Reconstruction by Way of the Soil

by G.T. Wrench

Chapter 20

The United States of America

0f all countries in the world, that which is most typical of modern progress; that which, at its initiation, announced the gift of liberty to every man to pursue wealth within the limit of the law and has permitted the greatest liberty of thought and action on the part of its inhabitants of all ranks; that which has encouraged genius or avidity to develop themselves most freely in the belief that the accretions of knowledge and wealth, which would accrue, would be of ultimate benefit to the community and to humanity as a whole; that which has produced the greatest business achievements and made itself the nation with the widest scientific equipment and the most skilful practical technique; that which rushed forward into the new with such speed and eagerness that the old has been forgotten; that upon which nature has now written most broadly and definitely her grim judgment in terms of erosion of the soil; that which, with its accustomed, heroic practicality, is now surpassing all nations similarly stricken in the vigour and thoroughness of its measures to oppose this life-destroying menace; is the United States of America.

In April 1928, the Agricultural Department of the U.S.A. published Circular No. 33, by Messrs. H. H. Bennett and W. R. Chapline. The circular bore the title of Soil Erosion: A National Menace. It is divided into two parts, a general consideration of the loss of soil due to erosion by the first author, and of the erosion of grazing lands by the second. It consists of thirty-five pages and contains thirty-five photographs, and he who looks and reads, especially if it is his first intimate meeting with the question, finds a graphic revelation of the greatest rebellion of our time, the rebellion of the earth itself. The figures of destruction given are colossal, and when one looks at the photographs and sees these figures embodied in visual reality, the effect is so impressive that one understands how it is that this short pamphlet in particular assembled the voices crying in the wilderness and made them startle into attention the governments of the world.

Mr. Bennett, after a few preliminary remarks, gives an exposition of the Figures on Soil Wastage: 'The amount of plant food in this minimum estimate of soil wastage by erosion (1,500,000,000 tons of solid matter annually) amounts to 126,000,000,000 pounds, on the basis of the average compositions of the soils of the country as computed from chemical analyses of 389 samples of surface soil collected by the Bureau of Soils. This is more than twenty-one times the annual net loss due to crops removed. The amount of phosphoric acid, nitrogen and potash alone in this annually removed soil material equals 54,000,000,000 pounds. Not all of this wasted plant food is immediately available, of course; but it comes principally from the soil layer, the main feeding reservoir of plants, and for this and for other reasons it is justifiable, doubtless, to consider the bulk of it as essentially representing lost plant food, without any quibbling about part of it having potential value only.'

It is impossible to get a succinct method of thinking out the meaning of figures so colossal. One can put them before oneself in some such way as this: There are 120,000,000,000 pounds of plant food lost by 120,000,000 people. The permanent loss of plant food, therefore, is at the rate of 1,000 pounds per person in the U.S.A. As each person eats about 1,000 pounds of food a year as plant substance or as animal substance derived from plant substances, one can get some sort of equivalent conception as to what this means. Nor is this all. The destruction is proceeding at an 'ever-increasing rate' as we shall see in the next quotation from Mr. Bennett. Clearly such a system of treatment of land cannot indefinitely continue. One recalls again here the prophetic words of Professor Shaler of Harvard uttered thirty years before the publication of this pamphlet: 'If mankind cannot design and enforce ways of dealing with the earth which will preserve the sources of life, we must look forward to a time -- remote it may be, but clearly discernible -- when our kind, having wasted its great inheritance, will fade from the earth because of the ruin it has accomplished.'

There is something, too, paradoxical about these millions and thousands of millions of figures, attached to something so general to man as the soil, that allies them to those of the money system of the same period. Farmers create what men eat, but in doing so create life-strangling erosion and deserts. In the money system, financiers create money for men's livelihoods, but in doing so they also create life-strangling debts and financial deserts. The vast accumulation of negative money, as national and municipal debts, runs into figures comparable to those concerned with negative soil. The two seem to have a definite kinship. Yet urban peoples still view both their food methods and their money methods with a scarcely shaken trust. Again the split mind gives evidence of itself.

