American Agriculture DBQ
Industrialism drove our country to advance and develop quickly from 1865 to 1900. All aspects of society felt the impacts. Agriculture in America, experienced these new effects, changing completely the way it was conducted in the states.
As technology increased, and the invention of new tools came about, farming was able to commercialize and become more efficient. Economic conditions of this time, hindered the farmers profitability and growth. New policies enforced by the government in this era sought out to help agriculture, but on occasion angered the farmers.
Agriculture in the states changed drastically from 1865 to 1900. Technological advances boomed starting in the 1860’s, totally improving the ways of American agriculture. Railroads were growing in size, and allowed for transportation of crops to become exponentially more efficient. A map showed the amount of railroads in 1870 compared to 1890; they tripled in size. (Doc B) Cyrus Mccormick was an inventor and farmer during this era. It was his idea to build the first combine. This basically created a quicker harvesting process of crops.
Mccormick wasn’t the only one innovating in this time. 1n 1868, James Oliver invented the steel plow. This was yet another tool, which increased the speed at which one could gather crops. Corbis Bettmann took a photo of a wheat harvest in 1880. A plow similar to Oliver’s was being dragged behind several horses in order to collect as much wheat as possible quickly. (Doc D) However, it wasn’t just crops that were being shipped out faster. Cattle and all livestock were being grown and slaughtered at greater rates.
In 1884, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, published an article describing slaughtering capacity at a local Chicago establishment. It stated that it had “… a slaughtering capacity of 400,000 head annually. ” (Doc F) They were raising livestock faster than ever before. Economic conditions in the US hindered the agricultural growth during this era. Prices and inflation were uncertain and ever-changing, causing strife in the farming communities. Over the course of 35 years the prices of crops