Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War

Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War

Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War

Texas Roots: Agriculture and Rural Life before the Civil War

Synopsis

In today's Texas, with its growing urban populations and big-city lifestyles, it is worth remembering that in 1850 only 10 percent of Texans lived in towns with as many as 100 people. The rest-of many ethnic and racial groups-lived off the land, which was blessedly suited to a profitable variety of crops and livestock and also provided an abundance of wildlife free for the taking.

In Texas Roots, C. Allan Jones reminds us that the economic wealth of modern Texas arose from its agricultural heritage, a rich mixture of practices and traditions including:

-Caddo hunting, gathering, gardening, and farming

-Irrigated agriculture at Spanish missions

-Hispanic ranching

-Slave-based plantations

-Small-scale farmers and ranchers

Through time, people adapted the agricultural technologies, laws, and customs of New Spain, Mexico, Europe, and the South to their own practical, institutional, and legal needs. The result was a particularly Texan system that would serve as the foundation for the state's economic strength after the Civil War.

Texas Roots shines a bright light on our relationship and connection with the land, bringing alive an aspect of the Texas history that contributed immeasurably to the state's identity and prosperity.
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