ECON History

ECON History - TUESDAY 02.01.2011 Ch 15 Reunification Era...

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TUESDAY 02.01.2011 The Reunification Era: Agriculture & the Farm Protest Movement (Chap 15) Period where country was reunified after the Civil War I. A comment on southern agriculture. (Note that Chap 15 focuses on rest of U.S.) II. Expansion & Federal Land Policy: Please cover on your own p. 261-265. cover on your own and take notes! (there will be specific questions in Exam 1 study guide related to this) “Privatizing” of government land & the “liberalization” of U.S. land policy The 3 principle goals of U.S. land policy 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). IV. Growth in Output A. Especially for grain production (Table 15.2): ↑ total output and ↑ total acreage Output per acre (land productivity, which was fairly stable): little or no increase o Corn Bushels of corn produced per acre went down between 1870-1910 and then slightly back up o Wheat Bushels of wheat per acre barely increased between 1870-1910 Increased acreage (increase in average farm size) due to . .. o Increased use of capital (reapers, steel plow, thresher) Iron-clad plow was a wood plow whose teeth were wrapped in iron until the steel plow came along, which was made completely of steel. The steel plow was better-suited for dense clay soils of the Midwestern states. o Increased labor productivity (output per worker) *the individual can do more with better capital 1850-1900: 2.6% average annual increase in labor productivity in agriculture Note: Increases in output also due to biological innovations: *happened after 1920s Page 1
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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)
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ECON History - TUESDAY 02.01.2011 Ch 15 Reunification Era...

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