Sunday, March 15, 2015

Chapter 17-20 (pg. 264-315)


Chapter 17:

Upon returning to Fordlandia, following the December 1930 riot, Americans were very hesitant because they were scared of another uprising, Ford sent Perini back to Fordlandia along with W. E. Carnegie and Archibald Johnson, these three were in charge in restoring the plantation up to grade. They focused on turning Fordlandia into a real town, one with complete housing for all who lived there and upgrade all of the other facilities. They build houses that were modern and even resembled the ones that Ford was constructing in his other settlements in the United States

Chapter 18:

One thing that Ford tried to do in both Fordlandia and in the US, was promote gardening. He told Johnson, the new leader of Fordlandia, to make house plots large enough so that the inhabitants could create their own garden. In Fordlandia both the workers and the Americans there would get bored quite easily because the plantation was located in such an isolated area. The solution to this was not only to create movie theaters and dance halls, but they build a 9-hole golf course for patrons to enjoy. The city started to look like a nice American town, exactly as Ford always wanted.

Chapter 19:

Lumber harvesting was an original goal for the plantation but it never went very smoothly, but Johnson outlined a new plan that would allow a good portion of the lumber to be exported to the United States, but because of the Great Depression, there was a very small market for the lumber. Johnson soon began to suggest that they move the plantation 50 miles north where it would be better suited for rubber growth, but he also believed that this would decrease the amount of money the company would have to pay in supporting the workers.

Chapter 20:

Originally there were no rubber experts present for the building of Fordlandia or the cultivation of rubber this was something that Johnson adamantly wanted to change. Edsel Ford recruited James R. Weir who did research for Goodyear on their rubber plantations. Weir taught plantation workers how to properly bud graft (a technique in creating better trees), and then he decided to go to get better buds from Asia where there were now enormous rubber plantations. He brought back a ton of trees, but many were either dead or just not good for the amazon, considering the conditions were different in Asia. Johnson and Weir constantly disagreed and Johnson wanted to get rid of Weir but Dearborn wouldn't let him. Weir decided that it would make more sense to stop planting at Fordlandia and move the planting to Belterra, which is farther south. Weir kept insisting on experimental practices, instead of ones that actually were known to work.



Throughout the section various ways of cultivating are talked about, and many of these techniques are either products of new ideas or new technology. This is a synthesis of both of these themes, as technology and the environment are so heavily collected within the planation life.


The Great Depression within the United States directly affected the entire world. Not only would it not allow Fordlandia lumber to be sold, but eventually the Brazilian economy would fall along with the US economy. This had direct effects on Fordlandia as people streamed in wanting jobs and better pay.

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