DBQ Essay: Green Revolution

The researches that formed and became the Green Revolution changed the agricultural technologies of many places and peoples. The Green Revolution was an introduction of a new technology of scientifically bred crops that went worldwide. In 1945 the Green Revolution started as leaders addressed the issues of hunger and starvation with the Green Revolution as the solution, and although it helped many people at the time, the Green Revolution is debated today whether it environmentally crushed many societies or was a worldwide helpful event. The Green Revolution was caused by the people seeing their need to overcome starvation and advance technologically within their communities. In document 3 Harry Truman addresses the issue of poverty and starvation in other countries. He talks to the people that the United States should help them realize their aspirations for a better life through technological knowledge. This document is taken from Harry Truman’s inaugural address in Washington D.C., in 1949. His speech provides an insight into Truman’s deep concern for the people of the world and the evident need for a change.

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In document four Dr. Norman states that hunger is a serious issue and vital attribute to a country’s survival, and that the new technology of the Green Revolution could be the solution. This document is taken from the point of view of Dr. Norman Borlaug, a United States scientist involved in Green Revolution research, who is a Nobel Peace Prize winner at a Nobel Lecture in 1970. Dr. Norman is a very creditable source with his first hand knowledge of the Green Revolution. In document five Chidambaram, India’s minister for food and agriculture from 1964-1967, describes in his interview the farmers in Punjab and their role in starting the revolution there in attempt to save their people. The world at this time was desperate for a solution to their starvation problems and the Green Revolution was the solution. The Green Revolution obtained many beneficiaries of its easy and productive style.

When examining the charts in documents one and two, coming from the very reliable source of Food and Agriculture Organizations of the Untied Nations (FAO), you see the substantial growth of wheat yields in India and Mexico, and the populations along with the food supply index. In document 6 there is a conversation about the Mexicans and how they have chosen to use their riches benefitted from the Green Revolution. This document is written from Mrs. Dula’s opinionated point of view, a wife of a Mexican agricultural official. She condescendingly makes a remark about how the Mexican woman love to save the money, only to go out once a month to spend it all shopping in Tuscon. In document nine taken from the Human Development Report issued by the State of Punjab, India in 2004, it shows us the positive social effect that occurred there because of the Green Revolution. The caste system disappeared as the middle and peasantry classes arose because of farming.

Also within the Punjab communities, the new lifestyle attained from the Green Revolution produced a more nuclear and close-knit family that benefited Punjab. The Green Revolution saved many from starvation, increased success in various places, and positively affected the societies. Alongside many benefits of the Green Revolution, some documents conclude many problems that negatively affected people who participated in the Green Revolution. In document seven, taken from the FAO newsletter circa 1987, the role of women is clearly shown to change within the household. Women now had to be forced into low paid or unpaid agricultural labors because of the increased needs for cash incomes. In document eight Dr. Vandana Shiva wrote in her article about how Punjab has suffered from the Green Revolution. Although Punjab is known as one of the most successful places because of the Green Revolution, she explains how two decades of the revolution have left them with conflict over diminishing water sources and indebted and discontented farmers. In document 10 the Mayans are largely saddened by the misuse of their precious seeds. The Green Revolution sterilized and contaminated the seeds that were a proud aspect of Mayan heritage, leaving the Mayans unhappy after standing firm defending the seeds after five thousand years.

These negative effects of the Green Revolution stay with some places still today and are considered to have altered beautiful farming lands. The documents given gave an insight far into the Green Revolution and what really happened within the areas it took place, although other additional documents would be helpful as well. A document of a letter or interview of the farmers in Punjab at the time of the revolution would be helpful to clarify how the farmers felt about the work of the Revolution, if it was strenuous or simple. This would allow an accurate idea of how the revolution affected the people who made it possible. Another document of journal or interview of an impoverished person within the places that starvation took hold would be helpful. This would allow insight on whether the countries really wanted the help of the Green Revolution, not just the acknowledgement by other countries, like in document three, of their impoverished state.

The documents given about the Green Revolution provide evidence about the truth of the causes and consequences of it. The Green Revolution began in 1945 because of our realization of the issues that prevented countries from aspiring to their true potential, and with that acknowledgement the Green Revolution came into play as a hug advancement in agricultural technology that helped many people as it also negatively affected others. Whether the Green Revolution was good or bad for the areas it took hold in, its effects can be seen today and analyzed.

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