Any Suggestions


I'm not satisfied with this paragraph. Perhaps it is the passive sentence (shown in bold) and weak verb. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


The paragraph before discusses the rationale behind the Bureau of Reclamation's 160-acre irrigation limit -- Jeffersonian Agrarianism and proto-Progressive Era impulses. The following paragraph tells how the lack of such a limit assured the passage of California's 1933 Central Valley Act,


Elsewhere, the federal limit represented sustainable acreage for a small farm. When the Bureau of Reclamation was established, the national average farm consisted of just 147 acres. However, California’s fundamental land-use pattern, dating from the Méxican-era ranchos, had been sprawling ranches. This history, plus the arid climate and isolated economy, meant California farms required greater acreage to remain viable enterprises. In 1900, the typical California farm was twice as large (397 acres) as the national average. Tulare Township farms followed the statewide pattern. While Augusta Bixler Farms and Old River Farms held a monopoly on Union Island, the township’s remaining farms mostly escaped aggregation by the land barons. Nevertheless, nearly all holdings in 1930 exceeded 320 acres, and several local farmers’ properties exceeded 3,000 acres. This disparity between the idealistic 160-acre maximum and actual farm sizes made such a rule a political anathema to California’s farm interests.

edited May 01 '12 at 03:18 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

2 answers


The first one is easy to change if you want.  Just identify who established the bureau.


When the government established the Bureau of Reclamation...


I see nothing wrong with the second bold section, though personally, I prefer "twice the size...of" over "twice as"

link answered May 01 '12 at 15:03 Courtney Contributor

Thanks. It is not so much the second sentence is "wrong" as it seems to go "bump" in the flow of the paragraph... I'm looking to smooth it a bit.

Jeff PribylMay 01 '12 at 16:06

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Due to the establishment of the Bureau of Reclamation, the national average farm consisted of just 147 acres.

In 1900, the typical California farm (397 acres) exceeded the national average.  

link comment answered May 01 '12 at 21:49 Kevin Knott New member

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