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United States Agriculture

explanatory Essay
3163 words
3163 words
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Agriculture was the most important economic activity in America from the founding of Virginia in 1607 to about 1890. Although farming declined rapidly in relative economic importance in the twentieth century, U.S. agriculture continued to be the most efficient and productive in the world. Its success rested on abundant fertile soil, a moderate climate, the ease of private land ownership, growing markets for farm produce at home and abroad, and the application of science and technology to farm operations. The first settlers, finding that European agriculture could not easily be transferred to the new environment, adopted the Indian practices of raising corn, squash, tobacco, and other crops. From the beginning corn, grown in all the colonies, was the leading food crop. Tobacco, which was exported to earn foreign exchange, was raised mostly in Virginia and Maryland. In New England, farmers on small acreages raised corn, oats, and rye, vegetables and fruits, and livestock, especially cattle and sheep. In the central colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey wheat was the major crop. Farmers there were also heavy producers of livestock and animal products, as well as fruit and vegetables. Most farmers in early America were largely self-sufficient, producing enough for their family needs, but also some surplus for sale. Agriculture from Maryland, and southward, was more specialized and commercialized than in the North. Corn was the main grain and food crop, but tobacco, rice, and indigo were the principal export crops. The plantation system was developed in connection with the production of tobacco and rice, with black slaves providing much of the labor by the late seventeenth century. Cotton was grown for home use in the late eighteenth century, but because it was difficult to extract the seeds it did not become an important commercial crop until after the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793. Farmers then used crude hand tools made of wood, sometimes with iron parts. Plows too might have an iron facing on the cutting edge. Planting, weeding, and harvesting were done by hand labor. Significant changes in farming began to occur at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, tens of thousands of farmers surged westward to settle on the rich lands of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. [1]The... ... middle of paper ... ... S. Maxwell 29 November 2004 Thesis Statement: In early America, agriculture was a significant part of society and America’s early development. 1) Introduction: This paper will explain how America’s agriculture was developed and what roles were played to establish settlement. 2) Literature Overview: The resources use to complete the assign were Kevin Reilly, Women and the Origins of Patriarchy: Gathering, Agricultural, and Urban Societies; Elise Boulding, Women and the Agricultural Revolution, Gilbert C. Fite, American Farmers, The New Minority, John T Schelbecker, Whereby We Thrive: A History Of American Farming, Sandra Johnson, and a unknown web source. They describe in their own way how the American agriculture was established. 3) The Role of Agriculture in Early America, 1790-1824. WORKS CITED Boulding, Elise, 2004. Women and the Agricultural Revolution. New York. Fite, Gilbert C, 1981. American Farmers, The New Minority. University of South Carolina. Johnson, Sandra, 2004. http://sandrajohnson.org/slavery_histiry.html/ Schlebecker, John T, 1975. Whereby We Thrive: A History of American Farming. http://www.muslimedia.com/archives/features99/slavery.htm

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that agriculture was the most important economic activity in america from the founding of virginia in 1607 to about 1890.
  • Explains that the first settlers, finding that european agriculture could not easily be transferred to the new environment, adopted the indian practices of raising corn, squash, tobacco, and other crops.
  • Explains that in new england, farmers raised corn, oats, and rye, vegetables and fruits, livestock, cattle and sheep. in the central colonies, wheat was the major crop, as well as livestock and animal products.
  • Explains that agriculture from maryland, and southward, was more specialized and commercialized than in the north. the plantation system was developed in connection with the production of tobacco and rice.
  • Explains that agricultural expansion was encouraged by removal of indians from choice farmlands, liberal public land policies, development of canal and rail transportation, demand for food and fiber in the growing towns and cities, and increasing exports.
  • Explains that agricultural reformers advised farmers to rotate their crops, conserve soil, use fertilizers, adopt new crops and improve livestock breeds, and use the latest machinery.
  • Explains that agriculture was a powerful engine behind american economic development in the first half of the nineteenth century.
  • Analyzes how elise boulding argued that women initiated the agricultural revolution in two stages, horticulture and agricultural proper.
  • Explains that the earliest settlements used horticulture farming; a style completely dominated by women.
  • Explains that the women unknowingly invented the first form of pottery. although they spent less time in the fields, they kept extremely busy due to the surplus of food produced by the agricultural proper method of farming.
  • Analyzes how elise boulding makes it clear that throughout the two stages of the agricultural revolution, horticulture and agriculture proper, women were very important. their actions led to crucial changes in the world’s way of life.
  • Explains that slavery was a social institution defined by law and custom as the most absolute involuntary form of human servitude.
  • Analyzes the emergence and growth of slavery in north america, focusing on the chesapeake region, the north, carolina's and georgia, followed by louisiana.
  • Explains that enslaved africans were treated as indentured servants and freed after a term of service. tobacco was the chesapeake's regional crop, but its profits did not come close to those of sugarcane.
  • Explains how the institution of slavery took root in the new colonies. as economic conditions improved, planters began to restrict the activities of african servants.
  • Explains how the house of burgesses codified and systematized virginia's laws of slavery.
  • Explains that the new law left the chesapeake bay region in the unique position of spanning free, border, and slave states.
  • Explains that the north maintained a slave regime more varied and complex than the “peculiar institution of the south”. the work, ideas, and industry of slavery helped shape the biggest cities in the world.
  • Opines that if it weren't for native american, women, and african slaves, the american agricultural society would not have developed today.
  • Cites kevin reilly and elise boulding's books, women and the origins of patriarchy gathering, agricultural, and urban societies.
  • Explains the hardships of the slaves while being departed from their home land.
  • Explains that http://www.muslimedia.com/archives/features99/slavery.htm describes slavery in the south.
  • Explains that agriculture was a significant part of society and america's early development.
  • Explains how america's agriculture was developed and what roles were played to establish settlement.
  • Describes the resources used to complete the assignment: kevin reilly, elise boulding, gilbert c. fite, american farmers, the new minority, john t schelbecker, and sandra johnson.
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