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Food and agriculture during the Civil War

Author: R Douglas Hurt
Publisher: Santa Barbara, California : Praeger, An Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, [2016] ©2016
Series: Reflections on the Civil War era.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The explosion of recent Civil War history titles has focused incisively on why soldiers fought, how their commanders mobilized their troops, and the war's bigger meaning within the American national and international contexts. Yet not since Paul W. Gates's classic work Agriculture and the Civil War (1965) has any historian asked what soldiers and those on the home front ate; how civilians produced and marketed  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: R Douglas Hurt
ISBN: 9781440803253 1440803250
OCLC Number: 900016463
Awards: Winner of Outstanding Academic Title, 2016 2017 (United States)
Description: xvii, 216 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Contents: Expectations --
Power --
Certainty --
Discontent --
Plenty --
Want --
Bounty --
Despair --
Readjustment --
Aftermath.
Series Title: Reflections on the Civil War era.
Responsibility: R. Douglas Hurt.

Abstract:

The explosion of recent Civil War history titles has focused incisively on why soldiers fought, how their commanders mobilized their troops, and the war's bigger meaning within the American national and international contexts. Yet not since Paul W. Gates's classic work Agriculture and the Civil War (1965) has any historian asked what soldiers and those on the home front ate; how civilians produced and marketed foodstuffs during a devastating civil war; how the conflict impeded, encouraged, or altered agriculture, North and South; and how it impacted the world of land owners and farm laborers. The Civil War revolutionized the agricultural labor system in the South, and it had dramatic effects on farm labor in the North relating to technology. Agriculture also was an element of power for both sides during the Civil War--one that is often overlooked in traditional studies of the conflict. R. Douglas Hurt argues that Southerners viewed the agricultural productivity of their region as an element of power that would enable them to win the war, while Northern farmers considered their productivity not only an economic benefit to the Union and enhancement of their personal fortunes but also an advantage that would help bring the South back into the Union. This fascinating study by one of America's foremost agricultural historians examines the effects of the Civil War on agriculture for both the Union and the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865, emphasizing how agriculture directly related to the war effort in each region--for example, the efforts made to produce more food for military and civilian populations; attempts to limit cotton production; cotton as a diplomatic tool; the work of women in the fields; slavery as a key agricultural resource; livestock production; experiments to produce cotton, tobacco, and sugar in the North; and the adoption of new implements. Food and Agriculture during the Civil War fills a major void in Civil War scholarship and introduces the economic and social history of agricultural staples to 21st-century readers. Like today, Civil War-era armies reflected the societies they serve. Hurt's book offers deep insights into the communities that spawned soldiers blue and gray and that transformed America into a permanent Union based on free labor. -- Inside jacket flaps.

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"For 50 years, the 'go to' monograph for an overview of agriculture during the U.S. Civil War has been Agriculture and the Civil War, by Paul W. Gates. That distinction passes now to this book by Read more...

 
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