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History of Agriculture in the U.S./Bibliography

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A list of key readings about History of Agriculture in the U.S..
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  • Cochrane, Willard W. The Development of American Agriculture: A Historical Analysis (1993)
  • Fite, Gilbert C. American Farmers: The New Minority (Indiana U. Press, 1981)
  • Gras, Norman. A history of agriculture in Europe and America, (1925). online edition
  • Hart, John Fraser. The Changing Scale of American Agriculture. Charlotte: University of Virginia Press, 2004.
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. American Agriculture: A Brief History (2002).
  • McCusker, John J. ed. Economy of British America, 1607-1789 (1991).
  • Mundlak, Yair. "Economic Growth: Lessons from Two Centuries of American Agriculture." Journal of Economic Literature 43, no. 4 (2005): 989-1024.
  • Robert, Joseph C. The Story of Tobacco in America (1949) online edition
  • Russell, Howard. A Long Deep Furrow: Three Centuries of Farming In New England (1981)
  • Schafer, Joseph. The social history of American agriculture (1936) online edition
  • Schlebecker John T. Whereby We Thrive: A History of American Farming, 1607-1972 (1972)
  • Taylor, Carl C. The Farmers' Movement, 1620-1920 (1953) online edition
  • Weeden, William Babcock. Economic and Social History of New England, 1620-1789 (1891) online edition

Before 1775

  • Bidwell, Percy and Falconer, John I. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States 1620-1860 (1941)
  • Allan Kulikoff, From British Peasants to Colonial American Farmers (1992)
  • Galenson, David. "The Settlement and Growth of the Colonies," in The Cambridge Economic History of the United States edited by Stanley L. Engerman and Robert E. Gallman, Volume I, The Colonial Era (1996).

1775-1860: North

  • Bidwell, Percy and Falconer, John I. History of Agriculture in the Northern United States 1620-1860 (1941)

1775-1860: South

  • Craven, Avery Odelle. Soil exhaustion as a factor in the agricultural history of Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860 (1926) online edition
  • Gray, Lewis Cecil. History of Agriculture in the Southern United States to 1860. 2 vol (1933), classic in-depth history online edition
  • Genovese, Eugene. Roll, Jordan Roll (1967), the history of plantation slavery
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Economic Cost of Slaveholding in the Cotton Belt." Political Science Quarterly 20, no. 2 (June 1905): 257-275.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Origin and Growth of the Southern Black Belts." American Historical Review 11 (July 1906): 798-816.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "The Decadence of the Plantation System." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 35 (January 1910): 37-41.
  • Phillips, Ulrich B. "Plantations with Slave Labor and Free." American Historical Review, 30 (July 1925): 738-53.

1860-present, national

  • Cyclopedia of American Agriculture: A Popular Survey of Agricultural Conditions, edited by L. H. Bailey, 4 vols. 1907-1909. online edition highly useful compendium
  • Brunner, Edmund de Schweinitz. Rural Social Trends (1933) online edition
  • Dean, Virgil W. An Opportunity Lost: The Truman Administration and the Farm Policy Debate. University of Missouri Press, 2006. 275 pp.
  • Gee, Wilson. The place of agriculture in American life (1930) online edition
  • Lord, Russell. The Wallaces of Iowa (1947) online edition
  • Mayer, Oscar Gottfried. America's Meat Packing Industry: A Brief Survey of its Development and Economics. (1939) online edition
  • McCormick, Cyrus. The Century of the Reaper: An Account of Cyrus Hall McCormick, the Inventor (1931) online edition
  • Mullendore, William Clinton. History of the United States Food Administration, 1917-1919 (1941) online edition
  • Nourse, Edwin Griswold. Three years of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1937) online edition
  • Sanderson, Ezra Dwight. Research memorandum on rural life in the depression (1937) online edition
  • Shannon, Fred Albert. Farmer's Last Frontier: Agriculture, 1860-1897 (1945) online edition comprehensive survey
  • Wilcox, Walter W. The farmer in the second world war (1947) online edition

1860-present, regional studies

  • Cyclopedia of American agriculture; a popular survey of agricultural conditions, ed by L. H. Bailey, 4 vol 1907-1909. online edition highly useful compendium
  • Black, John D. The Rural Economy of New England: A regional study (1950) online edition
  • Clawson, Marion. The Western range livestock industry, (1950) online edition
  • Dale, Edward Everett. The range cattle industry (1930) online edition
  • Fite, Gilbert C. The Farmers' Frontier: 1865-1900 (1966), the west
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. "The Agricultural and Rural History of Kansas." Kansas History 2004 27(3): 194-217. Issn: 0149-9114 Fulltext: in Ebsco
  • Larson, Henrietta M. The wheat market and the farmer in Minnesota, 1858-1900 (1926). online edition
  • MacCurdy, Rahno Mabel. The history of the California Fruit Growers Exchange (1925). online edition
  • Miner, Horace Mitchell. Culture and agriculture; an anthropological study of a corn belt county (1949) online edition
  • Nordin, Dennis S. and Scott, Roy V. From Prairie Farmer to Entrepreneur: The Transformation of Midwestern Agriculture. Indiana University Press, 2005. 356 pp.
  • Sackman, Douglas Cazaux. Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden (2005)
  • Saloutos, Theodore. "Southern Agriculture and the Problems of Readjustment: 1865-1877," Agricultural history (April, 1956) Vol 30#2 58-76 online edition
  • Sawers, Larry. "The Mule, the South, and Economic Progress." Social Science History 2004 28(4): 667-690. Issn: 0145-5532 Fulltext: in Project Muse and Ebsco

Environmental issues

  • Cunfer, Geoff. On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment. Texas A. & M. U. Pr., 2005. 240 pp.


  • Atack, Jeremy. "A Nineteenth-century Resource for Agricultural History Research in the Twenty-first Century." Agricultural History 78, no. 4 (2004): 389-412.
  • Bogue, Allan G. "Tilling Agricultural History with Paul Wallace Gates and James C. Malin." Agricultural History 80, no. 4 (2006): 436-460.

Primary Source Collections

  • Phillips, Ulrich B. ed. Plantation and Frontier Documents, 1649-1863; Illustrative of Industrial History in the Colonial and Antebellum South: Collected from MSS. and Other Rare Sources. 2 Volumes. (1909). online vol 1 and online vol 2
  • Schmidt, Louis Bernard. ed. Readings in the Economic History of American Agriculture (1925) online edition