chapter  6
27 Pages

Transforming the Southern plantation

THE CONCEPT of modern plantation agriculture originated in Western Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries to mass produce crops in tropical and subtropical regions. Plantation agriculture became one of the major components of mercantilism, the first phase in the development of modern Western economies. During the age of exploration, the plantation system spread to the Western Hemisphere. One reason European nations established colonies was that political control of tropical and subtropical areas permitted orderly safe mass production on plantations. That plantation agriculture was established in the area that became the southern realm of the United States was the consequence of its extension into the section of the North American continent with a subtropical climate.1