The Errors of a Land Gone Weary: James Madison’s Address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle
Derek James Litvak
Virginia Tech, US
Senior majoring in History, with a minor in Political Science. Research interests include, on a broader scale, the American Revolution, and specifically the creation and ratification of the Constitution.
Andrea Wulf asserts in her book, Founding Gardeners The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, that James Madison was the “forgotten father of environmentalism” in America. The purpose of my project was primarily to delve into this claim, and I concluded that Wulf was only partially right. Wulf primarily uses Madison’s Address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle, May 18, 1818 as a basis for her claims. While this address is noteworthy for many features, I assert that it’s only part of a growing movement that started before Madison’s speech. From individual planter efforts, to agricultural newspapers and societies, to books, Madison joined a relatively small group of Virginia planters that were attempting to reverse the state’s steady agricultural decline. My project attempted to put Madison’s speech in the proper context of a Virginian agricultural movement that had other forgotten fathers.
How to Cite:
Litvak, D.J., 2016. The Errors of a Land Gone Weary: James Madison’s Address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle. Philologia, 8, p.None. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ph.v8i0.146