Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Changing Nature of Country Roads: Farmers, Reformers, and the Shifting Uses of Rural Space, 1880-1905

Christopher W. Wells
Agricultural History
Vol. 80, No. 2 (Spring, 2006), pp. 143-166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3744804
Page Count: 24
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($14.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Changing Nature of Country Roads: Farmers, Reformers, and the Shifting Uses of Rural Space, 1880-1905
Preview not available

Abstract

The period from the end of the Civil War to about 1905 saw some key changes in American country roads, including the passage of the first state-aid road laws, the creation of the first federal road agency, and the growth of a strong urban-rural coalition promoting rural road improvements. Although these have been well discussed, two significant but unrecognized changes lay at their heart. First, the effect of the good-roads campaigns of the 1890s in convincing farmers to embrace a major intellectual shift: trading the belief that roads were "natural"--local resources to be husbanded--for the idea that they were "technological"--publicly owned tools to be engineered in the service of social ends. Second, how the shifting uses of rural roads, from groups of urban cyclists touring the countryside to mail carriers delivering letters to farmhouses, not only strengthened the growing ties between rural and urban areas but also helped transform the basic political relationships between isolated communities and county, state, and national governments. Together these turn-of-the-century changes paved the way, literally and figuratively, for the growth of the extensive highway system that today is such a dominating characteristic of the American landscape.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
143
    143
  • Thumbnail: Page 
144
    144
  • Thumbnail: Page 
145
    145
  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150
  • Thumbnail: Page 
151
    151
  • Thumbnail: Page 
152
    152
  • Thumbnail: Page 
153
    153
  • Thumbnail: Page 
154
    154
  • Thumbnail: Page 
155
    155
  • Thumbnail: Page 
156
    156
  • Thumbnail: Page 
157
    157
  • Thumbnail: Page 
158
    158
  • Thumbnail: Page 
159
    159
  • Thumbnail: Page 
160
    160
  • Thumbnail: Page 
161
    161
  • Thumbnail: Page 
162
    162
  • Thumbnail: Page 
163
    163
  • Thumbnail: Page 
164
    164
  • Thumbnail: Page 
165
    165
  • Thumbnail: Page 
166
    166