V. I.   Lenin

New Data on the Laws Governing the Development of Capitalism in Agriculture

PART ONE—Capitalism and Agriculture in the United States of America


2. The Industrial North

By 1910, the urban population in the North reached 58.6% of the total, as compared with 22.5% in the South and 48.8% in the West. The role of industry is evident from these figures:

Value of products ($000,000,000) Workers in
Manufactures less
cost of raw materials
The North 3.1 2.1 5.2 6.9 5.2
The South 1.9 0.7 2.6 1.1 1.1
The West 0.5 0.3 0.8 0.5 0.3

The U. S. A. 5.5 3.1 8.6 8.5 6.6

The total crop value is here overstated because a part of the crops, such as feed, recurs in the value of the livestock products. But in any case these figures show conclusively that almost five-sixths of American manufacture is concentrated in the North, and that manufacture prevails over agriculture in that section. The South and the West, on the contrary, are predominantly agricultural.

The above table shows that the North differs from the South and the West by a comparatively greater development of industry, which creates a market and makes for the intensification of agriculture. The North—“industrial” in that sense—nevertheless still remains the largest producer of agricultural products. More than one-half, actually about three-fifths, of agricultural production, is concentrated in the North. How much more intensive farming is in the North, as compared with the other sections, will be seen from the following figures on the per-acre value of all farm property—land, buildings, implements and machinery, and livestock. In 1910, it was $66 in the North, as compared with $25 in the South, and $41 in the West. The per-acre value of implements and machinery alone was $2.07 in the North, $0.83 in the South, and $1.04 in the West.

The New England and Middle Atlantic divisions stand out in this picture. As I have already pointed out there is no new homesteading in these parts. From 1900 to 1910, there was an absolute decrease in the number of farms, and in the total and in the improved acreage of the farms. Employment returns show that only 10% of the population there is engaged in farming, as compared with a 33% average for the U.S.A., 25 to 41% for the other divisions of the North, and 51 to 63% for the South. Only 6 to 25% of the improved acreage in these two divisions   is under cereal crops (the average for the U.S.A. is 40%, and for the North, 46%); 52 to 29% is under grasses, mostly cultivated (as against 15% and 18%); and 4.6 to 3.8% is under vegetables (as against 1.5 and 1.5%). This is the area of the most intensive agriculture. The average expenditure for fertilizers per acre of improved land in 1909 was $1.30 and $0.62 respectively; the former being the U.S. maximum, and the latter, second only to that of one division in the South. The average value of implements and machinery per acre of improved land was $2.58, and $3.88—the maximum figures for the U.S.A. We shall later see that in these most industrialized divisions of the industrial North, agriculture is the most intensive and has the most pronounced capitalist character.


  1. General Characteristic of the Three Main Sections. The Homestead West | 3. The Former Slave-Owning South  

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