Forwarded from Anthony

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 8 11:28:05 MDT 2003


I think Lou Project is way off about the "The typical
New England and western frontier farm" when he writes,

"Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that the
Brenner thesis does not identify small,
self-husbanding farms as the key unit of agrarian
capitalism. The typical New England and western
frontier farm was not involved in commercial
production. It produced food and other necessities for
the family-owners and a surplus for the market."

This may have been true in New England, but was not
true after the contruction of the Erie Canal in the
'west.' The transformation of western farming into a
very, very commercial agriculture was completed well
before the Civil War witht he construction of the
railroad network linking the Missiisissippi valley tot
he Eastern cities.

The 'surplus for the market' by the 1850's supplied
most of the wheat consumed in England, plus the
whiskey, salt pork, corned beef, and bacon that fed
the rapidly growing cities of the United States.

These petty bourgeois farmers were different than both
southern slave owners, and rural English manors - but
they also were heavily involved in commercial
production - and in fact were becoming the heart of
the world market for agricultural staples.

All the best, Anthony


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