Crash Course World History: Agriculture and Human Civilization

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What was the primary motivation behind early farmers planting seeds?

What societal issues have been linked to agriculture?

What is the next week's topic in the text?


  • John Green welcomes viewers to Crash Course World History and explains the importance of being an informed and engaged citizen in the world
  • In a mere fifteen thousand years, humans went from hunting and gathering to creating complex societies and technological innovations
  • The creation of a ninety-nine cent double cheeseburger involves the production and transportation of various food and agricultural products
  • Fifteen thousand years ago, humans were foragers and hunters who had healthier bones and teeth than agriculturalists
  • Cultivation of crops, such as rice, maize, potatoes, and wheat, allowed for larger population centers and the specialization of labor
  • Agriculture provides a controllable food supply but requires the manipulation of the environment and the exploitation of labor
  • Herding is an alternative to foraging and agriculture, but it requires the domestication of certain animals and the ability to move around frequently
  • Herding animals, such as sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses, camels, donkeys, reindeer, water buffalo, and yaks, were not native to the Americas, making agriculture the dominant form of food production there
  • Elephants, with their intelligence and size, could have dominated humans if they had been more prolific, but their long gestation period and small birth size limited their impact on human civilization.- Agriculture may not have been the result of a deliberate revolution, but rather an evolutionary response to the desire for more food.
  • Early farmers experimented with planting seeds, not for agricultural revolution, but for increased food production.
  • Evidence suggests humans in southern Greece domesticating snails over 13,000 years ago, selectively breeding them for larger, more nutritious shells.
  • Agriculture has led to various societal issues like patriarchy, inequality, war, and environmental damage, and it's irrevocable at this point.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of studying history, as people have been making decisions that significantly shaped the world throughout history, including our present.
  • Crash Course is a production of Stan Muller, with Danica Johnson as script supervisor, Raoul Meyer and the speaker as writers, and Thought Bubble as graphics team.
  • Next week's topic is the Indus River Valley, and viewers are encouraged to leave comments with questions or suggestions for future phrases of the week.
  • Don't Forget To Be Awesome is the phrase of the week.


Explore the evolution of human societies from hunting and gathering to the rise of agriculture, its impact on population centers, food production methods, societal issues, and the importance of studying history. Get ready to delve into the fascinating journey of human civilization with Crash Course World History.

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