- Agrarianism and the American Philosophical Tradition
- Land Settlement Acts.
- Agricultural Education Acts.
Agrarianism and the American Philosophical Tradition
Agrarianism is a belief in which business people, farmers, artisans, and other entrepreneurs work together on ones premises living in peace and harmony as a society. This believe was dominant in the USA, West and the Mid- West about 1800 AD to 1900AD but has been replaced lately by industrialization, statesmanship, and modernization. Nowadays, most of the decisions in society are state controlled (Smith, 2002). The issue of silencing by imprisoning those with different ideologies other than those in power has facilitated the issue of totalitarian democracies across the world. Even with the booming post modern global economy some people are considering a return to the agrarian way of life.
Mercantilism is an economic strategy to enrich and empower a state where the merchants and producers interests are protected by the states involved in the business. In the sixteen century, mercantilism was encouraged by economical strategies such as colonization outside Europe, centralization of large nations and states, improvement of European commerce and industry compared to agriculture, increment of trade commodities both in volume and numbers and the use of metallic commodities such as gold and silver as a means of exchange instead of barter trade and was characterized by military conflict between states (Smith, 2002).
Agriculture is a branch of science that deals with the growth of crops and rearing of animals. Early agriculture is believed to have begun in Egypt and later spread to other parts of the world. In the USA agriculture is thought to have begun as early as 1848. Initially, people never valued farming but concentrated on the gold fields. It is said that even the farmers left their cattle to be slaughtered by the hungry migrants as they rushed to the gold fields. Many people migrated to California, and these led to a severe food shortage, so the prices had to shot up, quality declined, and taste became monotonous. On the other side, animal products, vegetables, and fruits became scarce too. This led to food importation business that was more profitable compared to gold mining. The increased food demands in the mines shifted the demand again to farming to feed the growing population in California. By 1851, the number of foodstuff and animal products drastically increased. The western leaders and promoters believed that farming was the best booster for any developing economy.
The expansion of railroads, the development of irrigation, better land policies, state immigration efforts and increase in demand for foodstuff and animal products led the migration of many farmers from westwards to Kansas, hence, increasing agricultural activities in the US.
The support from the government was an important factor that contributed to the growth of agriculture. Inputs required were provided at affordable prices to the farmers. As the price of food was rising, individuals invested more on agriculture (Armbruster, 2012).
Land Settlement Acts.
It was passes as a statute in 1841 by the U.S. Congress which allowed the settlers to place a claim of 65 hectares and pay to the government as little as $ 1.25 per acre after 14 months of residence before it is placed for public sale. Public lands were occupied by pioneers but later surveyed and auctioned by the government of the US. After the homestead act of 1862 was signed by the then-president Abraham Lincoln the settlers were given 160 acres of surveyed public land on paying a filing fee and five-year period of continuous residence. The act led to a twenty-year battle between the settlers and the citizens in distribution of public lands to citizens willing to farm. The act was opposed by Northern businesspeople who speculated that free land would lower property values and reduce the cheap labor supply, unlike the Southerners who feared homesteaders would support them for abolition of slavery. Homesteaders had filed 600,000 claims for 80 million acres by 1900 with most pioneers settling in the western plains where they enjoyed workers from Europe, who were experienced (French, 2003). Farm workers from Europe and other states abandoned their family lives and community practices in favor of solitary life for fame.
Agricultural Education Acts.
Justin Smith Morrill in 1862 came up with an act which was enacted to establish learning institutions in every state of the US to train people in home economics, agriculture, mechanical arts and any other professions useful by then. The Morrill Act also known as land-grant act was a major elevator to higher education in America. He wanted to make sure that education would be available to Americans in all the social classes.
The land-grant changed America but in the early stages it segregated blacks until the situation was rectified by the Second Morrill Act which passed and expanded the system of grants to include black institutions (Northrup, 2003).
The Smith-Lever Act was established in 1914 which is a cooperative extension. It was established to be used between Land-grant universities and the US Department of Agriculture which were authorized by the federal Morrill Acts of 1867 and 1890 and enabled government and organized groups to become the third legal partners in promotion of this education idea. Nowadays, this educational system includes professionals in all America's 1862 land-grant universities and the Tuskegee University and sixteen 1890 land-grant universities.