Gardening And Agriculture In Andrea Wulf's 'Founding Gardeners'

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Gardening and agriculture played a crucial role in the formation of the America we know today. In the book “Founding Gardeners” the author, Andrea Wulf, depicts the ultimate use of gardening by the founding fathers as the underlying basis for the formation of America. Although gardening and agriculture were intended to be as Wulf explains, “what we would call therapeutic (Wulf, 15)” it ultimately became the base of American culture. It had influenced founding fathers - George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in their decisions on economic, political and cultural policies. The use of native plants and biodiversity ultimately created a clear distinction between America and other nations. The division unified Americans…show more content…
Wulf explains how “Jefferson’s approach to his garden was that of a man of the Enlightenment- observing, experimenting and recording (Wulf, 184).” This influenced his ideas on how he planned to expand America. This idea of manifest destiny was rooted in the desire to explore the different plants that were yet to be discovered. His ideology on gardening influenced his decision on the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Although the Louisiana purchase was seen as unworthy land to Americans, Jefferson had found ideal locations within that territory. This seemed to create an epiphany in the minds of many. There was a new view on land and its worth through agriculture. Up until this point, land was not appreciated for its worth. Wulf explains, “as Americans wilderness became part of the country’s national identity and an object of pride, visitors to Monticello began to appreciate Jefferson’s approach (Wulf, 180).” The Louisiana Purchase allowed for Jefferson to showcase his expertise in agriculture and gardening. Jefferson’s motives were not strictly limited to politics, he aimed to assist the economy from becoming a manufacturing society by promoting westward expansion (Wulf, 159). Because he believed that democracy thrived in a rural society, he endorsed this idea that a manufacturing society was ideal. He also went on a journey in search for new crops to bring to America from foreign nations. Although his original purpose was to go heal his broken wrist, Jefferson embarked on this trip as an opportunity to create America’s future. He came across vineyards, almonds, the olive tree and even risked imprisonment for a few grains of rice from Italy (Wulf, 70). He ultimately brought together what would assist Americans in prospering
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