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William Radcliffe, 1828

In the year 1770, the land in our township was occupied by between fifty to sixty farmers…and out of these fifty or sixty farmers, there were only six or seven who raised their rents directly from the produce of their farms; all the rest got their rent partly in some branch of trade, such as spinning and weaving woolen, linen, or cotton. …The father of a family would earn from eight shillings to half a guinea at his loom, and his sons, if he had one, two or three alongside of him, six or eight shillings each per week; but the great sheet anchor of all cottages and small farms, was the labor attached to the hand-wheel, and when it is considered that it required six to eight hands to prepare and spin yarn…this shows clearly the inexhaustible source there was for labor for every person from the age of seven to eighty years to earn their bread, say one to three shillings per week without going to the parish. The better class of cottagers and even small farmers also helped to earn what might aid in making up their rents, and supporting their families respectably.

William Radcliffe, Origin of the New System of Manufacture, Commonly Called Power loom Weaving (London, 1828),pp.9-10, 59-67; reprinted in J. F. C. Harrison, Society and Politics in England, 1780-1960 (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), pp. 58-61. http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/mod/1828looms.asp; accessed 9-20-16.

According to the document above, which of the following technologies played an integral role in the shift from farming to textile production in England?

A

Three-field crop rotation.

B

The development of large, new weaving looms.

C

The cotton gin.

D

Watt’s steam engine.

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