Growing a Nation

Historical Timeline — 1820

Economic Cycles

1823-33
Gradual recovery

1833-34
Banking recession

1834-37
Speculative boom in land, banking, and transportation ends in panic of 1837

1838-43
Depression

Farm Economy

1832
Rechartering of the Bank of the United States becomes an acute point of contention between creditors in the cities and debtors in the South and West

Farmers & the Land

1820
Total population: 9,638,453; Land Law allows as little as 80 acres of public land for a minimum price of $1.25 an acre; credit system abolished

1830
Total population: 12,866,020; Mississippi River forms the approximate frontier boundary

1830-37
Land speculation boom

1839
Anti-rent war in New York, a protest against the continued collection of quitrents

Farm Machinery & Technology

1830
About 250-300 labor-hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) of wheat with walking plow, brush harrow, hand broadcast of seed, sickle, and flail

1834
McCormick reaper patented; John Lane manufactures plows faced with steel saw blades

1837
John Deere and Leonard Andrus begin manufacturing steel plows; practical threshing machine patented

Crops & Livestock

1820s
Poland-China and Duroc-Jersey swine are developed, and Berkshire swine are imported

1821
Edmund Ruffin's first Essay on Calcareous Manures

1836-62
Patent Office collects agricultural information and distributes seeds

1830s-1850s
Improved transportation to the West forces eastern staple growers into more varied production for nearby urban centers

Transportation

1825
Erie Canal finished; canal building era begins (1825-40)

1830
Peter Cooper's railroad steam engine, the Tom Thumb, runs 13 miles; beginning of railroad era

Agricultural Trade & Development

1820-29
Agricultural exports: $42 million/year or 65% of total exports

1828
Tariff of Abominations opposed by the agricultural South

1830-39
Agricultural exports: $74 million/year or 73% of total exports

1833
Tariff Act of 1833 begins tariff-reducing trend that lasts until the Civil War

Life on the Farm

Farm Organizations & Movements

1838
Proposals made to use James Smithson's grant to establish a National Agricultural College

Agricultural Education & Extension

1820s
Agricultural periodicals begin to express rural issues

1822
First issue of the New England Farmer

1825-50
Some schools and colleges begin to offer courses in agriculture and in sciences helpful to agriculture

1826
Lyceum movement begins in Massachusetts

1828
First issue of the New York Farmer; Southern Agriculturist

1830s
Public school movement gains momentum

1830-60
Popular and agricultural education is the most prominent rural issue of this period, especially in the North

1831
First issue of the Genesee Farmer

1834
First issue of the Cultivator

Government Programs & Policy

1820-35
Agriculture begins to demand a place in government

1820
Agriculture Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, established

1825
Agriculture Committee, U.S. Senate established

1830
Massachusetts becomes first State to conduct a soil survey

1836
Patent Office created in State Department

1839
$1,000 appropriated for Patent Office work with agricultural statistics

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