American Agriculture Essay

675 words - 3 pages

Between 1865 and 1900, American agriculture was changed in huge ways through technology, government policy, and economic conditions. These changes brought many negative responses from American farmers.
First, American agriculture was massively changed by new technology. Many new technologies came out that were big factors in the beginning of commercial farming. The train was a vital role in the production increase in farming. Between 1870 and 1890, the railroad increased in enormous ways, making cattle trails entirely obsolete (Doc B). As transportation became easier, commercial farming became possible and farmers were able to send out more produce. Farmers continued increasing production through the use of new equipment. In 1880, it was possible to harvest wheat in big rows through the use of the combine (Doc D). Commercial farming further changed agriculture by speeding up the process of transporting goods from farmers to consumers. In 1884, Harper’s New Monthly Magazine mentioned a Chicago establishment that combined both processes of shipping and canning beef (Doc F). However, as farmers lacked experience in the area of commercial farming, many American farmers faced large amounts of debt. Due to the cost of the new technologies that farmers bought to increase production, many farmers lost money due to the decrease in the price of crops. Overproduction was a direct result of commercial farming that led to many farmers in debt.
Next, unfavorable government policy changed American agriculture by giving little aid to failing American farmers. As the farming industry grew, the government did little to help the farmers in the country as business was the favored industry. In 1877, Prairie Farmer talked about the unjust ruling by the Supreme Court in the Muhn v. Illinois trial (Outside info). The Court ruled that Illinois was allowed to control the Railroad within the state (Doc C). With that ability, Illinois could set their Railroad prices. This would not help American farmers as they would have to pay a higher price to deliver their goods across the country. As...

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