There are further figures. The loss of phosphorus, potash and nitrogen alone, without reckoning other soil foods, is estimated at 2,000,000,000 dollars a year, which is the better portion of the British national revenue before the war of 1914-18. Mr. Bennett, writing in 1928, which he denotes as a time of meagreness of fundamental data of 'what is going on at an ever-increasing rate', states: 'That some 15,000,000 acres or more of formerly tilled land has been utterly destroyed by erosion in this country is but an insignificant part of the story, for it is the less violent form of erosional wastage, sheet erosion, that is doing the bulk of the damage to the land. Land depreciation by this slow process of planing off the surface is of almost incalculable extent and seriousness, and since the denudation does not cease when the subsoil is reached, there must be in the near future, unless methods of land usage are very radically changed, an enormous increase in the abandonment of farm lands.' Nine years later Mr. E. S. Clayton of the Agricultural Department of New South Wales, after his study of erosion in the U.S.A., came back with the momentous figures: 50,000,000 acres of cultivated land destroyed, 50,000,000 acres seriously eroded and about to be abandoned, 100,000,000 acres with loss of much of the topsoil, out of 987,000,000 acres, the total of agricultural land in the States. Finally the United States Department of Soil Conservation Service published a map with various shading to show the areas of slight and severe wind erosion, and slight and severe sheet erosion due to widespread movement of thin sheets of water. The unshaded non-eroded areas contrast with a widespread prevalence of shade. The above figures of Mr. Clayton are certainly not belied by the map.

The figures of loss in the U.S.A. are, indeed, incredible, in that the mind cannot grasp that a country of incalculable national wealth and fertility, almost within a century can be thrust into such danger. This is but a paraphrase of Mr. Bennett's own summary: 'To visualize the full enormity of land impairment and devastation brought about by this ruthless agent is beyond the possibility of the mind ... Any American of live imagination knows that the people of the United States would willingly spend 20,000,000,000 dollars to redress the wrong', had it been due to a foreign foe. But because it is an inner fault of American thought, because the sun, the wind and the rain, the natural conditions of earthly life, are concerned, the people scarcely heed it. So Mr. Bennett ends his part of Circular 33 with the words: 'A little is being done here and there to check the loss -- an infinitesimal part of what should be done.'

Then comes the visual evidence, the photographs from many of the States. In the first photograph one sees a sloping cotton field showing shallow channels caused by rain between the rows of plants. When heavy rains came and the extensive field had only a light cover of young plants, then more water ran along these channels between the plants than where the soil was held by the roots of the plants. This is sheet erosion; some water sinks into the soil, but some runs away without sinking in. The runnels collect together and form a gully. The next photograph shows the result of gullies, which have collected together to one channel in the Greenville fine sandy loam. The channel is a chasm 100 feet deep, with precipitous sides, fringed by forest trees. Where it now is, there stood a school-house forty years ago.

There follow further pictures of erosion due to rain and melting snow. There is one of a wide, laterally extending gorge in the Mississippi Valley; one of cornfields covered with a blanket of coarse sand deposited on it by the erosional waters of heavy rain; arable land in Kansas so cut up by gullies that it could no longer be ploughed and was given over to pasture; bald patches on the rich, black soil of Iowa, washed away by sheet erosion and showing the clay beneath; smooth fields in Texas split by gullies as a flat glacier is split by crevasses; rolling, hilly country of Northern California, once forested but now complete desert, with no topsoil and what is left of subsoil slashed by gullies; a spacious hilly area in California left desolate of growth by fire and water; in Virginia erosion following a few drops on slopes which should never have been cleared; in Colorado, farm buildings caught and undermined by a wide stream, the natural obstructions to the free flow of which the owners of the buildings had themselves removed; wagon tracks starting eroding streams, which will eventually lead to the loss of a valley full of rich soil; driftwood and other debris from hills made barren by fire and deposited by flood upon a young orchard; wind erosion due to trampling of an excess of cattle in dry New Mexico; vegetation destroyed by smelter fumes over thousands of acres in Arizona. The last picture of all is one that cheers the heart after so much witness of destruction. It is one of 'abundant and excellent feed and a maximum of watershed protection', in Montana. It shows a well-watered, hilly country bearing tall fir trees, bordering upon spaces of rich grass, and in the foreground, a flock of feeding sheep. The land and its cover are good and man himself joins in its life-cycle with his good flock.

