Prior to "The American Century," (a term I refuse to accept describing the 1900's) orchardists literally shook bugs out of trees using a long sticks; they then collected the fallen on white sheets and squashed the critters with their bare fingers. Come on, what's more American then that?
The 20th century not only started with WWI and the use of chemical warfare on people, it proceeded with constant chemical warfare against agricultural pests and diseases. One company, Monsanto, sprung-up around that time to provide farmers and the U.S. Government chemical and geno-weapons against natural pests, which optimistically, seemed controllable through scientific advancement. By mid-century, Monsanto's research realized Agent Orange and the Manhattan Project, and the environment was ingesting heavy loads of DDt, but still, chemical warfare raged on. In 1970, Mansanto brought us "Roundup" which it still claims to be "environmental" (see their PR site: http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/content/products/productivity/roundup/gly_biomon_bkg_Jan04.pdf, and compare their info with that of a watch dog: http://www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/Monsanto-Roundup-Glyphosate.htm .) Is the 20th century approach to agriculture representative of a good America?
Before you answer, check out the Monsanto's newest front on agriculture and you'll get a direct look at how their warfare accepts farmer and consumer health as "acceptable collateral damage." Check out this video and keep in mind the Supreme Court's recent decision concerning cooperate campaign funding. http://www.saynotogmos.org/heartbreak/hbhl256.wmv
The American century.