From Family Farms to Commercial Farming


Texas History Economic Boom From Family Farms to Commercial Farming
Students learn about how farming changed from small farms to large commercial farms. They describe advancements in farming tools, and examine how commercial farming impacted Texas politically, socially, and economically.

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Here are the teacher pack items for From Family Farms to Commercial Farming:

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about how farming changed from small farms to large commercial farms. They describe advancements in farming tools, and examine how commercial farming impacted Texas politically, socially, and economically.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the effects of technology on agriculture.
  • Identify positive and negative impacts of commercial farming.
  • Analyze the political, social, and economic impacts of the agricultural industry.


Cotton was the primary crop grown in Texas throughout most of the nineteenth century. The number of farms grew rapidly after the Civil War. After the war, plantation owners had to learn how to maintain the land without using slave labor. New machines had to be invented to keep up production on the farm.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the effects of technology on agriculture.
  • Identify positive and negative impacts of commercial farming.
  • Analyze the political, social, and economic impacts of the agricultural industry.




The McCormick Reaper


Look at the picture of a mid-nineteenth century farm. The machine pictured is called the McCormick reaper, a machine used to help harvest crops.


What observations can you make about the reaper? If someone has already listed an idea that you have, try to think of a different one.



Student answers may vary. Discuss with students the answers they provided.

Possible answers:

  • Machine was horse powered
  • Few working parts
  • Took two men to operate; one to man the horse, one to make sure the reaper was working


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