Farming, Agriculture, and Farmers in US H istory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Farming, Agriculture, and Farmers in US H istory

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  1. Farming, Agriculture, and Farmers in US History

  2. New world  New Nation • English colonists found no gold  crops for survival  crops for profit • The Columbian Exchange • Colonists trades crops for humans, and livestock (trade between the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa that also brought disease) • Triangular Trade • Colonists traded crops, humans and gold with Africa and Europe • Cash Crops • Crops made in bulk that made a lot of profit in trade (indigo & tobacco in the south  rice and cotton in the deep south)

  3. Columbian Exchange

  4. Triangular Trade

  5. Getting Land in Early America Headright System Communal Land Grant System • Granted anyone who bought stock in the Virginia company 50 acres of land in the New World Common Area w/ school & church, surrounded by houses There were too many people and not enough land pushed farmers outwards, paving the way for future urbanization Farmland

  6. (cont.) Land Ordinance 1785 Homestead Act 1862 Government gave land to the public who were willing to farm on it for free *promoted farming by helping farmers get land • Land surveyed by the government and organized so that for every 640 acres, 1/6th would be set aside for schools • Promoted movement and had new land for farmers

  7. Social Hierarchy • Plantation Owners owned many slaves that worked on the plantations to grow cash crops • Yeomen Farmers Small land owners who farmed for themselves and their family, usually without slaves • Indentured Servants servants who worked off the debt they owed for they journey to the New World • Slaves Africans who were forced into labor against their will, didn’t get paid, worked for life, and were “property”

  8. Federalist Era & Jeffersonian Democracy Hamilton’s Economic Plan Embargo Act Passed by Jefferson in 1807 in response to French and British impressment, this act actually devastated port cities and farmers who could not make any profit off of trading their crops • Hamilton created an economic plan that included taxation of the whiskey industry, which was strongly opposed by the farmers who made whisky by farming grain  Whiskey Rebellion (1794)

  9. Market Revolution • Transportation: • National Cumberland Road • Paved road from MD to the Old Northwest. Unified the country and opened a new way for transportation • Erie Canal • Canal from the Great Lakes to New York City that made trade a lot faster and more efficient for farmers • Market Revolution was the development of technology in communication, manufacturing and transportation • Farmers could now trade their goods farther away via railroads • Cotton farmers could produce much more cotton with the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793

  10. Market Revolution

  11. The Road to Civil War • Popular Sovereignty (created by Stephen Douglas) • Compromise of 1850 • Kansas- Nebraska Act of 1854 Agriculture, at least in plantations, relied on slavery for production of the crops. If states were allowed popular sovereignty, they could decide for themselves, meaning they could have slaves and continue to be economically prosperous through plantations and slaves. The lack of northern support for this policy as well as the common northern support for emancipation helped push the south to secede

  12. The Civil War: Confederate Advantages Cotton Production King Cotton Diplomacy The strategy of the Confederacy: If France & Britain continued to depend on the Confederacy for cotton, they would help them defeat the Union to get more cotton • Allowed the Confederacy to have a grand supply of clothes and economic standing while the Union struggled with their supplies

  13. The Gilded Age Agrarian Discontent • Government helped industrialization over agriculture • Farmers in debt • Crop lien: farmers promised consumers crops they would trade them in the future in exchange for goods, services, or money • Sharecropping: Black families could work on plantations and live on them and share them with the plantation owners by splitting it up • Conglomerate farms • Larger farms produce cheaper charge less  prices go down: made it harder for small farmers to grow economically • They can’t pay for themselves (supplies, support for families, etc)  poor

  14. The Gilded Age What Farmers Wanted • More circulation of money via free silver • Increased government regulation • Specifically to decrease railroad prices so they can transport their goods • Direct election of the senators for representation • Successful - 17th Amendment (1912)

  15. Farmers in Politics • The Grange Movement (1860-1870) • Organized farmers movement that advocated for more power to the common farmer, a lower financial burden (buying seeds and farming equipment individually) • Free Soil Party • Advocated for no slavery in the new territory, internal improvements funded by the government, and free land from the government for settlers • Farmers Alliance • An organization that united farmers locally and nationally, this alliance had the goals of readily available farm credits and federal regulation of the railroads. • Peoples’/Populist Party • Party comprised of southern and westerners, this advocated for the rights and powers of farmers/common people versus the privileged/elite

  16. 2nd Industrial Revolution • Mass production/consumption • For farmers, this meant that a handful big plantations would profit and gain control of agriculture while smaller farms would struggle • Electricity • Meant more machines to help facilitate the production of crops • Wage Employment • Sent small farmers who were not making profit into urban areas for work because they needed to support their families • Bigger Corporations • CEOs and owners of big corporations had more control on the economy and politics, giving farmers a smaller voice while benefiting themselves as much as possible • Helped out industry over agriculture even more than before • Transformed farming and agriculture into the monopolies we have today, where big companies/plants control the whole market (from food inc)

  17. The graph above shows that over the course of American History, agriculture, farms, and farming decreased as the industries increased (market revolutions). As the industries increased and agriculture became a place for big plantation owners to monopolize, small farmers stopped farming and moved into the common workplace, leaving the percent of farmers in the labor force today below 5% compared to the 90% in 1790. Information for this graph came from:

  18. Photo Sources