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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

6 - Inland Rice Cultivation and the Promise of Agricultural Reform

Summary

Chapter 6 documents inland cultivation strategies during the final two decades of the antebellum period. Using as a model the Biggin Basin, located at the headwaters of the Cooper River, this chapter discusses how a community of former inland rice planters revitalized the practice to supplement cotton production as a way to counter the fluctuating market. Revival of inland rice was a consequence of agricultural reform that took hold in select planter circles in the mid-nineteenth century. Lowcountry planters were part of this larger population having received the message through agricultural journals and societies, and scientific books. Promoters of agricultural reform called for a modern and scientific practice of agriculture to maintain soil fertility and crop output, halt westward migration, and curb the loss of status and political power by the South Atlantic states.

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