Guano

Lead: As world population grew in the years before and after 1800 so did the demand for food. At the same time, much farm acreage was depleted, tired, unproductive. This problem was solved in part with guano.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Guano is bird excrement. Grouped with the droppings of bats and seals, it is perhaps the most potent natural fertilizer, and bird guano is the primo variety containing up to 16% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus, and 3% potassium. In the mid-19th century, guano was treated as if it were gold, provoked at least one fighting war, and made enormous fortunes for growers and suppliers alike.

 

 

 

Samuel Johnson and the Agricultural Revolution

Lead: During Samuel Johnson’s lifetime, improvements in farming resulted in a greater food supply. Johnson who loved eating said, “Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although most historians focus on the Industrial Revolution in England during the 18th century, there were also sweeping changes out in the countryside. Britain was being transformed from an agrarian society to an industrial one, but somebody had to feed the growing number of workers occupying the urban factories. One of the great factors fueling the industrial revolution was great increase in agricultural production, which meant that fewer farmers could produce more food. This in turn, supported an enormous surge in population.

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America’s First Century: Tobacco – II

Lead: Once the settlers of Jamestown owned their own land, Virginia could feed itself, but the colony was still in need of a cash crop. It had been there all along.

                Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

                Content: After the equivalent of millions of dollars invested and the loss of hundreds of settlers, after 1616, the Virginia Company finally and gave the colonists their own land. Fifty acres was apportioned to each colonist. This led to increased migration. The “head-right” system gave land to each person paying their way to the colony. Slowly, fitfully, the colony began to feed itself. The key to Virginia’s ultimate success had been there all along.

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America’s First Century: Tobacco I

Lead: In 1615, the English colony at Jamestown was almost defunct. Within a decade the colony had turned itself around. Two reasons: incentives and a cash crop.

            Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

            Content: Since 1607 the Virginia Company, owners of the Jamestown colony had poured nearly ₤50,000 or $11,000,000 in today’s currency into its failing North American investment. In addition over 1700 colonists had come to the New World. Most of them had died.

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