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Lecture4 - The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply...

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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Challenges to American Agriculture American Economic History University of California, Berkeley Department of Economics September 7, 2010 Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 0 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Today’s Agenda: Agriculture The potential of agriculture is discovered during colonization Antebellum Americans sought to expand through the Pacific Coast To what extent did economic opportunities affect land policies? One of the biggest boons to agriculture was the rise of technology Yet, technology was not always adapted, at least not immediately What accounts for the diffusion of technology? Profits were greatly affected by unpredictable, seasonal shocks Which shocks helped, and which were disastrous? How did farmers respond to the seasonal nature of agriculture? Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 1 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Nineteenth century agriculture Source: Margo. Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 2 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Crop mix across U.S. Note: Darker shading more land devoted to crop Source: Fishback, Fox, and Rhode (2010). Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 3 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Crop rotation outside of peak-harvest season lot 011 L JFMAMJJASOND Months Fig. I. Monthly distribution of mandays per working day in crop production on Ossabow Is- land, Kollock’s Plantation, 1860. Source: George Kollock, Planfn&n Book of Ossabow Is- land. Vol. 19 (1860). Ms. in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Note: Dashed line is cotton. Solid line is other crops. Dark line is total. Source: Metzer (1975). Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 4 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Multiple tasks in growing crops, varied by season Source: Metzer (1975). Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 5 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Native American Removal Early 19th century: Americans sought to acquire Native American land Native American land in South was potentially valuable for cotton Jefferson initiated policy of them remaining on lands if they assimilated Anticipated they would not thrive without hunting and gathering As a result, Native Americans would trade their land to Americans Land acquisition: via treaty with tribes or sometimes under coercion Treaty often included exchange with comparable land in the west Econ 113 (UC Berkeley) Lecture 4 9/7/2010 6 / 33
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The Facts The Frontier Mechanization Supply Shocks Cherokees were more “civilized” Cherokee tribe: persisted east of Mississippi longer than other tribes Made more effort to civilize in terms of agriculture, culture, and literacy Cognizant their fate would be like other tribes without these efforts Occupied parts of Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia Indian Removal Act: passed May 1830, under Andrew Jackson Appropriated $500,000 to assist tribes in moving west of Mississippi
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