Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan, a Study in Political Sociology

By S. M. Lipset | Go to book overview

Chapter IV
THE FARMERS' MOVEMENT GOES SOCIALIST

THE SPLIT of the Farmer's Union from the S.G.G.A. in 1921 gave temporary formal recognition to a cleavage that had existed between radical and conservative members of the agrarian movement for a number of years. The successful joint struggle of the two rival educational organizations to build the Wheat Pool led to organizational unity in the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section) in 1926, but it did not end the fundamental differences between those who saw the agrarian movement as a gradualist liberal development designed to solve specific problems, and the more class-conscious radicals who felt that the farmers would never be secure until the power of their economic enemies was broken. These radicals continued their fight in both the U.F.C. and the Wheat Pool during the prosperous 'twenties, when the combination of high prices and a Wheat Pool, which marketed the wheat of more than two-thirds of the farmers of the province, led the majority of farmers to lose interest in further reform.

A not inconsiderable sprinkling of pioneer settlers in the West had been active radicals in their earlier homes. In present-day

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