Nevertheless, Montana takes its share of the famous grazing grounds of the North-West, where it is said that 58,000,000 acres are now only able to feed one-fifth of the number of animals they were once able to support. But it is in Montana's neighbour, the Pacific North-West, that something very positive has arisen, an action of new values in keeping with the awakening of Americans to the primal value of a sheltered soil, protected by a continuous ownership of those who will care for it on small-sized farms. Once again the land is to be the centre of homes, a homeland.

In the Pacific North-West flows the great Columbia River, across which have been placed two dams, the Bonneville and the Grand Coulee. These two huge dams will produce more electric power than the 14,082,282,000 kilowatt-hours turned out by the two hundred and sixty electric plants in the State of New York.

What to do with this enormous amount of energy? There enters into this question something strange and new to accustomed industrialists. They wanted a vast factory community near the Bonneville Dam itself. But there were eyes of a great leader looking upon this mighty dam before him and looking also beyond it with the vision that extends what is seen into the realms of the future. In September 1937, it was this leader, President Roosevelt, who delivered a speech of dedication beneath the dark crags of the Columbia Gorge, the river of which in its change now foretold a change for the mighty stream of the American people.

The North-West, consisting of the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and the section of Montana west of the crest of the Rockies, offers an opportunity, said the President, 'to avoid some of the mistakes and wasteful exploitation of resources that have caused such serious problems in other parts of the country'. The North-West should not be a land of new 'Pittsburgs'. The President continued: 'It is because I am thinking of the nation and the region fifty years from now that I venture the further prophecy that as the time passes we will do everything to encourage the building up of smaller communities of the United States. To-day many people are beginning to realize that there is an inherent weakness in cities which become too large, and inherent strength in a wider geographical distribution of the population.'

The Grand Coulee, now nearing completion, in addition to providing power, will irrigate 1,200,000 acres. These acres are to be given to families and small cultivators. They are being protected against combines and other large-scale operations. These types of land-ownership are forbidden. Land, held in defiance of this limitation, will get no water from government canals. Families, who have been driven by erosion from the western grazing lands and migrated from the now famous Desert Bowl, will here find land. Some are doing so now. The amount of land allowed to be held is limited to eighty acres for a family and forty acres for a single man. The purpose of the Grand Coulee is to take care of as many families as possible. The partnership of family and soil is to be revived. But there is to be something more on this irrigated land. There are to be small industries served by electric power. Men and women, who work at these industries, will also be able to have kitchen gardens, and thereby will carry out what Mr. Stuart Chase proposed several years ago for the North-West, small farms which will act as 'anchors to windward', if at any time industry fails.

Everyone in this area will have the opportunity to gain soil-sense. The land as food producer will be the basis of society and will be its associate. Many small industries dotted about the North-West will serve the countryside as once did village crafts. Other industries will develop for industrial purposes the raw materials of the local farms. Industry will be truly distributed; it will administer to the comfort and happiness of the people on the land as its primary object, and act as the means of external trade as its secondary object. The dicta, indeed, of the North-West, will be those so concisely expressed by Napoleon at St. Helena: 'Agriculture is the soul, the foundation of the Kingdom; industry ministers to the comfort and happiness of the population; foreign trade is the superabundance; it allows the due exchange of the surplus of agriculture and industry ... Foreign trade, which in its results is infinitely inferior to agriculture, was an object of secondary importance to my mind. Foreign trade ought to be the servant of agriculture and home industry; these last ought never to be subordinated to foreign trade.'

