Why did George Washington Carver study the peanut?

The scientist George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was trying to find ways to diversify southern agriculture.

Long dependent on cotton, the South’s economy was threatened by the boll weevil and depleted soil.

Carver showed that the neglected peanut, soybean, and sweet potato could produce hundreds of trade goods and replace soil minerals depleted by cotton.

The South’s economy was revolutionized as a result.