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The Happy Yeoman

            Early America was characterized by its deeply rooted agricultural life. Farming was not only an occupation, but also a way of life for a yeoman farmer. American politics were heavily influenced by, and mainly addressed the concerns of agricultural life. However, those who merely observed country life saw issues far differently than how they were viewed through the eyes of a yeoman farmer. Writers often reflected on idealistic views of country life, largely on the self-sufficient-"ness", honesty and independence of the farming community. Yet those views were false, due to their nature: purely idealistic. In fact, farmers were often forced to be self-sufficient, only being able to expand their markets so far, and aspired to more profitable opportunities. .
             As America became more and more industrialized, commercial classes more and more clung to the nostalgia of country life. Rural life became sacred; reminiscent of the simplicity and honesty of non-commercial farming. Many believed that farmers held on to the values and "wholesomeness" in life that could no longer be found in city folk. The image of honest, hard working farmers became symbolic for the ideal American citizen.
             Jefferson stated "The small land-holders are the most precious part of the state," as an appeal to the agricultural community and those who recognized its sacredness in America's roots. .
             The agrarian myth took full shape when the upper classes tried to reconnect with rural life by making investment ventures into country estates, and plantations, thus creating a sort of "learned agricultural gentry." The myth gained more strength when its European counterpart crossed over to the Americas. The myth portrayed agriculture as .
             the only "honest way" for a country to expand its wealth, adding to the sacred nature of farming as a way of life. The honesty of farming and the fact that it had been long declared that all men have a right to property fueled the idea that since a farmer cultivated land to produce yields, he rightfully gained ownership of it.

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