Saturday, August 25, 2012

Week Two Update on Farming of the 18th Century


Keeping you apprised of the study!

After reading the text, I found what was most important was that the poor men who had lived on the farms of the rich had been paid in corn. This was stated pretty far back in the book, so I believe that the author had assumed that the reader would have previously understood this point and so therefore he would not have had the need to insert this information earlier. This point that I found interesting was that “corn” had been used as money. Not only for pay to the men, women and children that worked the fields, but also as a trade commodity. It was (obviously here, I think) worth a certain amount of pounds, but was also the regulator of prices for all commodities. At one point, they believed that the “discovery of the mines of America… raised the price of corn three and four times.”[1] The later Georgians also believed that the cost of corn was in complete correlation to the price of labor. The belief was that “it gave a prodigious increase of power to all landlords and capitalists. The fall in the price of corn, from whatever cause it took place…. Accompanied by a rise, rather than a fall in the price of labor, must have given a great relative check to the employment of capital upon the land, and a great relative stimulus to the population.”[2]


The whole idea of the Corn Law was that a tax was to be added to all grain that entered Britain and its colonies. This tax would do two major things. The first was to add additional cost to the cheaper grain, mostly from France, so that people would purchase the corn from England. The second part was supposedly to pay an “advanced price” in case the commodity would be in short supply the following years. It was thought that by paying this tax, the price would stabilize and future prices would be accommodated.[3] This was obviously false, and I am not sure exactly if anyone actually believed this.


As to what I have done this week, I will be more than happy to discuss! I have been looking for sources. I have received two regular books from the library. I believe that they are not full texts, but will be invaluable as a source for my final research paper. Also, I have been looking for “text books” through,,, and of course, I have also looked for primary sources through I have a few suggestions, for which I have submitted through the messaging system. I have even read through the entire short book that I used for this discussion board.


Things that I have found out include the fact that this is not a subject that has been widely researched! Or, if it has been researched, has not been published. This may be great paper to submit to publications once it is complete! So, I may be getting ahead of myself on that topic. However, because it has not been highly researched, there are not a lot of secondary sources to use as texts. I have only found two full texts on the subject that are secondary, and recent. There is one that is secondary, and older that I will also be using. This one is on President Washington as a Farmer by Paul Leland Haworth and published in 1915. This does fit in with my subject because of the time period that Washington lived and farmed. Of course, he did have to become a traitor and help the colonies to leave the motherland, but I will forgive him because of his great trials in the farming industry.




Malthus, T.R. Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws, and of a Rise or Fall in the Price of Corn on the Agriculture and General Wealth of the Country. London: J. Johnson and Co., 1814. Kindle edition.


Originally written for class at American Military University.

[1]  T.R. Malthus. Observations on the Effects of the Corn Laws, and of a Rise or Fall in the Price of Corn on the Agriculture and General Wealth of the Country. (London: J. Johnson and Co., 1814.), location 116. Kindle edition.
[2]  Ibid.
[3] Ibid, 54.


  1. Corn was valued for livestock feed and for spirits. Waste not want not

  2. Corn whiskey is still worth quite a lot. ;)


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