The cost of the electric power of the Bonneville Dam is governed by 'postage-stamp rates' all along its transmission line of 275 miles; the industry farthest from the dam pays for its power at the same rate as the industry that is nearest. This mandate was not directed against industries and factories as such, but against industries and factories compounded into places like Pittsburg, Chicago and Detroit. The fear of the great metropolitan city is so ingrained in the thought of the people, writes Mr. Richard Neuberger in Free America, August 1940, in a quite triumphant article from which I have taken my information, that during the struggle over the Bonneville power rates, the words of President Jefferson (1743-1820) appeared in many local papers: 'I view great cities as pestilential to the health, the morals and the liberty of mankind.' That saying was directed against financial and industrial magnates, ambitious politicians and demagogues, who arise in cities and only by cities are made possible. The logical end of metropolitan civilization,and its most complete, one-piece form, is totalitarianism which is confessedly and in action 'pestilential to the liberties of mankind'. In this scheme in the Pacific North-West, men and women have now the opportunity to combine manufacture with a home partnership with the soil. The soil, once again now, and yet more in the future, will be their associate and instructor. There is a grandeur about the scheme, which belongs to a great country that can still revive its epic character.

There is another illustration of the redemptive spirit in the U.S.A. which stirs hope and admiration no less than the story of the Grand Coulee. It is the story of a complete education of the children and people in the local soil.

It was called forth in an area of the United States by the great catastrophes of the Dust Bowl and the floods in the basin of the Mississippi River and eventually united all classes of the inhabitants. It is described in a pamphlet issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October 1940. Pupils and teachers used their own local land as text-book. They walked over the land and with their eyes learned to recognize the symptoms of misuse, to discover the causes, and to work out the principles of good use. A miniature whirl of dust led to the study of wind erosion and the Dust Bowl. The results of a flood and the loss of valuable cotton land led to the study of the watershed, its inter-relationships and the delivery of water from a forested area to the irrigated land below.

Owing to the war I have not as yet been able to procure the pamphlet itself, but I have read a review in Indian Farming, January 1942, which quotes verbatim from the pamphlet. It is so important and encouraging that I am reproducing the quotation in full.

'Basic concepts and bodies of subject matter were needed -- an understanding of the water cycle, the behaviour of the soil and water, the growth of vegetation. These were observed and understood and related to the daily life of human beings. Children gained some understanding of the hydrologic cycle in the simple story of the raindrop. Grass as a necessary food for livestock was known to even the smallest child in the south-west. How grass grew, how it reproduced, how over-grazing and trampling destroyed it, led quite logically to such statements as: "The cowboys should not let the cattle eat in one place too long." Sustained use of timber on forest land was expressed as the necessity for large trees, middle-sized trees, and little trees. Human use, human needs, human plans and solutions, were the core of each study.

'Children have a way of talking about matters that really interest them. Visits by pupils to demonstration areas have led to visits by parents. Parents have written letters to schools expressing their interest and pleasure upon learning that the children are studying land use. In sections where this type of education was going on, the technical men reported an added interest in the districts and a great facility in obtaining agreements' (presumably for the better use of land and water by farmers and local authorities).

'The educational superintendents, supervisors, departments of education lent every facility, advised, took over where possible. The technical staff of the Soil Conservation Service conducted tours, learned to adapt their language to children's understanding, frequently wrote for us expositions in lucid, simple language. The material on human surveys, from our section of conservation economics, supplied information about the population, its use of land, its economic and social problems. Teachers, recognizing that soil conservation was of great interest to their community, that it helped in the vitalizing and socializing of the whole school programme, threw themselves into the programme with originality and eagerness.

