FARMING 19TH CENTURY TO PRESENT
Agriculture has been the most important activity in America from the 1600’s to the present but is rapidly declining in economic importance in the 21st century. The farm equipment has improved drastically, from hand labor to gas and diesel machinery (Fite 1). In the 1860’s, farmers made up fifty-eight percent of the labor force (ARS). The agriculture business was the foundation of the west.
The most common farm tools used in the 19th century were made from wood and metal strips. These tools were used by hand labor or pulled by a strong workhorse (Fite 1). Most of the farmers went to a near town and purchased a few slaves for a good price. Slaves were the main farm workers in the north until the end of the Civil War. They would do the farmers hard work for little, or no pay. Due to the end of slavery the blacks were able to become shareowners on several farms. They were granted their freedom, as well the right to own and harvest their own land (Duane 156).
One hot invention in the 1800’s was the harvesting machine and thresher. The harvesting machine was created by an American inventor searching for an easier way to cut down the grain stalks. This young inventor’s na
So they came up with the dry farming method. So this was the beginning of the mechanical age and the end of the animal age (Duane 159). In the 1800"tms a scientist created a mixture of chemicals called fertilizer. When they plowed, the soil would stick to the wooden blade, which would clog the furrows. The two million farms produced an extremely high amount of these crops, they grew 838 million bushels of corn, 5. These mixtures were spread over a crop to help it produce more and healthier crops than ever before (Duane 159). But this was only granted to those who lived upon the land for five years and used the land for farming purposes. 4 million bales of cotton, 172 million bushels of wheat, and large quantities of other grain, tobacco, fruit, vegetables, and small amounts of other crops. Tractors was very expensive and difficult to operate. This was created by two brothers in 1836, but wasn"tmt used much until the early 1900"tms. Then there will be no need for humanly ran farms, so these farms will eventually die out. By the 1860"tms there were approximately 2,044,077 farms spread throughout the nation. Later in the 20th century an inventor came up with the idea to combine the harvesting machine with the thresher. But before these chemical fertilizers were created people used a natural fertilizer.