American Agriculture 1880-1910

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  • Topic: Agriculture, History of agriculture, Poverty
  • Pages : 2 (539 words )
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  • Published : March 23, 2008
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American agriculture has had a long and extravagant history. Furthermore, the years 1860-1900 have the greatest impact on the history of farming to date. Many contributing factors have aided quite extensively to the development and farming advancements during this period. The railroad boom allowed easier, cheaper and faster transportation methods which in turn triggered economic growth. Man power was overthrown by the transition of animal power (mostly horses), allowing farmers to harvest more crops than ever before. The government, which during this time period but into action many agricultural acts, permitted more people to access more land.

In 1870 railroads scarcely concentrated the eastern coast of the U.S. Within 20 years an abundance of railroads could be found not only on the eastern coast, but they had fast spread to the western coast as well (Source B). Thanks to the railroad boom, farmers could now transport their crops and other goods to further places. Also it let the railroad companies choose the rates at which they were to charge for the cargo loads, ultimately making it cheap and affordable for many farmers (Source C).

Noted as the first American Agricultural Revolution, the switch from hand powering tools, to using animals to power these tools is of up-most importance. By replacing the use of man to the use of animal, great improvement was shown. Farmers found the animals to be much more efficient, and since there was a great quantity of horses (animal of farming choice) available, farmers found they were able to produce more goods than ever before. A great example of this would be when a huge plowing rig would be hooked up to numerous horses and dragged across a field (Document D).

As a result of the more efficient production, farmers could charge less and less the more they produce (Document A). From 1870 to 1900, the number of bushels (in millions) produced went up 239%, while the price per bushel went south 53%. Although this seemed...
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