'Our brief experiment has shown that land planning and use has an immediate interest for every school, and that teachers, pupils, parents, and State officials are eager to have a part in it. It is one of the great problems before us to-day. It has to do with subsistence, with food, clothing, shelter, taxes, and with many other problems which are a daily part of the home, community and the nation.'

Everyone concerned, it must be noted, becomes interested. It is a call to all from their very origin itself, and each man, woman and child, all creatures of the earth, eagerly respond to it. It is a construction of the children's minds and a reconstruction of their elders' minds in terms of the soil.

Mr. Bennett sums up his survey of the soil of the United States with these fateful words:

'After 4,000 years of building dykes and digging great systems of canals, the Yellow River broke over its banks and brought death to a million human beings during a single great flood. During one flood that great river, known in China as "the scourge of the sons of Han", changed its channel to enter the sea 400 miles from its former mouth.

'No one, of course, wants anything remotely like this to take place in this country, but "coming events cast their shadows before". That the greatest flood of which we have reliable records came down the Mississippi in 1927 was a prophetic event. G. E. Martin's statement about erosion as an enemy to agriculture -- "It is very unlikely that any other industry could suffer such losses and survive" -- is prophetic. That bare land, at the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, was found to be wasting 137 times faster than land covered with blue grass on a slope less than 4 per cent gradient is prophetic. That many millions of acres of cut-over land lie bare and desolate and exposed to the ravages of fire and erosion, with but pitifully little done towards reforestation, is prophetic. That minimum estimates show that the rate of plant-food wastage by erosion is twenty-one times faster than the rate at which it is being lost in crops removed, is prophetic.

'These shadows are portents of evil conditions that will be acutely felt by posterity. Shall we not proceed immediately to help the present generation of farmers and to conserve the heritage of posterity?

'The writer, after twenty-four years spent in studying the soils of the United States, is of the opinion that soil erosion is the biggest problem confronting the farmers of the nation over a tremendous part of its agricultural lands. It seems scarcely necessary to state the perfectly obvious fact that a very large part of this impoverishment and wastage has taken place since the clearing of forests, the breaking of the prairie sod, and the over-grazing of pasture lands. A little is being done here and there to check the loss -- an infinitesimal part of what should be done.'

These words did not fall on deaf ears. The President and Congress were deeply stirred and five years after the publication of Circular No. 33, the Tennessee Valley Authority took control of the valley of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, an area belonging to seven different States and of no less size than that of England and Scotland. This was the first answer of the Government of the United States to the question of the Circular: 'Shall we not proceed immediately to help the present generation of farmers and to conserve the heritage of posterity?' It was the first radical attack on the 'little that is being done here and there to check the loss -- an infinitesimal part of what should be done'.

To help the understanding of this great project, it is advisable to recall how in Tanganyika, under the guidance of Sir Donald Cameron, in order to avoid the erosion following upon the wholesale destruction of forests harbouring the tsetse fly, geologists, plant ecologists and water surveyors were called together to fit farmers in a manner understood by them to the local character of the water supply as a whole. Each river with its catchment area was made into a native-governed entity, and twenty-six such entities combined in one Union.

What the tsetse fly forced upon the discerning mind of Sir Donald Cameron, the devastation and poverty of the Tennessee River area forced upon the mind of the great President of the U.S.A., Mr. Roosevelt, and a strong following of members of Congress. The story has been told with a comprehensiveness worthy of the theme by the Chairman of the T.V.A., Mr. David Lilienthal, in his book, The Tennessee Valley Authority, 1944.

The story begins with the natural unity of the Tennessee Valley area, with its forested catchment areas of mountains and valleys, and the varied and interlocking animal and vegetable life they maintained. The forest-covering protected the soil against heavy rainfall, let the rain-water filter through the soil and return by the clear Tennessee River to the Mississippi and the sea.

