The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century A Social and Cultural History Richard L. Bushman

Publication date:
10 Jul 2018
Yale University Press
400 pages: 235 x 156 x 33mm
8 b-w illus.

An illuminating study of America’s agricultural society during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Founding eras

In the eighteenth century, three‑quarters of Americans made their living from farms. This authoritative history explores the lives, cultures, and societies of America’s farmers from colonial times through the founding of the nation. Noted historian Richard Bushman explains how all farmers sought to provision themselves while still actively engaged in trade, making both subsistence and commerce vital to farm economies of all sizes. The book describes the tragic effects on the native population of farmers’ efforts to provide farms for their children and examines how climate created the divide between the free North and the slave South. Bushman also traces midcentury rural violence back to the century’s population explosion. An engaging work of historical scholarship, the book draws on a wealth of diaries, letters, and other writings—including the farm papers of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington—to open a window on the men, women, and children who worked the land in early America.

Richard Lyman Bushman is Gouverneur Morris Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University. He is a winner of the Bancroft Prize and serves on the National Advisory Board for The Joseph Smith Papers