3 ECON History - x(Classmate 2) Ch. 15 The Reunification Era Agriculture & Ch. 26 The Farm Pro

3 ECON History - x(Classmate 2) Ch. 15 The Reunification Era Agriculture & Ch. 26 The Farm Pro

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The Reunification Era: Agriculture & the Farm Protest Movement (Chap 15) (1865-1920) I. A comment on southern agriculture. (Note that Chap 15 focuses on rest of U.S.) The south following the civil war was dramatically below the rest of the country economically so the focus will be on the rest of the country. II. Expansion & Federal Land Policy : Please cover on your own p. 261-265 . (see questions in study guide for exam 1) “Privatizing” of government land & the “liberalization” of U.S. land policy The impact of the Homestead Act & amendments to the Act The 3 principle goals of U.S. land policy The distribution of public lands & fraudulent acquisitions of land Changing views on the efficiency of U.S. land policy III. In last ½ of 19 th c, agriculture… continued to grow in output Average annual growth rate (agricultural output) = 2.5% diminished in terms of contribution to GDP: U.S. Commodity Production YEAR Agriculture Manufacturing 1869 53% 33% 1899 33% 53% output was growing in both sectors, but manufacturing output was growing more rapidly. The shift in economic power fueled political tensions (as we’ll see in later chapters).
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IV. Growth in Output A. Especially for grain production (Table 15.2): ↑ total output and ↑ total acreage Output per acre (land productivity): little or no increase o Corn- slight decrease in land productivity between 1870-1910 o Wheat- slight increase in land productivity between 1870-1910 While amount of land use went up actual productivity remain fairly stable during this time period. Increased acreage ... increase in average farm size due to o incr'd use of capital (reapers, steel plow, thresher) it increased labor productivity o incr'd labor productivity (output per worker) -farms grew larger due to the fact that better farm equipment (capital) was available. Ex: the steel plow, this allowed farmers to work faster and with less stopping to repair a plow such as when they had wood or iron plows. -This was better suited as farmers moved west because the soil was harder and more dense. -1850-1900: 2.6% average annual increase in labor productivity in agriculture. Note: Increases in output also due to biological innovations: o New plant varieties & hybrids o Methods of combating insects & plant disease o However, most of this sort of innovation occurs after 1920 B. 1860-1920: # of people fed per farmer almost doubles (further evidence of ↑ labor productivity)- linked to avg farm size going up and avg output per farm going up.
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