Then came the White Men, lords of creation and of the negroes, who accompanied them. They surveyed the land and found it suitable for two good money crops, cotton and tobacco. There were also many fine, saleable timber trees upon the mountainous ridges and slopes; there were minerals worth smelting; there were swift, clear rivers, which, if harnessed by dams, would yield electric power for the machines of the manufacturies. These primeval mountains and valleys were full of promise in a land of promise. Men set to work, each individual or group for their several purposes, and so the primal unity of the valley was destroyed.

At first, the land lived up to the title, land of promise, but little by little, the land was abused and rebelled. The time came when the hill-farmers found their land scored with gullies, the farmers on the plains their fields coated with silt from floods. The exploiters of timber, neglecting afforestation, saw their stock depleted and barrenness take its place. Hard-wood fuel no longer was enough to serve the furnaces of the smelters of ore, and the fumes of their ovens killed even the thin vegetation which attempted to cover the deforested land. Finally, the owners of dams found their pipes blocked by the silt of murky floods, and electricity no longer leaping from the dynamos which the piped water drove. The river itself was thick with silt, local navigation upon it was destroyed and, in flood, farmland washed away. Each was an enemy to the other, and, before the Tennessee Valley Authority took over the whole valley, the inhabitants were the most poverty-stricken and backward of any people in the U.S.A. They were in the front rank of the eroders and devastators, to whom Mr. Bennett attributed the results of his twenty-four years' study of the soils of the U.S.A. The outlook was as ominous as it could well be. The sole hope was to alter the very principles and methods of the usage of the valley as a whole and reintroduce those of the unity of nature, which had been ignored and fragmented. This was the work which Congress allotted to the Tennessee Valley Authority on that momentous date, 18 May 1933.

In the brief space of ten years, the T.V.A. have erected sixteen dams, some of them amongst the biggest in the world, and taken over and modified the five existing dams, and made them into one system of regulation of the rivers under their central control. They have now become masters of the rivers and their floods, and in 1942, when torrents came raging down a large part of the catchment area of the mountains, they conducted them safely into controlled channels. They protected the Tennessee Valley as a whole and its 4,500,000 inhabitants. They have planted a million trees grown in their nurseries and locally suitable to the soil. They have introduced contour ploughing, terraced cultivation, farmers' woodland and a balanced economy of legumes, clover, rotations, pigs, poultry and cattle upon 20,000 demonstration farms, in the midst of the 225,000 farms with 1,350,000 people living upon them in family farms averaging 75 acres. They manufacture phosphates, discovered by their experts as the present-needed artificial manure, and Mr. Lilienthal calls it in results 'the almost magic phosphate'. They have, with their mighty dams, created cheap electric power which gives each person 2,400 kilowatt hours compared to the average of the U.S.A. of 1,530 kilowatt hours, or 120,000,000,000 man hours for a single region. This has increased heavy and light industries, and, as a war consequence, it was largely because of this power that, in 1943, the U.S.A. was able to build its huge fleet of bombers for use in Europe and the South Pacific. They have made a stretch of 464 miles of the river navigable with a depth of six feet and they will soon have a stretch of 650 miles with a depth of nine feet. Lastly, the number of fish in the river and its reserves has been increased fifteen times.

To effect these great harmonizing practices, the T.V.A. had to possess new harmonizing principles. They had to regard the inter-relation and independence of the different factors of nature in place of seeing nature as a battle in which each living type is set in open and secret enmity to other types in the bitter struggle for survival and priority.

Mr. Lilienthal illustrates and discusses, in a variety of aspects, the change which was necessary, not only in Congress itself, but in every sentient inhabitant of the Tennessee Valley. Here are some few of his words:

'Congress in creating the T.V.A. broke with the past. No single agency had in this way ever been assigned the unitary task of developing a river so as to release the total benefit from its waters for the people ... The T.V.A. Act was nothing inadvertent or impromptu. It was rather the deliberate and well-considered creation of a new national policy. For the first time in the history of the nation, the resources of a river were only to be "envisioned in their entirety"; they were to be developed in that unity with which nature herself regards her resources -- the waters, the land, the forests together, a "seamless web" -- just as Maitland saw "the unity of all history", of which one strand cannot be touched without affecting every other strand for good or ill.

