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Between Ideals and Reality: The Modernization of Southern Agriculture - 1830 to 1865

Author(s): Kevin Fogle

Year: 2016

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An agricultural reform movement took rise in the late antebellum period aimed at modernizing the southern plantation system. Productivity of once prosperous farmland in many southern communities was gradually failing due to soil degradation from intensive cash crop cultivation. Drawing on Enlightenment principles and scientific farming innovations such as crop rotation, fertilization, and soil chemistry, this modern agricultural discourse attempted to control and maximize the efficiency of the entire plantation system from the land and the crops to the enslaved labor that powered it. Using archaeological and historical data, this paper looks at the potential implementation of labor reform principles on a single 19th century cotton plantation and the complex influence these reforms may have had upon the enslaved community.

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Between Ideals and Reality: The Modernization of Southern Agriculture - 1830 to 1865. Kevin Fogle. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434362)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 804

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America