Barbed Wire (from "Have To" History)

Three Big Things:

1. Barbed wire became the fencing of choice in the west after the Civil War. It was relatively cheap, withstood a wide range of conditions, and held back the biggest, most stubborn livestock.

2. Barbed wire favored homesteaders moving west, who tended to be small farmers. It threatened, and eventually helped destroy, the mythical “open range” and cowboy culture.

3. Barbed wire is rarely asked about specifically in history standards; it’s central to a wide variety of stuff that is, however.

Let's Have A (Populist) Party!

Farm MachineAs the century approached another turn, farmers across the Great Plains were enduring hard times. They were growing and raising more good stuff than ever before! Wheat! Corn! Cotton! Moo-cows! Chickens! Tomatoes! Quiche! But thanks to the laws of supply and demand, the more they raised, the lower the selling price. That’s great for those purchasing, but suck city for those producing. Throw in improved agriculture in Europe, and the American farmer was in a world of hurt.