Changes in Farming Post Civil War Essay

1381 Words Jun 3rd, 2010 6 Pages
Changes in Farming: Contributing factors in farming changes post Civil War

After the Civil War there were many factors that contributed the changes that occurred in farming in America. Among them was the drive for the South to renew and regain what had been lost due to the war. Leaders saw it as a time to diversify and turn towards industrialization. The Industrial revolution was underway and with it brought many new inventions that would lead to growth in the farming industry. The wide open space between the East and the West called “The Frontier” was open for homesteading. New immigrants with their farming knowledge and ability were flooding the East and West gates of the U.S. This was a time in American history when Americans
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After the slaves were freed in 1863, the South had to make changes to supply labor for the farming. Many shady practices by the white man occurred because of this. Sharecropping and crop liens were developed to keep the black man somewhat under their control. Since freed slaves had no money and no place to live, land holders would allow a tenant to live on their property and worked the land in exchange for a share of the crop produced, also known as sharecropping. The crop lien system was a developed to allow farmers to receive goods such as food, supplies, and seeds to be paid for after the crop was produced. This kept the black man and poor white farmers in a constant form of debt.
Cotton still played a big part in the growth of farming in the south. There was a high demand for textiles and cotton mills increased production of cotton bales up to 1,479,000 bales per year. While these changes were occurring in the South, many changes in farming were also taking place in other parts of the nation. The government wanted to encourage settlement in the vast areas of the country not yet populated. The Homestead Act helped shape the western landscape. This act allowed farmers to claim up to 160 acres of land. Farmers would stake a claim to a parcel of land and by living on it for five years would be free and clear to take title of the land. Or the farmer could buy…