Standing Their Ground: Small Farmers in North Carolina since the Civil War

Hardcover | September 26, 2013

byAdrienne Monteith Petty

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The transformation of agriculture was one of the most far-reaching developments of the modern era. In analyzing how and why this change took place in the United States, scholars have most often focused on Midwestern family farmers, who experienced the change during the first half of thetwentieth century, and southern sharecroppers, swept off the land by forces beyond their control. Departing from the conventional story, this book focuses on small farm owners in North Carolina from the post-Civil War era to the post-Civil Rights era. It reveals that the transformation was more protracted and more contested than historians have understood it to be. Even though the number of farmowners gradually declined over the course of the century, the desire to farm endured among landless farmers, who became landowners during key moments of opportunity. Moreover, this book departs from other studies by considering all farm owners as a single class, rejecting the widespread approach ofsegregating black farm owners. The violent and restrictive political culture of Jim Crow regime, far from only affecting black farmers, limited the ability of all farmers to resist changes in agriculture. By the 1970s, the vast reduction in the number of small farm owners had simultaneously destroyed a Southern yeomanry that had been the symbol of American democracy since the time of Thomas Jefferson, rolled back gains in landownership that families achieved during the first half century after theCivil War, and remade the rural South from an agrarian society to a site of global agribusiness.

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The transformation of agriculture was one of the most far-reaching developments of the modern era. In analyzing how and why this change took place in the United States, scholars have most often focused on Midwestern family farmers, who experienced the change during the first half of thetwentieth century, and southern sharecroppers, swe...

Adrienne Monteith Petty is Assistant Professor of History at the City College of New York.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:September 26, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199938520

ISBN - 13:9780199938520

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Table of Contents

Map of Southeastern North CarolinaIntroduction1. On Their Farms and Among Their Pines: The Lower Cape Fear on the Eve of the Civil War2. Land for the Poor: The Rise of Small Farm Owners in the Age of Commercial Agriculture3. Keep the Stock Law Off Of Us: Defending the Open Range4. You Can't Eat Tobacco: The Politics of Self Sufficiency5. The Right of the Little Man to Live: Small Farm Owners and the Agricultural Adjustment Act6. From Foxholes to Farms: The GI Bill and the Enduring Agrarian Ideal7. Nice Work If You Can Get It: Small Farm Owners and Part-Time Work8. These Catastrophe Days: Federal Farm Policy During the 1950s9. Nailing the Small Farmer in the Coffin: The Politics of Tobacco and the Agrarian IdealConclusionBibliographyNotesIndex