Pharsalia: An Environmental Biography of a Southern by Lynn A. Nelson,Paul S. Sutter

By Lynn A. Nelson,Paul S. Sutter

Pharsalia, a plantation situated in piedmont Virginia on the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is without doubt one of the best-documented websites of its sort. Drawing at the tremendously wealthy trove of papers left in the back of through the Massie kin, Pharsalia's proprietors, this situation research demonstrates how white southern planters satirically trusted capitalistic equipment whilst they pursued an amazing of agrarian independence. Lynn A. Nelson additionally exhibits how the contradictions among those ends and skill might later happen themselves within the southern conservation movement.

Nelson follows the fortunes of Pharsalia's vendors, telling how Virginia's conventional huge agriculture contributed to the soil's erosion and exhaustion. next makes an attempt to stability independence and sustainability via a posh approach of crop rotation and source recycling eventually gave technique to a thorough, slave-based kind of agricultural capitalism.

Pharsalia couldn't help the Massies' aristocratic goals, and it was once finally parceled up and bought off by means of relations. The farm's tale embodies numerous basics of contemporary U.S. environmental proposal. Southerners' nineteenth-century quest for monetary and ecological independence supplied the history for conservationists' makes an attempt to save lots of family members farming. even as, farmers' failure to accomplish independence whereas maximizing earnings and crop yields drove them to hunt executive relief and law. those turned many of the hallmarks of conservation efforts within the New Deal and beyond.

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