'Under this new policy, the opportunity of creating wealth for the people from the resources of this valley was to be faced as a single problem. To integrate the many parts of that problem into a unified whole was to be the responsibility of one agency. The Tennessee Valley's resources were not to be dissected into separate bits that would fit into the jurisdictional pigeon-holes into which the instrumentalities of government had by custom become divided. It was not conceded that at the hour of creation the Lord had divided and classified natural resources to conform to the organization chart of the federal government. The particular and limited concerns of private individuals or agencies in the development of this or that resource were disregarded and rejected in favour of the principle of unity. What God had made one, man was to develop as one.'

The T.V.A. controls and bears the responsibility of the dams, the electric power, advice to the farmers, the fitting of industry to the whole, and general supervision and planning. Otherwise the greatest possible share has been given to the people of the valley by decentralization. 'A man wants to feel that he is important' is the maxim that directs this. 'The very essence of the T.V.A.'s method in the undertaking was at every hand to use directly, and to encourage and stimulate, the broadest possible coalition of all forces. Private funds and private efforts, on farms and in factories; state funds and state activities; local communities, clubs, schools, associations, co-operatives -- all have had major roles. Moreover, scores of federal agencies have co-operated' -- here a list of twenty is given -- 'the list, if complete, would include most national agencies.' The farmers themselves decide as to which farms shall be demonstration farms. The distribution of electric power is directed by the farmers, the industries, the municipalities, the States. The experts live amongst the people and are one with them. Labour is take primarily from the people of the valley; others chosen by merit are directed to expert work. No inducements are allowed to industries located in other regions to move to the Tennessee Valley.

Responsibility is distributed. The T.V.A. management is responsible to Congress, yet it is a separate authority, and its separation underlined in that neither its management nor its staff are permitted any share in politics except that of voting. The same separation is aimed at between the management and the staff; its members are encouraged to act and take responsibilities and not worry about mistakes. A like relation exists between T.V.A. and local bodies and associations, who are given and readily accept action and responsibility for their localities. Mr. Lilienthal himself terms it Democracy on the March.

The results have awakened the keenest interest, not only in the United States itself, but in other countries of the world, An impoverished and fear-stricken people in ten years have become prosperous, confident, well fed, well clothed. They are happier and better citizens.

One principle of service to the soil is missing from Mr. Lilienthal's book, the rule of the return of what is taken from the soil, after use, to the soil, by which, in particular, the Chinese have maintained their soil for so many centuries. There is one oblique reference to it in the statement that, if cotton-seed oil-mills made money, Tennessee cattle could be fed with the cotton-meal cakes they now export for sale. If they did this, 'as much as 80 per cent of the fertilizing value of the meal would be returned to the soil rather than continuously drained by export'.

Otherwise, the T.V.A. is a wonderful re-discovery of almost forgotten laws. How great this re-discovery may become, we shall now see in the story of a kingdom in Europe, which was, one might say, except for electric power, all Tennessee Valley and more.

Next chapter

Table of Contents
1. Introductory
2. Rome
3. The Roman Foods
4. The Roman Family
5. Roman Soil Erosion
6. Farmers and Nomads
I. The Land
II. The Nomads
III. The Farmers
IV. Nomadic Migrations and Farmers
7. Contrasting Pictures
8. Banks for the Soil
9. Economics of the Soil
10. The English Peasant and Agricultural Labourer
11. Primitive Farmers
12. Nyasa
13. Tanganyika
14. 'Earth Thou Art'
15. Sind and Egypt
16. Fragmentation
17. East and West Indies
18. German Colonies: The Mandates
19. Russia, South Africa, Australia
South Africa
20. The United States of America
21. A Kingdom of Agricultural Art in Europe
22. An Historical Reconstruction
The Initiation
The Institution
The Achievement
23. Recapitulation
24. Action

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