English Agriculture : The American Identity Of The Mid Nineteenth Century

1349 Words Apr 29th, 2015 null Page
English agriculture was another contribution to the growing American identity of the mid-eighteenth century. In the early colonies of Virginia and New England, the colonists attempted to transplant the style of farming and husbandry with which they were familiar in England. "They brought with them farming techniques based on ownership and cultivation of land". "The colonists saw it as their birth-right if not their duty to tame the land and transform it into profitable, workable tracts." When these techniques were unsuccessful in the New World, they adapted their methods to suit their new situations. When the poor soil and short growing season of New England prevented the English colonists from building the style of farms they were comfortable with from the Old World, they instead became cattle and sheep farmers, raising familiar livestock that fed the growing cities on the New England coast, the sugar colonies of the Caribbean, and even sending cattle to market as far away as England. The popularity of tobacco and its rapid rise as a cash crop led the colonists of Virginia and Maryland to grow it almost to the exclusion of all other crops. When the rate at which tobacco depleted soil nutrients prevented the colonists from maintaining the style of family farms that they had known in England, they used the vast amounts of open land available to expand their holdings, moving their plantations northward and westward from Jamestown in order to satisfy the European…

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