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average size of farms in that section, expansion. In the course of time, according to the census of 1900,

1900, however, there was an increase in the showed how the process of disintegra- number of rented farms. The pertion was going on.

centage of rented farms and the rate During this period a similar move

of increase in this later period was ment was observable also in the South. greater in the South than in the West. After the war the plantation system The tendency throughout the entire was no longer supreme. In the social country has always been toward indiand industrial readjustment that came vidual ownership of small holdings, about in that section in this period, whether of farms or homestead plots. the plantations did not meet new The events of the first years of the requirements and were gradually Twentieth century indicated no retrobroken up into small holdings. The gression in this respect. The public impoverishment of many of the old sentiment and the industrial and poland-holding families contributed to litical conditions that prevented the this condition, for they were no longer establishment of a feudal land system able to retain their vast estates. The in New England, destroyed the manwider freedom of occupation and the ors of New York, overturned the proincrease of the family unit in industry prietorships of Pennsylvania and brought a demand for small farms. Maryland, broke up the plantations In Louisiana the big sugar planta- of the South, and forced the division tions remained, but even in cotton of the great grazing ranches of the and tobacco cultivation there was a West, were even more in evidence considerable abandonment of the

and stronger than at any previous plantation system for the less exten

time in the history of the country.* sive farms. The reduction of average farm size to about 100 acres * Thomas Donaldson, The Public Domain (Washshows the extent of this movement

ington, 1884); W. C. Ford, Public Lands in the

United States, in J. J. Lalor's Cyclopedia of during this period. From 1860 to

Political Science, Political Economy, and of the 1880 the decrease was regular and Political History of the United States (Chicago,

1884); S. Sato, History of the Land Question of considerable, from 1880 to 1890 there

the United States, in Johns llopkins University was but a slight increase, and for the Studies, vol. iv. (Baltimore, 1886); Public Land entire period 1860-1910 the record

Laws (2 vols., Washington, 1838); B. A. Hins

dale, The Old Northwest (New York, 1888); was one of decreasing average acre

annual reports and publications of the General age.

Land Office; Census reports, 1870–1910; Report Most farms in all parts of the coun

of the Industrial Commission of the United

States (19 vols., Washington, 1900-1902); J. W. try are operated by their owners. Powell, Report on the Lands of the Arid Region This was particularly true of the

of the United States (Washington, 1879);

Statistical Abstract of the United States, pubearly years of the Western frontier

lished annually by the Government.






Renewed prosperity in the North after the Civil War General depreciation of property in the South during

Reconstruction Property in the South in 1860 and 1870 Property in the Territories in 1860 and 1870 Remarkable growth in wealth within the next decade - Material conditions in the South after 1880 Wealth in the United States in 1890 — Its general increase by the close of the century — Assessed valuation of property in the United States in 1909.

Despite the drawbacks incidental to Between 1860 and 1870 the true the conflict, there was general pros- value — that is, the actual value as perity in the North at the close of the distinguished from the assessed value Civil War, Real and personal prop

- of all the real estate and personal erty had increased in amount and property in the 37 States and 10 Tervalue and most industries had devel- ritories increased from $16,159,616,oped to a remarkable degree. It is 068 to $30,068,518,507. Although this true that considerable of this pros- increase was large (nearly 90 per perity was factitious, but this was cent.), it was a lower percentage inoverlooked at first. War is always a crease than that of the preceding decsource of gain as well as of loss. The ade, when the figures rose from $7,North, profiting by the exceptional de- 135,780,218 in 1850 to $16,159,616,068 mands made upon its agriculture and in 1860 — an increase of over 125 per industries to meet the needs of the cent. But the Northern States and Government during the conflict, and the Territories in the decade 1860– spurred on by the necessity of recoup- 1870 made the largest proportion of ing itself for the enormous expendi- the increase for the entire country, tures occasioned by the war, resumed the average being brought down by the arts of peace with renewed energy. the extraordinary losses in the States Much of this excessive activity proved, of the South, which had not yet recovhowever, unhealthful in the end. The ered from the effects of the war. A era of inflation which had already set comparison of the figures of the ninth in was destined to culminate in a seri- census of 1870 will indicate the extent ous financial panic, followed by years

to which the North had prospered at of financial and industrial depression. the cost of the South. The following This was to come within a decade, but table shows the true value of the real in 1865-1870 was not yet in sight. and personal property in 1860 and


1870 in the 24 States which were loyal those of 1860, and the value of other to the Union cause:

property about 40 per cent. The con

dition has been concisely stated by a 1860.

