Farmers and Workers in American Politics

Farmers and Workers in American Politics

Farmers and Workers in American Politics

Farmers and Workers in American Politics

Excerpt

Out of the Middle West has come what purports to be a new alliance in American politics between farmers and workingmen. In the opinion of one of the world's great newspapers, it is a union of "deadly opposites." "Farmer- Labor" says this journal, "is a contradiction and an absurdity in terms." Nevertheless, a farmer-labor "movement" appears to be an actuality in at least a dozen states, and in one of them, Minnesota, a Farmer-Labor Party has badly worsted both of its old-party opponents at the polls. The probability or improbability of a durable farmer-labor alliance in American politics is thus a political and sociological problem of immediate importance. It devolves itself into the more primary question whether farmers and industrial workers are like-minded or mutually antagonistic in their respective political attitudes.

The aim of the present work is to approach this question without bias, and by the use of exact methods of analysis. In essence, the study is behavioristic. It is based upon public records of political behavior, especially upon election returns and upon the roll-call votes of farmer and labor members of legislative bodies. Analyses of this data are presented in Chapters IV, V and VI.

Materials for deductive inference, on the other hand, are not neglected. Chapters II and III contain a review of economic, biological and cultural factors, the similarity or divergence of which in the two groups might be expected to . . .

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