The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 155
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The first half or more of the book surveys conditions of
middle western agriculture in the first decade of the century, the
impact of World War I on the farmer, the development of the
co-operative movement in the Middle West, and the growth of
such farm organizations as the American Society of Equity, the
Farmers' Union, the Nonpartisan League, and the American
Farm Bureau Federation. The final chapters are concerned large-
ly with the attempts to work out a federal farm program: the
activities of the farm bloc, the McNary-Haugen movement, the
Federal Farm Board of the Hoover administration, and the New
Deal farm program.
Certain major developments in American agriculture in the
years 1900-1939 emerge from this study. One of these is the rise
of farm organizations, those bodies which reflected in agriculture
the trend toward what the authors call a "groupistic" society.
The farm organizations not only provided a means of formulating
and expressing agrarian distress. They worked out proposals to
aid the farmer and tested many of those ideas through their own
activities. The various farm groups came to play a powerful role
in the politics of the Middle West and eventually of the nation
and had much to do with the shaping of the federal agriculture
program. The recounting of their story makes it abundantly
clear that federal agricultural policies have been deeply rooted in
the past experiences and demands of the farmer. Such major
features of the New Deal program as production control, market-
ing agreements, crop loans, credit assistance, and inflation had,
all been advocated by one farm group or another over a period
Another fact which stands out in this study is that the farmer
and his spokesman, though always talking in terms of the primacy
of agriculture in the economy and the nation, came to base their
demands and their proposals largely on the practices of industry
and, to a lesser extent, labor. If industry had the benefits of the
tariff, agriculture should have "effective" tariff protection. If in-
dustry restricted production to influence price, agriculture should
also follow the path of production control. The keynote of the
entire farm movement became the cry for "parity." While the
farmers were never willing to entertain the views of those who
held that agriculture of necessity declines in an industrial econ-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/177/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.