This epilogue reflects on the changes wrought by the Civil War on agriculture in the Confederacy. Few white farmers and planters or black agricultural workers could express much optimism after the war. Rice production in the coastal country of South Carolina and Georgia had been ruined. Dikes and drainage ditches had been cut or needed major repairs, and the skilled black labor force that understood tidal-flow irrigation would not soon return to the rice fields of their former masters. In many respects the Civil War marked the end of rice agriculture along the East Coast. It would not recover its former importance. The rest of this chapter discusses the problems faced by farmers and planters in the South after the war, including the sugar and tobacco planters; the impact of the war on the cotton economy; how livestock disease affected southern agriculture; and how farmers and planters became divided by economic ideology and class.
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