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Grassroots Leviathan

Agricultural Reform and the Rural North in the Slaveholding Republic

Ariel Ron

Publication Date
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How a massive agricultural reform movement led by northern farmers before the Civil War recast Americans' relationships to market forces and the state.

Winner of the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award by the Agricultural History Society, Winner of the Wiley-Silver Book Prize by the Center for Civil War Research

In this sweeping look at rural society from the American Revolution to the Civil War, Ariel Ron argues that agricultural history is central to understanding the nation's formative period. Upending the myth that the Civil War pitted an industrial North against an agrarian South, Grassroots...

How a massive agricultural reform movement led by northern farmers before the Civil War recast Americans' relationships to market forces and the state.

Winner of the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award by the Agricultural History Society, Winner of the Wiley-Silver Book Prize by the Center for Civil War Research

In this sweeping look at rural society from the American Revolution to the Civil War, Ariel Ron argues that agricultural history is central to understanding the nation's formative period. Upending the myth that the Civil War pitted an industrial North against an agrarian South, Grassroots Leviathan traces the rise of a powerful agricultural reform movement spurred by northern farmers. Ron shows that farming dominated the lives of most Americans through almost the entire nineteenth century and traces how middle-class farmers in the "Greater Northeast" built a movement of semipublic agricultural societies, fairs, and periodicals that fundamentally recast Americans' relationship to market forces and the state.

Reviews

Reviews

Ariel Ron's engagingly written Grassroots Leviathan is an agricultural, political, economic, and intellectual history that is also informed by soil science, chemistry, education, and legal studies.

In recovering the stakes of antebellum agricultural society, Grassroots Leviathan upends conventional wisdom about urban-rural divides in U.S. society and revives a remarkable political economic formation in which popular, democratic developmentalism successfully won out over reactionary, vested interests.

This is an important book—the best one I've ever read on agricultural reform. It's also the best book I've seen on the relationship of farmers to national politics and state formation in the nineteenth century, and a refreshing intervention in the suddenly lively literature on state formation in the mid-nineteenth-century United States.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
324
ISBN
9781421446721
Illustration Description
1 b&w photo, 17 b&w illus., 3 maps, 1 graph
Table of Contents

Front matter
Introduction
In Media Res
Part I: Rise of the Agricultural Reform Movement
1. The Limits of Patrician Agricultural Reform
2. Agricultural Reform as a State-Building Social Movement
Part II: The

Front matter
Introduction
In Media Res
Part I: Rise of the Agricultural Reform Movement
1. The Limits of Patrician Agricultural Reform
2. Agricultural Reform as a State-Building Social Movement
Part II: The Making of Northern Economic Nationalism
3. Economic Nationalism in the Greater Rural Northeast
4. Henry C. Carey and the Republican Developmental Synthesis
Part III: Toward a National Agricultural Policy Agenda
5. Mapes's Superphosphates and the Crisis of Agricultural Expertise
6. From "Private Enterprise" to "Governmental Action"
Part IV: Agricultural Reform Vs. the Slaveocracy
7. Movement into Lobby
8. The Sectionalization of National Agricultural Policy
Epilogue

Author Bio