American Farming In The 1800s

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In the early 1800s, the south—and most of the north, for that matter—used a subsistence economy, where crops and goods were made locally by families for themselves and their communities. Family farms were basically forced to use a subsistence economy, simply because the lack of fast transportation. If they attempted to ship their crops to other ports and towns where it was needed, the crops would rot well before they ever made it. In the south, cotton was made using slave labor, but the harvests weren’t as large as they could be. The process of harvesting was slow—as it was with many crops across the north and south—and the wield was decent. For the most part, finished goods and clothing were made by hand by each respective artisan, or at home. Each gun was made by a weapon smith, one by one, no piece from one machine exactly like the next of the same model. Clothes were tailored in much the same way, each article of clothing unique from the last …show more content…

From hiring many men, each dedicated to producing a single, identical piece over and over for a specific item, finished goods were completed faster and the prices went down. Parts for machines became interchangeable, leaving repairs and replacements easy and less expensive since they no longer had to be utterly replaced, or the pieces custom-made. Efficient looms, plows, and other devices were also created, often using the newest models of machines in Britain as their base for inventing. These inventions were often used in the south to increase efficiency and crop wield, such as the cotton gin and better plows that took half the work. Strangely enough, this heightened efficiency in cotton harvesting resulted in more slaves. As the north began to reject slavery, this created friction, even though the north needed the cotton to manufacture their

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