Agricultural and Resource Economics | Arts and Humanities | History | United States History
On the eve of the Revolution about 80 percent of the labor force of British North America worked in agriculture. Most colonists spent the majority of their waking hours doing farm work. People of all classes and ethnic origins (men, women, and many children) devoted their days to planting tobacco, husking corn, building fences, milking cows, slaughtering pings, clearing brush, weeding vegetables, churning butter, killing chickens, salting meat, and hoeing, hoeing, hoeing. Native Americans hunted more than Europeans and Africans, but Indians, too, worked the soil. The vast bulk of the population spent its energies from dawn to dusk, day after day, from childhood to the grave toiling on the land and dealing with the fruits of their labors.
© 2001 Associated Universities Press
Bushman, Richard L. “The Place of the Eighteenth Century in American Agricultural History,” in The World Turned Upside Down: The Twenty-First Century, ed. Michael V. Kennedy and William G. Shade (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2001), 40-77.