Agriculture in 19th Century Essay
In my opinion agriculture played the largest role in the success of American business from the colonial period through the first half of the 19th century. From the very beginning farming held a crucial place in the American economy. This country started with 13 small independent farming economies which joined together in 1776 to form the United States. Without being able to be self-sustained these colonies would have never developed. Between 1860 and 1910, the number or farms in the United States tripled, increasing from 2 million to 6 million and farm products made up 82 percent of the country’s exports.
From 1860 to 1890 the United States population more than doubled. Farmers however grew enough grain and cotton, raised enough beef and pork not only to supple America’s families but also to create surpluses. Food supplies for workers in mills and factories were also essential to America’s early industrialization. Trade with America introduced potatoes, corn, and beans to Europe. Mechanical devices later helped support farms with the invention of the reaper which more than doubled0 the amount of wheat that could be cut in a day.
The Industrial Revolution than came and forced agriculture into greater integration with general economics. Even today agriculture supports over two million jobs and accounts for 10% of the products exported out of the United States. I believe new inventions were the single most important factor in the development of business. Each and every invention has a different economic significance. The most successful inventions are generally those that are the most useful. Some of the first inventions like fire, the wheel, or writing have made it possible for human societies to evolve.
The United States has progressed from agriculture and mining communities to industrial ones to service driven economies as a result of such inventions. Early inventions like the steam engine played a major role in engine we see today. Today’s engine is a progression of the steam engine, using the same principles but modernized for today’s world. Another good example is the telephone that was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. Without the ability to communicate as we do today business would not be anything like we know it to be today.
Inventions tend to make life easier and therefore more productive. The development of mechanical tools to help with the production of agriculture enabled farmers to produce much more while making their tasks far easier. The creation of production lines to divide and organize labor tasks to maximize the efficiency of businesses. Inventions can be labor saving, cost saving, or just a luxury. The United States would not be what it is today without all of the great inventions that were created right here.
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