Essay on Farming and Immigration at the Turn of the Century

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At the turn of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of immigrants flocked into North America, specifically Western Canada. This phenomenon, according to Owen (n.d) was as a result of the long standing dream encapsulated in the New World philosophy, whereby the average individual immigrant perceived a minimalistic beginning leading to greater opulence. A large portion of those looking to pursue the New World dream were farmers. It is important to realize that the fundamental reason why most occupied the profession of farming was due to the recently successful agrarian revolution in Europe. As such, it is possible to assume that such immigrants thus possessed enough skill and motivation as to suggest their positive perception of farming in the New World. Without a doubt, some of these immigrant farmers actually succeeded, albeit fitfully, in actualizing this dream. Nevertheless, and as stated by Owen, historical records affords for the consciousness that many of the newcomers realized utter failure in pursuing their farming prospects. In the end, most of them simply abandoned their acquired farms in search of greener pastures, reality having turned peculiarly different from what they had anticipated. This paper will present some of the hindrances the new farmers experienced, which ultimately resulted in their consequent failure.
Cost of Farming
This is without a doubt the most perennial hindrance which every farmer, it seems, was forced to grapple with. In effect, Owen mentions that “the cost of farm establishment even if at low expense, was always a serious problem.” Why was this? Like every business venture, one must first and foremost possess working capital to kick start the venture. It was no different for th...

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...ial capital investment notwithstanding, because as is evident in Cottons experience, it took careful planning and good management to realize success.
Certainly, there are several other intrinsic hindrances that affected the success of the immigrant farmers in the New World. Factors such as lack of proper policy to facilitate credit lending, the issue to do with resentment by locals of immigrants, and generally poor market availability coupled with occasional bad weather also served to afflict the farmers with huge rations of failure. Nonetheless, it is evident that certain few farmers such as A J. Cotton did indeed acquire considerable growth and prosperity as to suggest the realization of their dream.

Works Cited

Owen, W. The Cost of Farm-Making in Early Manitoba: the Strategy of Almon James Cotton as a Case Study, N.D. St. John’s Ravenscourt School.

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