"Bonner skillfully places the Georgia experience in the mainstream of American history. His well-organized, readable account includes selected details that illuminate points which textbooks in American history (including economic history texts) often present without sufficient explanatory or background information to enable either students or instructors really to understand the facts."
—Technology and Culture
By the 1850s the general southern desire for economic independence promoted diversification and such scientific farming techniques as crop rotation, contour plowing, and fertilization. Planting of pasture forage to improve livestock and hold soil was advocated and the teaching of agriculture in public schools was promoted. Contemporary descriptions of individual farms and plantations are interspersed to give a picture of day to day farming. Bonner presents a picture of the average Southern farmer of 1850 which is neither that of a landless hireling nor of the traditional planter, but of a practical man trying to make a living.
Read more about agriculture at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
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