Agricultural chemistry
(749 words)

Since Antiquity, organic and mineral manuring has been used to improve crop yield. In the 17th century, Paracelsism gave the initial stimulus to a chemical investigation of surface soil and plant constituents. But chemical fertilization, in the form suggested during the English Revolution by the reformist circle of Samuel Hartlib [6. 384–402] or by the chemist Johann Rudolf Glauber, remained ineffective, because key questions of plant nutrition remained unanswered. While some, following Johann Baptist van Helmont (1577-1644), saw the supposed…

Cite this page
Meinel, Christoph, “Agricultural chemistry”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 January 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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