One of the great transformations in global environmental history has been the plowing up of the world’s grasslands to grow grain. The process began at the western end of the Eurasian steppes, in present-day southern Russia and Ukraine, in the second half of the eighteenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the great plow-up spread to vast areas of the prairies and Great Plains of North America, the Pampas of South America, the veldt of southern Africa, lands in Australasia, northern India, and north Africa, and the plains of Hungary and Romania.

This process was driven by the transport revolution aided by the construction of railroads, cargo ships, ports, and grain elevators. Facilitated by domestic and international markets, the grain was consumed by the globe’s burgeoning urban population.

The conversion of large parts of the world’s grasslands to arable fields was achieved with great social and environmental cost. Indigenous populations were forcibly driven of the land and their ways of life, which were based on herding or hunting livestock, was destroyed. The Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century and wars on the Eurasian steppes, over many centuries, between states based on farming and pastoralism opened the way to the plow.

The plowing of the fertile soil to grow grain, was also followed by ecological disasters, of which the Dust Bowl on the southern plains of the USA in the 1930’s is probably the most famous.

The plowing up of the steppes is a story that is directly related to the rise of oil, nitrogen fixation as well as the transport revolution and is part of the environmental legacy of the 19th and 20th century.

  1. Jan Oosthoek, Environmental History Resources, www.eh-resources.org. Accessed: 09 Dec. 2015
  2. Jan Oosthoek, Environmental History Resources, www.eh-resources.org/timeline/. Accessed: 09 Dec. 2015

Comments



3 Comments so far

  1.    Kupon Kodları on June 19, 2020 11:42 am

    She saw no irony asking me to change but wanting me to accept her for who she is.

  2.    Free Stuff on June 20, 2020 2:03 am

    Thanks for your publication. I would love to say that the very first thing you will need to complete is verify if you really need credit improvement. To do that you will have to get your hands on a replica of your credit file. That should never be difficult, since the government makes it necessary that you are allowed to receive one totally free copy of your own credit report on a yearly basis. You just have to inquire the right persons. You can either read the website for your Federal Trade Commission or maybe contact one of the leading credit agencies straight.

  3.    Hairstyles on June 20, 2020 5:03 am

    One thing I would really like to say is car insurance cancellation is a terrifying experience so if you’re doing the right things as being a driver you simply won’t get one. Some individuals do receive the notice that they are officially dumped by the insurance company they then have to scramble to get added insurance after having a cancellation. Cheap auto insurance rates usually are hard to get after having a cancellation. Having the main reasons pertaining to auto insurance termination can help car owners prevent burning off one of the most vital privileges out there. Thanks for the ideas shared by means of your blog.

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind