Wednesday, September 28, 2016

American Agrarianism Assignment

Conner Lewis
American Agrarianism Assignment

          American Progress, an 1872 painting by John Gast, is a good representation of American Agrarianism and how it shaped the attitude of Americans and their concept of Manifest Destiny. The image reflects the attitude of farmers such as Jefferson, and his belief that as the righteous and virtuous people, it was the right of farmers to continue to expand across what would eventually be the American West in order to spread their lifestyle. The American people were spreading out so that they too could leave the cities and become farmers, who were considered the better and less corrupted people. They were spreading the ideals of self-sufficient farmers on the backs of families and hard working people, and although they were followed by urban advancements such as railroads and eventually cities (as seen behind the wagons), the initial advancement into this new land was done by the farmers. This also displays the ideals of Salatin, as the small farmers were advancing to gain new land so that they could provide for themselves and their neighbors as the yeomen farmers had, and not relying on others for their sustenance. It is a perfect merger of the ideas of American agrarianism and Manifest Destiny, showing how America grew on the backs of small farmers and families who provided for themselves without the corruption of city life.

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