples.

Grade Level

Appropriate for high school students in Grades 11 or 12

Applicable to Courses In

-World History
-Canadian History
-Scottish History
-Social Studies
-Community Studies

Topics Addressed

-Agriculture in Scotland
-Socio-economic change
-Employment trends during economic change
-Evolution of value systems
-Emigration and community-building in Canada

Nation and Era

-Scotland 1650-1835
-Canada 1800-1867

Number of 30-Minute Session-Topics

Eight topics to be covered in 30-minute sessions

Student Deliverable

-A major essay on the topic shown below (2,000-3,000 words)
-This essay should be the student's only essay for the course and, for marks, should be weighted accordingly

Essay Topic

Discuss the impact of the Agricultural Revolution in Lowland Scotland on the development of rural Scottish communities in pre-Confederation Canada.

Premise and Background

The well-known Industrial Revolution was preceded by the comparatively little-known Agricultural Revolution. It might be argued that the Industrial Revolution may not have happened had profound agricultural change not released a huge labour force for the city factories. On the other hand, it might be argued that radical agricultural change was inevitable, partly because of rural over-population, partly because of Britain's need to finance an expanding empire and partly due to aspects of human nature. The proponents of agricultural reform had a vested interest in widely promoting its successes. Regardless, the Agricultural Revolution had a profound effect on thousands of ordinary people. Many who were displaced from their plots of land emigrated to Canada. The value system of these new Canadians had evolved over several generations. The values that these immigrants brought to Canada were significant factors in the development and success of their new communities and institutions.

Session-Topic Lessons

1 Introduction and Lowland Scotland 1650-1750
2 The Land and the People
3 Modest Progress and Agents of Change
4 The Agricultural Revolution
5 Options, Responses and Results
6 James McCowan: Evolution of His Value System
7 Rural Scottish Communities in Canada, 1800-1867
8 Summary -- Net Effects of the Agricultural Revolution

Learning Objectives -- Information Processing

-To identify, examine, analyze and interpret a variety of un-ordered evidence (inputs)
-To be critical of input evidence
-To process information in an orderly fashion for a purpose
-To formulate a position and articulate an argument around the evidence
-To output "new and more useful" information for a defined audience -- in essay format

Learning Objectives -- Building A Country

-To identify some signs and effects of over-population
-To identify some of the forces that can initiate socio-economic change
-To recognize that value systems evolve over time
-To acknowledge that value systems contribute to community-building