The Story of American Agriculture


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The Story of American Agriculture

  1. 1. Food, Land & People in a Changing America The story of American Agriculture through 1877 Debra Spielmaker Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
  2. 2. Geography, the Climate and Land <ul><li>Deep well drained topsoil, prime agricultural land. </li></ul><ul><li>Temperate climate, moderate temperature, and adequate rainfall. </li></ul>What is agriculture?
  3. 3. Early America, the Food and Land <ul><ul><li>Three Sisters: Corn, Squash, and Beans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pumpkins, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peanuts, Sunflowers, Cotton, Pineapples & Blueberries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farming and Traditions, Green Corn Ceremony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crop and livestock production </li></ul></ul>Food production harvesting techniques of Native Americans
  4. 4. America, the Food and Land Today, almost half of the world’s food crops come from the plants that were first grown in the Americas.
  5. 5. Early America the Fiber and Land <ul><li>Plant leaf and stem fibers </li></ul><ul><li>Cotton </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indians knew how to weave cotton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1600s southern colonies grew this crop on a small scale for self sufficiency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1700s Cotton is grown on a larger scale in southern colonies </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. America, the People the Land, and a New Economy <ul><li>Indians lived a sustainable life. </li></ul><ul><li>New colonists in Jamestown were forced to work on the farms if they wanted to eat (the preferred looking for gold). </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco production allowed the Virginia colony to succeed and establish a stable form of government. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hearts and Minds There seems to be 3 ways for a nation to acquire wealth: the first is by war...this is robbery: the second by commerce, which is generally cheating: the third by agriculture, the only honest way... Benjamin Franklin
  8. 8. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People <ul><li>1493 - Columbus introduces calves, </li></ul><ul><li>goats, sheep, pigs, hens, fruit, </li></ul><ul><li>and old world vegetable seeds. </li></ul><ul><li>1607 - English colonists plant grain, </li></ul><ul><li>potatoes, pumpkins, and melons. </li></ul><ul><li>1609 - Indians teach Jamestown </li></ul><ul><li>settlers how to grow corn. </li></ul>Significant events creating the most progressive culture in the world!
  9. 9. Hearts and Minds I know of no pursuit in life in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s care. George Washington
  10. 10. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People <ul><li>- First Negroes arrive at Jamestown. </li></ul><ul><li>1780 - U.S. Ambassador Ben Franklin </li></ul><ul><li>sends soybean seeds back </li></ul><ul><li>from France. </li></ul><ul><li>1786 - George Washington breeds the </li></ul><ul><li>first mules in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>1793 - Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Jefferson invented the </li></ul><ul><li>moldboard plow. </li></ul><ul><li>1794 - Whiskey Rebellion: western </li></ul><ul><li>farmers revolt against a grain tax. </li></ul>1776 - Farmers make up 92% of the population, of 5 million.
  11. 11. Hearts and Minds Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most wedded to its liberty and interests, by the most lasting bonds. Thomas Jefferson
  12. 12. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People 1803 – Louisiana Purchase, a port for American farmers. 1805 - Cotton replaces tobacco as the main crop in the south. 1810 - Beginning of the “Industrial Revolution. 1819 - U.S. canning industry started. 1825 - Erie Canal finished. 1795-1815 Sheep and wool industry emphasized. 1830 – 275 labor hours to produce 100 bushels of wheat (5 acres)
  13. 13. History and Technology Cotton Gin
  14. 14. Southern Dependency A burial description… “ The grave was dug through solid marble, but the marble headstone came from Vermont. It was a pine wilderness but the pine coffin came from Cincinnati. An iron mountain overshadowed it by the coffin nails and screws and the shovel came from Pittsburgh…A hickory grove grew nearby, but the pick and shovel handles came form New York…That country, so rich in underdeveloped resources, furnished nothing for the funeral except the corpse and the hole in the ground.”
  15. 15. History and Technology Spinning Mill
  16. 16. History and Technology Transportation Erie Canal 1817-1825
  17. 17. Hearts and Minds Every nation should … be able to feed and clothe and defend itself. If it rely upon a foreign supply that may be cut off…it cannot be independent. Henry Clay
  18. 18. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People 1831 - Cyrus McCormick invented the grain reaper, and the concept of paying installments or buying on credit. 1836 - Grain combine patented. 1837 - John Deere manufactures steel plow. 1843 - Sir John Laws founded the commercial fertilizer industry by developing a process for making superphosphate. 1850 - Rembert & Prescott developed a mechanical cotton picking machine. 1845 – 1855 Great Potato famine in Ireland.
  19. 19. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People 1855 - Michigan and Pennsylvania established the first state agricultural colleges. 1858 - Mason jars, used for home canning. 1862 - President Lincoln creates the first Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Land Grant College Act. Homestead Act give 160 acres to settlers who will farm the land for five years. 1867 - Barbed wire invented. Utah State University Established 1888
  20. 20. Land Distribution 160 & 80 acre tracts From 12.5 cents per acre to $ 1 per acre, depending on value Graduation Act of 1854 160 acre tracts Free Homesteads Homestead Act 1862 160 & 80 acre tracts $1.25 per acre (grants to railroads &canals at $2.50 per acre) Preemption Act of 1841 160 & 80 acre tracts $1.25 per acre Act of 1820 320 – acre tracts $2 per acre Act of 1800 640 – acre tracts $2 per acre Act of 1796 640 – acre tracts $1 per acre Ordinances of 1784-1785 Size of Tract Sale Prices Land Acts
  21. 21. Transformed America, the Food, Land and People 1869 - Transcontinental railroad completed. 1865 - Pasteurization invented. 1870 - Refrigerator railroad car patented. 1875 - Milking machine invented. 1860 - Farmers make up 58 % of the population. 1890 - 35-40 labor hours to produce 100 bushels of wheat on 2.5 acres Automatic milker, 2000
  22. 22. Patterns of Conflict and Economic Turning-Points <ul><li>Fiber (wool) production and textile mills (dependence on England’s mills). </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts with Indians </li></ul><ul><li>Tobacco to Cotton, late 1700s </li></ul><ul><li>Farm profits and depression </li></ul>
  23. 23. Food, Land and People = Agriculture <ul><li>Does agriculture have a different definition today than 250 years ago? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson would say about agriculture today? </li></ul><ul><li>How did these men shape our American culture and our future? </li></ul><ul><li>Is agriculture as important today as in 1776? 1877? </li></ul>