1870. California $207,874,613 $638,767,017

Southern historian: Connecticut

444,274,114 774,631,524 Delaware

46,242,181 97,180,833 “During the Reconstruction the value of real Illinois

871,860,282 2,121,680,579 and other property declined in the black belt, the Indiana

528,835,371 1,268,180,543 lands, buildings, cattle and implements, not being Iowa

247,338,265 717,644,750 under proper care and the labor being inefficient; Kansas

31,327,895 188,892,014 the emancipation of slaves had destroyed a form Maine

190,211,600 348,155,671 of property valued at about two billions of dolMaryland

376,919,944 643,748,976 lars; the coast districts producing rice and long Massachusetts 815,237,433 2,132,148,741 staple cotton suffered the most rapid decline in Michigan

257,163,983 719,208,118 wealth; the white counties during Reconstruction Minnesota

52,294,413 228,909,590 gained slowly in wealth, and in them developed Nebraska

9,131,056 69,277,483 a few cities like Atlanta, Birmingham and GalNevada


veston (some railway lines also being conNew Hampshire. 156,310,860 252,624,112 structed); the census of 1870 showed that in the New Jersey 467,918,324 990,976,064

white districts economic conditions were becomNew York.. 1,843,338,517 6,500,841,264 ing normal and by 1880 they were, on the whole, Ohio

1,193,898,422 2,235,430,300 wealthier than in 1860." * Oregon

28,930,637 51,588,932 In the 13 Southern States the true Pennsylvania 1,416,501,818 3,808,340,112 Rhode Island...

value of real and personal property 135,337,588 296,349,533 Vermont

122,477,710 235,349,533 in 1860 and 1870 was: West Virginia..

190,551,491 Wisconsin

1870. 273,671,668 702,307,329


$495,237,078 $201,855,841 Arkansas

219,256,476 156,394,691 Total $9,717,096,694 $25,194,604,634


73,101,500 44,163,695 Georgia

645,895,237 268,169,207 Kentucky

666,043,112 604,318,552 In the South an exceptional con


602,118,562 323,125,666 dition of things existed as a result of Mississippi 607,324,911 209,197,345


501,214,398 1,284,922,987 the war. In some sections property,

North Carolina.. 358,739,399 260,757,244 except the bare land, had nearly all South Carolina.. 548,138,754 208,146,989


493,903,892 498,237,724 disappeared and in others what was


365,200,614 159,052,542 left had depreciated in value. Even Virginia

793,249,681 409,588,133 the land had become well-nigh worth


$6,369,423,611 $4,627,930,506 less through devastation of military operations and the destruction of agri- In the 10 Territories the true value culture and other industries. Imme

of real and personal property in 1870 diately after the war land prices were was: high, but by 1870 they had fallen in Arizona

$3,440,791 some States from one-fourth to one- Colorado

20,343,303 Dakota

5,599,752 sixth what they had been ten years before. In general, the land values * Walter L. Fleming, The Effect of Reconstruc

tion on Property Values in the South, in The throughout the South during this

South in the Building of the Nation, vol. vi., p. period averaged about 50 per cent. of 390.



District of Columbia.. $126,873,618 forms of National wealth. The cen

. Idaho

6,552,681 Montana


sus figures of 1880 of property taxed New Mexico

31,349,793 were $43,642,000,000. This was disUtah


tributed as follows: Washington

13,562,164 Wyoming


Real estate (with improvements). $22,078,000,000

Live stock, farming tools and Total $245,983,367 machinery ..

2,406,000,000 Mines and quarries (including product on hand)

781,000,000 The only Territories politically ex- Specie

612,000,000 isting in 1860 and the true value of Railroads and equipment... 5,536,000,000

419,000,000 their real and personal estates were:

Telegraphs, shipping and canals..

Average annual agricultural prodDistrict of Columbia, $41,084,945; ucts, manufactures and imports

on hand ....

6,160,000,000 New Mexico, $20,813,768; Utah, $5,

Household goods and supplies. 5,000,000,000 596,118; Washington, $5,601,466; Miscellaneous

650,000,000 total, $73,096,297.

The Northern States increased their In the South the population in 1910 real and personal estates from a value was approximately 3,000,000 less than of nearly $10,000,000,000 in 1860 to that of the entire United States in over $25,000,000,000 in 1870 (over 150 1860, but its wealth in 1909 was $6,per cent.). Every Northern State 000,000 greater than that of the United showed an increase. On the other

States in 1860. From 1880 to 1909 hand, there was a decrease during the the increases in the South were: same period in every one of the 13


67 per cent. other States except Missouri, where Property value...


Capital in manufacturing. there was an increase of nearly 140

Capital in cotton mills..

1,239 per cent., and Tennessee, where there

Capital in oil mills....

2,426 was a very slight increase (less than Resources of National banks.

Capital of National banks.. one-tenth of one per cent.). The total

Deposits in National banks.

824 falling off in these States was from Deposits in other banks..

648 more than $8,000,000,000 in 1860 to a little over $4,000,000,000 in 1870

Between 1880 and 1909 the value of (about 50 per cent.). These figures

These figures all property in all the Southern States of 1870 include the recovery after 1865 increased from $3,759,000,000 to $21,and therefore do not represent the 211,179,600. Except in Texas, the gross loss of the South during this

wealth per capita was less than that decade.

in any other section of the country. In the next decade, despite the busi- In the South Atlantic States wealth ness depression that began in 1873, increased more than one-third between there was another remarkable growth 1860 and 1910. in the aggregate value of the various The total wealth of the United

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States, according to the census of 1890, 383,411,495. Government and other was as follows:

exempt real estate was valued at $6,Real estate (with improvements

212,788,930 and residential real estate thereon)

$39,544,544,333 at $20,041,106,350. Live stock on farms and ranges, and farm implements...


According to the census of 1900, the Mines and quarries (including

wealth of the United States was as product on land)...


follows: Gold and silver (coin and bullion) 1,158,774,948 Machinery of mills (including

Real estate (with improvements). $52,537,628,164 products on hand).... 3,058,593,441 Live stock

3,306,473,278 Railroads and equipment (includ

Farm implements and machinery. 749,775,970 ing street railroads).

8,685,407,323 Manufacturing machinery, tools Telegraphs, telephones, shipping

and implements

2,541,046,639 and canals

701,755,712 Gold and silver (coins and bul. Miscellaneous 7,893,708,821 lion) ....


Railroads and their equipment... 9,035,732,000 Total $65,037,091,197 Street railways...

1,576,197,160 Telegraph and telephone systems,

shipping and canals, waterworks It was then estimated that a little and electric light and power

stations ....

1,919,031,191 more than $33,000,000,000 of this

Agricultural products

1,455,069,323 wealth was employed in productive in- Manufactured products..

6,087,151,108 dustries, while the balance of a little Clothing and personal adornments 2,000,000,000

Furniture, carriages, etc.... 4,800,000,000 more than $31,000,000,000 was in the


751,122,109 hands of those not engaged in pro

Total ductive industries. “ The non-produ

$88,517,306,775 cers of the population control about 47

The following table shows the numper cent. of the entire volume of

ber of farms in the United States, the wealth, exclusive of what shares they total improved and unimproved acremay have in the capital invested in

age, and the total value of all farm productive industry. Or we might property (including land, buildings, say that 47 per cent. of the total wealth

implements and machinery, and live is used exclusively for speculation stock) in 1870–1900. and the exploiting of the industrial

Number of population.” * The agricultural property, includ

2,659,985 407,735,041 $11,124,938, 747

4,008,907 536,081.835 12,180,501,338 ing farms, stocks and implements,

4,364,641 623,218,619 16,082,267,689

5,737,372 838,591,774 20,439,901,164 was valued at $22,939,901,164, and of other industries at $32,443,510,331,

Between 1900 and 1911 the total making the total of property employed value of farm property had more than in purely productive industries $53,- doubled, but the total acreage had de

clined, showing an increase in value * J. A. Collins, Distribution of Wealth in the

per acre. There was an enormous inUnited States (Senate Doc. 75, 55th Congress, 2d session, January 19, 1898).

crease in value of all farm property







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